We take as a starting point the important provocations of Antonio Lopez in his 2021 book, Ecomedia Literacy. There, he compellingly argues that research and pedagogy in the field of media literacy in specific, and arguably in communications research broadly conceived, require a new theoretical language that integrates the ecological and environmental. Instead of studying media as part of culture and politics – that is, as constructions of human endeavour and society and thereby, as dualistic in relation to nature – they need to conceptualized as inherently part of it.

We invite researchers, creatives and collaborators who work with, on, and in the Jukskei’s riparian biome – including artists, activists, natural scientists, hydrologists, ecologists, urbanists, designers, historians, anthropologists, policy makers, social scientists, healers – to describe, analyse and theorise how Johannesburg and its residents relate to the temperamental Jukskei. We hope to illustrate the potential of critical interdisciplinary studies of Johannesburg to deepen social and scientific understandings of and interactions with the river.

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