Contested Landscapes: Movement, Exile and Place
Barbara Bender, Margot Winer
Bloomsbury Academic, 2001 - Architecture - 372 pages
Landscapes are not just backdrops to human action; people make them and are made by them. How people understand and engage with their material world depends upon particularities of time and place. These understandings are dynamic, variable, contradictory and open-ended. Landscapes are thus always evolving and are often volatile and contested. They are also always on the move - people may or may not be rooted, but they have 'legs'. From prehistoric times onwards people have travelled, but the process of people-on-the-move - as tourists, or on global business, as migrant workers or political or economic refugees - has vastly accelerated.
How and why do people who share the same landscape have different and often violently opposed ways of understanding its significance? How do people-on-the-move make sense of the unfamiliar? How do they create a sense of place? How do they rework the memories of places left behind? There is nothing easeful about the landscapes discussed in this book, which are often harsh-edged and troubled both socially and politically. The contributors tackle contested notions of landscape to explain the key role it plays in creating identity and shaping human behaviour.
This landmark study offers an important contribution towards an understanding of the complexity of landscape.