Landscape Atelier/ Cultivating continuity one year after
23 October 2021 – 15.30
Widening our horizon towards Bhutan 2022 applying the ELC and local knowledge
Terraces are sources of cultural identity and a component of cultural heritage, which have been abandoned in many regions of Europe. They constitute a foundation for local people’s identity and a resource favourable to economic activity, especially for family farms and new collectives producing healthy food. From the point of view of the agro-industry terraced landscapes are marginal and unproductive, politically they are neglected because these areas feed people, but do not contribute commodities and they are mainly rural with small populations. From the point of view of cultural identity, ecological diversity, social reciprocity and organic production they contribute to quality of life and sustainable livelihoods for rural producers and urban consumers. Terraces also protect the risks of environmental damage of mountain slopes and mitigate the change of the climate.
The aim of this atelier is to revise the common conceptual basis for the different dimensions of terraces (social, political, environmental, cultural…) as part of decolonising our minds, liberating us from prejudices, ethnocentric paradigms and models. Collectively we want to identify new (or old) ways of knowing and acting on terraces taking into consideration ancient local wisdom and present voices of the terrace guardians.
Very often the perception of terraced areas is that it is linked to hard labour, rough terrain, difficult access and past societies of food producing farms, who are isolated, and in ancient times poor people were forced to migrate to mountainous land as the plains with better soils were already occupied. This may have happened but very often the slopes only could be cultivated building terraces carrying soil and nurture the land with manure. The terraces offered unique and optimum conditions for agricultural production. On terraced lands were domesticated rice, maize, potatoes in the mountains of the world, and since the Ancient Times the Greeks and Romans searched for sunny slopes to disseminate wine all over Europe in combination with terraces producing better quality.
Lucka Azman (University of Lubljiana)
Timmi Tillmann (ITLA) online
Maruja Salas (ITLA) online