lørdag 13. februar 2010

What sort of community is the rural world?

How do we see life? How do we sense life? Instead of treating nature as a consequence of the social realm, we should view human beings as created in relationships that are both human and more-than-human. Human beings are connected to the more-than-human world in terms of being part of the same world in a deeper sense, but in modern societies there is a lack of understanding of these connections and their relevance for socialization and human development.

Our human situation or reality is that we are part of, and a product of, community. Being a human being, is to be a part of a community. But what is a community, really? Rural communities are populated by human and more-than-human life in complex ways. One classical way to distinguish a rural community from a non-rural community is by looking at the density of the population. If we say that rural communities are scarcely populated by human nature, what do we then exclude and marginalize? Who talks about density of more-than-human nature? Nobody. It does not count in our definition of rurality.

The late environmental philosopher Val Plumwood is very right: rural areas are in the frontline of our western culture’s relationship with nature and place. I think people living in rural areas experience the marginalization of nature in a more acute way than people living in non-rural areas. How is it possible to unthink the density of nature in a rural setting?

torsdag 4. februar 2010

Place making works...

Sense of place: If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.

To inhabit the earth: Do you know the rhythms, possibilities and limits of the earth? Those who know these rhythms are more able to take responsibility for the earth.

Your region: Learn about the region where you live. How much do you know about it?

To live in, of, and for place: Seek to meet your needs from within the place and region where you live.

Maps: By mapping your own place you may create a renewed understanding of place and sense of place.

Community: Create new place-based communities that take responsibility for the welfare of both humans, society and nature.

The power of place: Place planning for both humans, society and nature.


Margaret Somerville at Monash University writes that “changing our relationship to places means changing the stories we tell about places”. I wish changing place is that simple, it is more, but engaging with the myths and stories already written - already told - about place will tell much about human relationships to place and how humans can be tied to places in the world, as a subjective world. World-making is related to word-making.