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Accepted Paper:

Sardinia's petroleumscape transformations : history from above vs history from below?  
Nathan Brenu (AAU-CRENAU, ENSA Nantes LASA, Università degli Studi di Genova) Gloria Pessina (Politecnico di Milano)

Paper short abstract:

Between the 1960s and early 70s, several refineries were built in Sardinia, including the plants of Porto Torres and Ottana. This paper aims to question the different levels of interpretation of this project and the landscape and environmental transformations involved.

Paper long abstract:

Between the 1960s and early 1970s, several refineries were built in Sardinia. Among these, we focus on the plants of Porto Torres - an industrial and commercial port in the North of the island - and Ottana - an inner small town at the feet of the Gennargentu mountain. They were part of the Piano di Rinascita della Sardegna, an economic development plan for the region, and mobilized funds from the Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, a public investment fund supporting industrial initiatives. The aim was to introduce large-scale industrial activities on an island considered underdeveloped and archaic in its costumes. In the words of Pietro Soddu, a leading Christian Democrat and seven-time President of Sardinia, it was a question of radically changing social practices that were difficult to control, in particular pastoralism, and of giving an economic boost to a region that had not even experienced the phase of agrarian capitalism.

But how did this ideological will finally materialize in space, resulting in a radical transformation of the landscape? And to what extent did this territorial metamorphosis result in a real anthropological transformation?

By taking an interest in a history that is written from above, materialized on the ground, and lived "at ground level" (an expression borrowed from historian Jacques Revel), this intervention is based on a cross-fertilization of sources, combining archival and topographical research, on-site observations, and interviews with a wide range of players (decision-makers, workers and trade unionists, as well local residents).

Panel Ene07
The Petroleum Century and the Transformation of Global Landscapes
  Session 2 Thursday 22 August, 2024, -