Author:Felice Tiragallo (Università degli Studi di Cagliari, ISRE Sardegna)
Paper short abstract:
Sensorial landscapes of mining life are linked to the subjective voices of which they express history and memory. Starting from an ethnographic research in Italy, I shall discuss the relationship with performative aspects of oral memory and the aural and visual ones of modern-day mining work.
Paper long abstract:
Mining work for the anthropologist seems to be typified by specific spatial, material, corporeal and sensorial relations. The ongoing debate emphasizes the prominence of a direct approach to this range of facts, in addition to the need to understand their links with the related meanings shared by the miners as the community of practice. Nevertheless , the historical decline of mining activity inexorably restricts mining landscapes and cultures to the heritage of the past. In some European districts, such as South-East Sardinia (Italy), an unusual situation has been established in which a rich heritage of the memory of an abandoned mining world coexists with some advanced, government subsidised mining plants that are still active. In this context, a particular form-of-life seems to appear that links the miners, witnesses of a recent mining past, with the local communities that are still entangled in mining activity. The underground presence of a rich aural sensitivity, recorded by the research project's filmmaking, is particularly related to the way in which the miners "speak" and "feel" what they are saying, that is their words, which is what this paper will try to explore.