"Scenophobia", geography and the aesthetic politics of landscape

Rannsóknarafurð: Framlag til fræðitímaritsGreinritrýni

58 Tilvitnanir (Scopus)


Recent critiques of the nature-culture dualism, influenced by diverse theoretical stances, have effectively destabilized the "naturalness" of nature and highlighted its pervasive and intricate sociality. Yet the practical, ethical and political effects of this theoretical turn are open to question. In particular, the emphasis on the sociality of nature has not led to reinvigorated environmental or landscape politics. Meanwhile, the need for such politics has if anything increased, as evident when ongoing and, arguably, accelerating landscape transformations are taken into account. These concerns are illustrated in the paper with an example from Iceland. In its uninhabited central highland, serious battles are now being fought over landscape values. Capital and state have joined forces in an investment-driven scramble for hydropower and geothermal resources to facilitate heavy industry, irrevocably transforming landscapes in the process. Dissonant voices arguing for caution and conservation have been sidelined or silenced by the power(ful) alliance. The author argues for renewed attention to the aesthetic, including the visual, if responsible politics of landscape are to be achieved. Aesthetic appreciation is an important part of the everyday experiences of most people. Yet, enthusiastic as they have been in deconstructing conventional narratives of nature, geographers have been rather timid when it comes to analysing aesthetic values of landscape and their significance, let alone in suggesting progressive landscape politics. A political geography of landscape is needed which takes aesthetics seriously, and which acknowledges the merit of engagement and enchantment.

Upprunalegt tungumálEnska
Síður (frá-til)203-217
FræðitímaritGeografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography
Númer tölublaðs3
ÚtgáfustaðaÚtgefið - sep. 2007


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