Over 17-18 May 2019, we welcomed several speakers to Lancaster, UK for our event Landscape Justice: Borders and Boundaries.
The speakers were all recipients of our Research Fund grants with the theme of Landscape Justice.
Over the two days we discussed land ownership, freedom of information, social in/exclusion, narratives and power, contested land and identity, and the geometry and geology of mountains.
Listen to the talks below.
Friday 17th May
Borders & Boundaries Showcase & Discussions
De/Reconstructing the Archive
Aisling O’Carroll’s project ‘De/Reconstructing the Archive‘ looks at the influence that geological and historiographic studies had at the turn of the nineteenth century in establishing a reading of landscape as a physical archive, and informing a new mode of historical engagement with landscape.
Aisling is a landscape architect, co-founded and co-editor of The Site magazine and current PhD student at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.
Beyond the Peace Lines
The ‘Beyond the Peace Lines‘ project presented by project lead Dr. Ian Mell aimed to ask whether parks promoted the same level of distinctive community use (and identity) as other parts of Belfast or whether they were more inclusive and fluid. By assessing where, how and what people use parks for this project helps to try and better understand the value of ‘landscape’ in a contested city.
Ian is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental & Landscape Planning, University of Manchester.
Landed: Cadastral Maps
The red cadastral map above right, showing land boundaries and ownership, was produced as part of the project.
Saturday 18th May
Borders & Boundaries Field Trip
A journey through a slice of Lancashire, from Cockersand Abbey on the coast to the moors at the Trough of Bowland, exploring land ownership, power relations and the impact on people’s lives. We travelled a route through the area defined by ‘Landed: Cadastral Maps,‘ led by John Angus, founder and director of StoreyG2, a contemporary art organisation based in Lancaster, and Layla Curtis, artist and founder of Edgework, an artist-led, online store and multidisciplinary journal with a focus on place.
They shared their knowledge of the history, stories and estates we travelled through, the connections and disconnections. Their main pursuit throughout the project was patience; finding owners meant first finding boundaries of land parcels. Cadastral maps (maps of boundaries) in much of the UK simply don’t exist, so archive records, letters, estate registers were scoured, as was the landscape itself, for boundary stones and other clues. Only when they established a particular land parcel could they request information on ownership. Of the 700 land parcels in the project area, they ended up focusing on 50, limited by time and funds.
It was a rich afternoon ended by crossing the old Lancashire-Yorkshire border, marked by a carved stone in the Trough of Bowland.
We also heard from community arts practitioner Siobhán Forshaw about her recently funded project Ways & Meanings which will be based in the South Lake District in partnership with Grizedale Arts. Her mixed-methods research, including creative responses and techniques such as automatic writing, will uncover the different narratives around track- and pathways, looking at who has power and control of these narratives, in the hope of providing alternatives, and opening up the landscape to its myriad meanings and people (and critters?) who frequent it.
A huge thank you to all involved!