The Moose and the Motor: Climate Change, Place, and Environmental Interference in Rural Northern Sweden

Bartlett, Flora Mary. 2020. The Moose and the Motor: Climate Change, Place, and Environmental Interference in Rural Northern Sweden. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (The Moose and the Motor: Climate Change, Place, and Environmental Interference in Rural Northern Sweden)
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Abstract or Description

This thesis examines the experience of landscape and place among inhabitants of Arjeplog, in the rural north of Sweden, and the friction between different ideas of nature, environmentalism and climate change. Using photography intertwined with traditional anthropological methods, I show how the local community care fiercely for their lifestyle and local nature while tensions exist in the landscape between attempts at sustainable traditional living and the voices of environmentalism coming from the south. This must be understood within the wider history of the north as a resource landscape: resources have long been pillaged in the name of humanistic capitalism, and the ‘wilderness’ narrative surrounding the north has made it a prime location for locally disruptive renewable energies in nation-building ‘green’ modernization projects of the state. Contemporary national conversations of environmentalism are seen as a continuation of this interference: voices of anthropogenic (human caused) climate change are understood as emanating from the same urban population, seen as an out of touch ‘other’ with little understanding of the rural north. If we are to examine climate change anthropologically, we must also look to those places where the consensus is rejected and doubted, and where certain voices are held in doubt: to look at locally felt places, landscapes and nature to understand how these discourses are enmeshed in problematic structures and north-south, rural-urban divisions, and the processes by which they are rejected. This also requires acknowledging our own place as researchers, and how our views on global environmental matters are themselves shaped by where we come from. Using experimental visual methods including photograms, pinhole cameras, exhibition spaces, and curatorial roles allowed an exploration of aesthetics of nature and landscape: how Arjeplog should be represented and what was important to show through my visual representation of place. The images work throughout the thesis to present place visually in relationship with the text, disrupting the vulnerability, resilience and adaptation narrative of climate change through exploring emplaced environmentalism.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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Climate change; place; Sweden; environment; visual anthropology; experimental photography; photography; landscape

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31 August 2020

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Date Deposited:

07 Jun 2021 11:20

Last Modified:

07 Jun 2021 11:20


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