Accepted paper:

Human-animal interactions as a key-tools to anticipate, read and explain changings underway: the case of the Mont Blanc

Author:

Elisabetta Dall'Ò (Università degli studi Milano-Bicocca)

Paper short abstract:

This paper describes the preliminary results of a research conducted in the Mount Blanc area concerning the relation between traditional knowledges, climate change, and environment. It aims to demonstrate how human-animal interactions may become key to anticipate, read and explain changings underway

Paper long abstract:

This paper describes the preliminary results of a research being conducted in the Mount Blanc biosphere area, in the Aosta Valley, a French-speaking region in the Alps. The extended research relates the relation between traditional knowledges, human vulnerability, memory, "natural disasters", climate change and environment. The purpose of this speech is to demonstrate how human-animal interactions may become key-tools to anticipate, read and explain local and global changings underway. On the field of "natural" risks and climate change, we usually identify "perception" on a theoretical and methodological level, as a mainly human category, (belonging to the homo sapiens faber ludens). Nevertheless, along my research I had the opportunity to encounter the emerging, in the background, of certain non-human figures such as wild animals like wolves, capra ibex, chamois, and even insects and parasites, that turned out of a great importance not only in the "perceiving and bringing" the first signs and symptoms of climate change, but in some sort of "anticipating" it as sentinels. So animals are not only "good to think" according to Lévy-Strauss words, or "good to eat" according to Marvin Harris, but as Haraway pointed out "entities and agents to live with". Creatures that since ever are part of our common imaginary, tales, mythologies, and for this reason can find place among the great themes of anthropology. In this frame, a particular way to connect people to the land maintaining "rapport" with ecology, fauna, flora and material culture, is determined by place-names. Toponyms, therefore, identify the knowledge that past generations have assigned to such places

panel LL-AE03
Indigenous cultural landscape in biospheres