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Title [sv]
En ny region i världen? På väg mot en situerad poetik
Title [en]
A New Region of the World?
Abstract [en]
A New Region of the World? Towards a Poetics of Situatedness From company towns to fishing towns, international cities to closed cities, military towns to Sámi settlements, confined border towns and merging towns, historical cities and commissioned cities, from infrastructure nodes to deserted towns, Soviet cities to reconstructed cities, the Barents Region’s urban portfolio is as complex and filled with contrasts as it is geographically dispersed. Add arctic climate, tough winters, and seasonal darkness, and you have a region of extreme urbanity. Introduction to Northern Experiments ( The paragraph above is one of many examples where cultural production is harnessed to make an abstract or even emergent concept accessible to the senses and mind. But in this context it is interesting primarily because the combination of verbal images sounds odd. This construction is a rhetorical figure in itself, a catachresis; a mix of conventional metaphors. Yet it could be claimed that it is truer than conventional metaphors. Foregrounding the modern and urban character of the Arctic region, the section focuses on the resilience and nonconformity of landscaping. It is a stark contrast to stereotypical conceptions of modernity as well as of wilderness or rurality: the mental image of high rises and highways versus sparsely populated areas, cultural heritage versus consumer culture, be it of settlers or indigenous people. The place conjured up for these “northern experiments” is no idyll – this new region of the world is conflicted and transforming, both literally and figuratively. Aims The project “A New Region of the World? Towards a Poetics of Situatedness” will map empirical cases where life-styles or habitual worlds have been transformed. The poetics of situatedness refers to using situated and constricting resources for creating sustainable worlds. Departing from empirical cases in urban, rural, global, local, landed and coastal areas, the project identifies new images of and for the present world where cultural heritage can be an ecosystem service. This is to respond with care to the present situation, with a poetics of situatedness that is resilient and inventive. One baseline of this project is the onset of a new era, termed the Anthropocene – “the age of the humans” (Crutzen & Stoermer 2000). Researchers agree that this age needs to be concerned with human impact on all life-supporting systems concerning air, water and soil and from micro-level individual experiences of human and non-human co-habitation down to the level of bacteria and viruses. The sense of human control of physical phenomena and faith in engineering solutions has given way to an awareness of global environmental hazards and vulnerability. Theories of gender, environmental justice, post-colonialism, animal rights movements, and human-technology-biology interaction studies – seriously challenge the idea of a “human nature”, and its privileges. (Braidotti 2013, Haraway 2004, Hinchliffe 2007, Latour 2004, Stengers 2011, Whatmore 2002) Some investigations have already demonstrated that cultural values, hitherto held to be useful primarily to human recreation, are significant also to the non-human world (Jackson & Palmer 2014). We understand this situation as a call for multidisciplinary problem solution. Thus this project harnesses the disciplines of art history, cultural geography, ecology, natural resources management, and heritage/literary studies, in an investigation of what we think of as a new region of the world. This is no geographical area, but a conceptual and analytical topos. Édouard Glissant has provided inspiration for this figure of thought, in Une nouvelle région du monde (1997) where he addresses life in a colonial world that has been violated, robbed and abandoned. Colonial entrepreneurs, as later did Soviet ideology, habitually imagined the “new world” as an empty space used for resource extraction a well as urbanist and futuristic experiments (Avermaete et al., eds. 2010). In this project we map an analogous emerging poetics onto a geographical reference that encompasses borderlands in peri-urban areas across the Baltic Sea between Stockholm and Tallinn, and the Northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. We postulate that our approach opens up for possibilities of considering the human and non-human world on more equal terms than the humanities, social and physical sciences can do alone. Consequently, the central theoretical resarch question is formulated as how can a poetics of situatedness contribute to the need for transdisciplinary knowledge on culture-nature relationships in this new region of the world? The subprojects focus on examples of practical and aesthetic statements that circulate in local and global networks and arenas. More specifically the project explores articulations of creative awareness of the environment and allows it to unfold in forms that recast human experience against the non-human dimensionality in geological, evolutionary, and ecological history. The project is deemed exploratory in every sense of the word. It aims at creating a transboundary and cross-disciplinary research team with a wide network of researchers that would reach beyond the anthropocentric view of the world and explore the poetics of situatedness. The multidimensional framework potentially has broader application to elicit commonalities and differences for the various regions across the world but has direct relevance for the Baltic-Nordic cooperation. The cases are seen as paradigmatic and used to develop a metaphor or establish hypotheses for future investigation. The combination of different dimensions is designed to allow for an investigation of the multiple realities of a single issue. The framework will also be used to process information about peoples' expectations about the future developments and ideas about their own role in it. As a result, the issue of who has authority in deciding the future and the role of concepts and established images in decision-making may be used for gaining a better understanding of current processes, general trends, and thus for creating future policies. 1) Topological Poetics (Charlotte Bydler) Aim: The subproject aims to develop a heuristic theory of “topological poetics”. The study sets out to identify and analyse artistic or poetic practices, sensibilities of production and interpretation, as each of these commit and care for local resources, art worlds or even world systems of national museums, higher art education, art markets, global art discourses, regional, local or individual circulation patterns. (Luhmann 2000, Glissant 1997, Bydler 2004, Tlostanova & Mignolo 2011) This is understood as part of an eco critical project that seeks to situate practices and aesthetics in an ecological life-world including both nature and humans. The concept of poetics operates in this ecology, including but not being restricted to, markets, mediascapes, academia, and other agents in private and public spheres. Each of these has its subcommands, some more powerful and resourceful than others, that the subproject seeks to map. 2) A Northern Home (Johanna Dahlin) A Soviet poster from 1927 which features belching red chimneys announces that these are the breathing of Soviet Russia. The late 1920s were times of rapid industrialisation in the Soviet Union, and an important part of this industrialisation was conquering the north and the resources these regions harboured. The poster’s message might today seem almost ironic, but nature, and perhaps specially the Arctic, is still frequently viewed as a source of primary produce. In Sweden, hydroelectric power stations have changed the rivers of northern Sweden fundamentally, and the lives of all those living along these rivers. In both Sweden and Russia, mining both is and was an industry of importance, not least in the northern regions. The landscapes of extraction are both historic sites of heritage, continuously being made by the mines and operation and extending into the future through prospecting and plans. While clearly man-made, the industrial landscapes that thrive on primary produce are conceptually almost devoid of people. However, while the northern regions are sparsely populated compared to the south, these areas are also people’s home and a sensitive natural environment that is permanently changed by industrialisation. This subproject is focused on Lapland in Sweden and the Kola Peninsula in Russia, two regions of Sápmi, the traditional home of the Sámi people. Both regions are also both historically and currently affected by mineral extraction. This subproject focuses on opposition to mineral extraction in Sweden and Russia, and the different perceptions of landscape and understandings of the land prompted by historic, current and proposed industrial development. Aim This subproject aims to investigate how the northern environment is articulated as a home, as opposed to viewing it as a resource base, by groups opposed to mineral extraction in Lapland in Sweden and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. It focuses on different models for human presence and impact on the local landscape, and the interaction of local and global where developers as well as protesters are part of global networks as well as locally based. 3: The role of cultural ecosystem services in transforming peri-urban landscapes (Monica Hammer) In this subproject, the nature-culture nexus will be analyzed through the lens of transforming human use in relation to the ecosystem services and the heritage concepts focusing on transforming peri-urban landscapes (Daily, 1997; MA Assessment, 2005; Verje et al., 2010; Orsini, 2013). The growing interest in and concern for environmental issues has induced a symbiosis between humanities, social sciences and natural sciences that opens up for a new and distinct approach for understandings of nature-culture relations, as well as these relations’ spatial and temporal scope, (e.g. Sörlin 2012; Tadaki et al. 2012). The concept of ecosystem services is gaining increased attention in policy, planning and decision-making, nationally as well as internationally (European Commission, 2011; SOU, 2013). Aim The aim of this sub project is to contribute to a better understanding of the changing periurban landscape as a carrier of cultural ecosystem services and how different ecosystem services are perceived by users and other stakeholders. 4: Edgelands (Tiina Peil) The concept of “edgelands” will be used to examine ideas of creativity, place and nature through a focus on actual urban edgelands, which, ironically, a very centrally located in Estonia around Tallinn Old Port and the city coastline. Edgelands are “those familiar yet ignored spaces which are neither city nor countryside” (Farley & Symmons Roberts 2012, cover), natural or cultural. These are thus the unacknowledged spaces close by which people see but do not know to any deeper sense, their poetics is unexplored and thus their value unacknowledged. Such areas are usually perceived as wasteland with no immediate use to humans and of little value, seen to be in-between places, waiting to become something else, more useful, the poetics of the edgeland that Marion Shoard (2002, 2003, 2004) has made a call for.
Publications (2 of 2) Show all publications
Bydler, C. (2017). Decolonial or Creolized Commons?: Sámi duodji in the expanded field. In: Svein Aamold; Elin Haugdal; Ulla Angkjær Jørgensen (Ed.), Sámi Art and Aesthetics : Contemporary Perspectives (pp. 141-162). Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decolonial or Creolized Commons?: Sámi duodji in the expanded field
2017 (English)In: Sámi Art and Aesthetics : Contemporary Perspectives / [ed] Svein Aamold; Elin Haugdal; Ulla Angkjær Jørgensen, Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2017, p. 141-162Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Aarhus: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 2017
National Category
Art History
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-31717 (URN)978-87-7184-252-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2017-01-16 Created: 2017-01-16 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved
Hammer, M., Bonow, M. & Petersson, M. (2017). The role of horse keeping in transforming peri-urban landscapes: A case study from metropolitan Stockholm, Sweden. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift, 71(3), 146-158
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of horse keeping in transforming peri-urban landscapes: A case study from metropolitan Stockholm, Sweden
2017 (English)In: Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift, ISSN 0029-1951, E-ISSN 1502-5292, Vol. 71, no 3, p. 146-158Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The authors analyze sustainable cultural landscapes through the lens of ecosystem services. Their case study focuses on transformation of the peri-urban landscape of the Stockholm region, Sweden. Peri-urban landscapes are characterized by diversified and fragmented land uses that are strongly related to urban lifestyles. The rapidly increasing trend for recreational horse keeping is replacing traditional agriculture. Horse keepers’ and local government perspectives on horse keeping are examined, as well as the related demand for ecosystem services, which affects the landscape. The article is based on government documents, interviews with local government officials, and field visits to 16 horse-keeping facilities in two municipalities. Horse keeping was found important for sustaining cultural ecosystem services related to a rural cultural landscape and for maintaining traditional agriculture that provides provisioning ecosystem services. However, several differences between traditional agriculture and horse keeping that affect the demand for ecosystem services related to land use were found to shift the focus from provisioning services to recreational services. The authors conclude that horse keeping, as an emerging crosscutting issue in peri-urban landscapes, needs new more integrative planning processes that account for the full range of ecosystem services and links between cultural services and ecosystem functioning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
cultural landscapes, ecosystem services, horse keeping, peri-urban planning
National Category
Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33030 (URN)10.1080/00291951.2017.1340334 (DOI)000405318000003 ()2-s2.0-85021171507 (Scopus ID)
Stockholm County CouncilThe Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Available from: 2017-07-07 Created: 2017-07-07 Last updated: 2020-03-26Bibliographically approved
Co-InvestigatorHammer, Monica
Principal InvestigatorBydler, Charlotte
Co-InvestigatorDahlin, Jonanna
Coordinating organisation
Södertörn University
2016-01-01 - 2018-12-31
Keywords [sv]
Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Keywords [en]
Baltic and East European studies
National Category
Art History
DiVA, id: project:1878Project, id: 77/2015_OSS

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