The art of politics: representing sustainability challenges in the UK’s overseas territories: Research project

In this collaborative project, artist Naomi Hart created a series of paintings to help interpret and communicate research by political geographer Dr Nichola Harmer on how UK parliamentarians view and respond to sustainability challenges in the UK overseas territories.

The research involved analysis of Hansard records of Parliamentary debate from May 2010 to December 2018 from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The analysis highlights MPs and Lords’ recognition of the high levels of biodiversity in the overseas territories and the threats facing these often fragile environments and habitats. It also explored how discussion of conservation in the territories by some parliamentarians revealed multiple drivers, including concern for the environment, meeting international targets and furthering British interests.

The work builds on wider research interest in relationships between state and non-sovereign territories and broad sustainability issues.

The paintings are being exhibited at the University of Plymouth’s Sustainability Hub and are due to be exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society in May 2020. The project was funded by the Creative Associates initiative of the Sustainable Earth Institute at the University of Plymouth.

University members