A New Region of the World? Towards a Poetics of Situatedness
- Monica Hammer - Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor
School of Natural Science, Technology and Environmental Studies
- Tiina Peil
- Johanna Dahlin, Linköping University
The New Region of the World in this project is no geographical area but applied as a conceptual and analytical topos, a figure of thought inspired by Martiniquan poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant (Une nouvelle région du monde, Paris 2006). In Anthropo- and Eurocentric thought, this “new world” is regarded as an empty space, free to use for resource extraction as well as human experiments. The world, however, is conflicted and transforming, both literally and figuratively. It can be described by seemingly self-contradictory terms such as urban Arctic or industrial nature, modern indigenous culture. Glissant encourages us to interpret this world as a connection of parts, where stereotypes (fixed notions or even concepts) are set against change in the world to create new images of and for the present world. Our endeavors include attending to ideas about home, hybridity, and materiality as emergent from these. Thus, we focus on the relationships between human beings and their cultural and ecological environments in the Baltic Sea Region.
These snapshots in time and space determine the accents of our poetics of situatedness. It is situated in the sense that the project – in specific empirical studies – looks at creative practical solutions to paradoxes, such as horse-keeping in transforming peri-urban landscapes, coastal edgelands, and the extreme urbanity of northern Sápmi. The examples include negotiations of indigenous Sámi art in a context defined by the majority society; mining industry in Sápmi where opportunities for profit and work are pitched against human lifestyles and home-making; development of recreational horse-keeping in peri-urban Stockholm that transforms the agrarian landscape into a recreation driven landscape altering ecosystem functioning and services; and physical and mental edgelands in Estonia combined with possibilities for archipelagic thinking.