Dr Andrew Brooks
Member of staff, Department of Geography, King's College London
Andrew has researched development issues around the world. Recent fieldwork has taken him to Southern Africa and included extensive investigations of markets, trade and politics in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. He is the author of a new book ‘Clothing Poverty: The Hidden world of Fast Fashion and Second-hand clothes’. Before becoming an academic, Andrew worked for VSO, an international development NGO, on programme development in London and Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea is a remote country; a mainland of mountainous rainforest surrounded by scattered tropical islands, located between the Indonesian archipelago and the North coast of Australia. The main island of New Guinea is home to some of the world’s most inaccessible communities, many of whom have had limited contact with the modern world. From September 2004 to 2005 Andrew lived and worked in Papua New Guinea between his second and third year of undergraduate study. Travelling between the tropical coastal town of Madang and the wild Highland’s interior, Andrew undertook different research projects on various topics including food security, school syllabus design, evaluating water projects and hillside erosion. Work often involved long treks between near inaccessible villages or occasionally flights in light aircraft. While in Papua New Guinea, Andrew encountered different development interventions and saw how one of the world’s most undeveloped has been the site of many failed projects. In this talk tales of encounters with tribal people, birds of paradise, ancient rituals, church missionaries and some of the world’s most amazing landscapes will be shared.