Dr Ayesha Siddiqi | Lecturer in Human Geography
“My why… is looking into when environmental disasters and human conflict collide."
My why is global insecurity and how communities are further put to the test by a more erratic climate and large-scale natural disasters against this backdrop. My research is about climatic disasters and their interaction with politics, security and development in countries in the Global South. I do fieldwork in local communities to understand how people living amidst conflict and insecurity are affected by, and cope with the experience of environmental disasters. I am also interested in understanding how disasters provide opportunities for new forms of development interventions and transformations. Currently my research is focused on typhoons and armed conflict in the Philippines. There I am working with a social enterprise to record stories, drawings, photographs and other images, made by people whose lives were seriously affected by a deadly typhoon in 2012. Prior to this, I have been fortunate enough to work in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Vietnam, Morocco, Bolivia and Peru on similar issues. My expertise in this field is used in my year three module ‘Challenging development? Disasters, conflict and human (in)security’, where students explore the challenges to people-centred development, such as disasters and climate change, conflict and military intervention. Focusing on a human security approach to development in my research and teaching, I design class exercises, group presentations and assessments and screen films that inspire my students to think about different ways to address real-world challenges.