Harriet Rix

Harriet Rix studied biochemistry and the history of science before working in landmine clearance in the Middle East. She writes about trees, ecological history and cosmopolitanism.

From The Blog
3 April 2024

Between 1880 and 1900, the opera house in Manaus sprouted like a magical pink mushroom out of the rainforest.

From The Blog
8 February 2023

One of the most striking images of the earthquakes has been the destruction of the castle in Gaziantep, the huge stone blocks tumbling down the dirty snow slopes of the citadel onto the paved street which surrounds it. It is not a tragic image, as so many are, but it suggests how momentous such events as this are in human history. The citadel is ancient: first inhabited by the Hittites four thousand years ago, it was used by the Persians, Greeks and Romans, and the castle built on top has survived countless power struggles. It was restored by Justinian in the sixth century, almost completely rebuilt by the Seljuks in 1070, and was being restored again when I lived in Gaziantep in 2016.

From The Blog
9 December 2022

In the village of Sidakan, close to Iraq’s borders with Iran and Turkey, low mist is welcomed as a deterrent to drones; at night, low cloud is welcomed as a deterrent to planes. Commentators watch the patterns of flight cancellation – three flights cancelled on the 7th for Turkish Airlines; flights cancelled between the 12th and the 18th for Austrian Airways – and try to predict which country, Iran or Turkey, will attempt an attack on ‘their’ Kurdish separatist group during that time. The danger zone covers all the villages in the mountains, and maps closely onto the distribution of oaks in Iraq.

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