Beth Uzwiak and Anastasia Hudgins, Ethnologica

2018 Ecotopian Toolmakers

Beth Uzwiak is an ethnographer, artist, writer and cultural activist. She was recently awarded a Leeway Art and Change grant in support of her ongoing collaborative public archive work about social movements in Philadelphia. She is a painter, printer and book-maker and has exhibited art in numerous places including Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center and Woman Made Gallery. In recent years, her art practice has taken the form of collaboration with socially engaged public art projects such Playgrounds for Useful Knowledge—a multi-year initiative of Cohabitation Strategies and the Mural Arts Project—and a residency at Philadelphia’s Hatfield House with Amber Art and Design and the Fairmount Park Conservancy. A former Woodrow Wilson fellow, Beth earned a PhD in cultural anthropology from Temple University with a dissertation that examined the use of new media in global Indigenous human rights movements. She is co-founder of Ethnologica where she oversees participatory and art-based social research.

Anastasia Hudgins, PhD is a cultural anthropologist and co-founder of Ethnologica, a research firm that focuses on participatory, arts-based and community methods to reveal insights about health and community. As a scholar, Anastasia has written about fracking as it relates to common resources, politics and community in rural Southwestern Pennsylvania. Her articles are published in peer-reviewed journals including in the Journal of Political Ecology, Journal of Environmental Social Sciences, and Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment. As a tinkerer, she made a short film entitled “Water” which visually explores the winter setting just above and below the waterline at Two-Lick Creek Reservoir, the source of drinking water for residents of Indiana, Pennsylvania, and the site of a coal slurry contamination. She was the humanities consultant for a 2016 Precious Places film collaboration between Scribe Video and Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac, called “Belmont Grove: Reclaiming Coaquannock” about the past and current presence of Indigenous communities in Philadelphia, and it can be seen here. In the spring, summer and fall, she can be found in her canoe, exploring the waterways of Philadelphia, finding beauty where it’s least expected.