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Art and the Rural Imagination

Paper author: Dr Marina Velez Vago

Paper title: Art on the Periphery: other knowledges and other cognitions as resistance to monocultures of the mind

'There is a direct relationship, says scholar and activist Winona LaDuke, between the loss of biodiversity and the loss of cultural and knowledge diversity. Based on the idea that valuing other forms of knowledge needs to happen in order to develop new empathies and new sensitivities in relation to humans’ relationship with nature, this paper addresses restorative ways to connect to, and to understand, the land. Investigating how values and re-valuing can emerge from working-with local farmers and shepherds in the town of Belalcazar, in Andalucia, Spain, this paper looks at value (s) through the lens photography, video conversations, pastoral walks and artistic interventions.’

Art and the Rural Imagination features writing by key academics and artists and explores how contemporary art can help to reimagine the rural as a site of contemporary thought and experience. It reflects on a diversity of issues, from post-pandemic landscapes to farming, tourism, sustainability, productivity, as well as issues of gender, sexuality and decolonisation. At the heart of the book is a concern with both people and place, as well as expanded engagement with animals and ecologies. The scope of the book is international with contributors detailing a wide range of rural experiences and concerns. The book is the outcome of a conference in 2020 titled Art and the Rural Imagination, and also features a selection of commissioned artworks that expand on the core themes of the main essays.

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