“[T]he land we all live on is simply taken for granted–and proper relation to it is not considered a part of ‘citizenship.’” –Gary Snyder (1995:223)
“Land … is something to which a people belong, as to a commonwealth.” –Kenneth Olwig (2005:20)
Belonging has many suitors. Everywhere people are courted by sophisticated media engines–political, corporate, marketing–which seek to tie their identities to brands, nations, races, sports, monarchs, deities, shared animosities. Alternatively, environmental belletrist Gary Snyder (1995), in advancing the idea of ‘watershed’ or ‘bioregional’ citizenships, seeks to tie belonging to substantive landscapes. Kenneth Olwig (2005: 20) also frames similar ideas, grounded in a discourse of landscape justice and landscape democracy. Olwig makes an electrifying parallel between the suffices -scape and -ship. The latter, meaning “‘something showing, exhibiting or embodying a quality or state’ of being” is tangible in friendship, comradeship, or fellowship. Olwig, thus, asks that people might conceive of themselves as embedded in a landship, the dimensions of which might lead to more fulfilling, engaged, meaningful, and emplaced belonging.
Citizenship, conceived as landship, also asks that the criteria for belonging issue not from birthright or ‘blood and soil’, but from affinity, experience, and applied landscape knowledge. People might come to belong to a landscape through work, inhabitation, and showing an understanding of its operation, and to have their citizenship approved and validated by others for the same reason. Such citizenships of affinity nest comfortably within landscape citizenships in performative realms of practice. This symposium seeks to examine landscape citizenships through the lens of landscape justice and landscape democracy, asking questions in the diverse fields of politics, anthropology, sociology, and design among others. Papers are thus invited for this 1-day interdisciplinary symposium to explore notions of landscape citizenship, that may will include, but are not be limited to:
- Ecological and environmental citizenship
- Rights to landscape and the rights of landscape
- Landscape design, identity, and imagined communities
- Landscape, populism, fascism and anti-fascism
- Cities, public space, and citizenship
- Borders, boundaries, and migration
- 7 May 2018 Deadline for extended abstracts of 750-1000 words (to be emailed to: landscapecitizenships at gmail.com)
- 4 June 2018 Response to abstracts
- 15 October 2018 Full papers due
- 16 November 2018 Symposium
The symposium will take place at Conway Hall in London’s Holborn. The organisers intend to work with the speakers and the advisory group to publish a selection of the symposium papers.
- Olwig, Kenneth (2005) “Representation and Alienation in the Political Land-scape”. In Cultural Geographies 12. London: Edward Arnold, 19-40.
- Snyder, Gary (1995 ) “Coming into the Watershed” in A Space in Place: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Watersheds: New and Selected Prose. Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 219-235.