MA Candidate: Cultivating Political Ecologies
Lena has gained a Horticultural Qualification in London and has since worked on the land, learning how to grow food. The reality of food production under capitalism in the heart of Empire has brought up questions regarding labour, land justice and place-making. Working with her hands in the soil has also deepened her curiosity to understand the earth's ecosystems, particularly inter-species cooperation and mycology, which she hopes to explore at NYU.
She wrote her undergraduate thesis on the Political economy of prison expansion in the UK, and presented her research at the Historical Materialism Conference at SOAS in November 2022. Researching the expansion of a prison industry in the UK brought her to the question of how the land became available for the purpose of building prisons, the loss of ‘power to plan’, and ‘making freedom as a place’. As a Dean’s Graduate Scholar at Gallatin, Lena will be studying experimental humanities, ecology and environmental studies.