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Accepted Paper:

Negotiating the "Endless Island." Beekeeping and landscape in Sardinia.  
Greca N. Meloni (University of Vienna)

Paper short abstract:

The paper discusses how the landscape of Sardinia (Italy) is conceived from the regional authorities as an example of the "immutability" of the "Endless Island" of the Mediterranean, while in the perspective of the Sardinian beekeepers it is understood to be an endless process of transformation.

Paper long abstract:

Over the past decades, landscape has gradually taken on a role of primary importance in the processes of heritigization often linked to claims of national identity all through Europe, also playing a pivotal role in the process of Europeanization in those regions that seek to become part of the European Union (Welz 2015).

In Sardinia (Italy), the discourses on the landscape produce conflicts linked to the juxtaposition of the environment perceived on one side as a wild space which biodiversity must be safeguarded with politics based on rigorous "scientific knowledge" and, on the other, a place which natural features testify the toils of humans through time (Heatherington 2010).

The paper analyzes the processes of construction and deconstruction of the meaning of the landscape connected with the image of Sardinia as the "Endless Island" of the Mediterranean. Thus, the paper highlights the diverging visions hidden behind the uses that the regional agencies and the beekeepers make of the adjective "endless" attributed to Sardinia. For the former, the adjective serves as a symbol of immutability and authenticity of a wild and uncontaminated island, of which landscape keeps its original authenticity since a thousand years. For the beekeepers, the term represents the endless process of transformation and co-operation of the past generations of humans that working together with their animals have contributed to creating the present-day Sardinian' landscape. Finally, the paper shows how different interpretations of landscape link with contrasting readings of "Sardinianess" and the concepts of autochthony, and biodiversity.

Panel Env01
Landscape - the instructions manual: negotiating the meanings of landscape [SIEF Working Group Space-lore and Place-lore]
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 April, 2019, -