02.10 - Assignment
Revised Collective Lexicon.
Socio-political movement where people living in rural
areas fight for a dignified rural life. Insisting on more attention be given to
rural areas as well as inversions, infrastructure, and services. It fights
against the emptying of rural areas, and the loss of tangible and intangible
culture, livelihoods, and lifestyles that this entails. Ruralism does not designate
a single ideology, but it is rather an umbrella term for various ideologies:
ranging from rural idealism to re-naturalizing rural areas, to more
conservative points of view. With ruralism, we do not refer to traditional
ruralist discourses that showed a contrast between the rural (read
backwardness, poverty, isolation) and the urban (read modernity and cultural
As a conclusion, an especially important distinction is
that, contrary to popular imagination, Ruralism does not only designate
the stereotype of conservative farmers but can also designate other
alternatives to urban life. With this term we want to vindicate the fragmented
and diverse reality that is Ruralism.
II New economies
presented to rural areas in the face of losing traditional livelihoods. These
economic policies, in theory, focus on “maintaining vibrant rural areas” in the
face of globalization and socio-economic challenges such as depopulation and
lack of access to services. The European parliament strives for "stronger, connected, resilient and prosperous rural areas
and communities” (European Parliament Think Tank, The future of the
EU's rural areas). Whilst some honestly aim for the diversification of
economies, higher employment rates, or strengthening their position as producers
in the larger market, what happens when you lose an entire livelihood?
In our selected case
study for instance, we see that Dutch fishermen are having their century old
fishing practices taken away, replaced by wind farms or natural spaces. These
conditions, as well as the move of food production abroad and the concentration
of it in the hands of multinational companies face fishermen with the decline
of tradition and livelihood. Van Hamelen (pg. 15-17, 2023) outlines the
solutions offered by the government. Notably, selling their land and fishing
equipment, subsidies to invest in alternative food sources like insects,
lab-grown meat, and other artificial foods. The newness of this economy is the
shift from traditional classical industries to technology-enabled industries.
Other solutions like
the cultural industry, tourism, artisanry, or merchandising could be more
sustainable solutions. But this brings in questions like how can people avoid
commodifying and selling their culture? And, with these solutions, are we
starting to treat their livelihood as a thing of the past?
Changes in culture,
livelihood, and lifestyle that come along with the emptying of rural areas need
a process of adaptation from the residents. This term is closely linked to New
Economies, as a form of adaptation to continue life. We argue that adaptation
can be a form of displacement from tradition and livelihoods. How do processes
like globalization affect the rural world, and how can people effectively adapt
without displacing their culture and identity? Visible processes like spatial
modifications are also interesting, and how they introduce new dynamics. We can
see this in our case study where a dam built in IJsselmeer displaced and
profoundly changed the lives of the fishermen living there.
We want to focus on
the agency and resilience of people living in rural areas, and less on
government plans and policies. We place local actors center stage when talking
about adaptation. Furthermore, through a lens that moves away from cosmopolitan
perspectives, we explore what it means to tread the line between adaptation and
culture or (cultural) landscape, or (natural) landscape. As an umbrella term
for protecting and preserving tangible and intangible culture, which unites
communities. We see the cultural landscapes of rural areas woven by traditional
livelihoods, trade, artisanal products, as well as the inherent identities of
those living in specific rural areas. These landscapes also critically
designate the urban imaginaries of the rural.
In the Landscape term we also designate physical landscapes; an area which is the
result of the action and interaction of natural and human factors (Stobbelaar
& Pedroli, 2011). It is the perceived uniqueness of a place, it influences
life around it, and usually, with their disappearance, comes a loss of
identity, and grief.
Thus, with this
definition we ask ourselves what happens when a landscape is erased? Who has
the power to erase and why?
da Silva Machado, Felipe. Rural
Change in the Context of Globalization: Examining Theoretical Issues, www.researchgate.net/publication/315936628_Rural_change_in_the_context_of_globalization_examining_theoretical_issues. 5 Oct. 2023.
Jan Stobbelaar, Derk, and Bas
Pedroli. “Perspectives on Landscape Identity: A Conceptual Challenge.” Landscape
Research, 23 May 2011, pp. 321–339, https://doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2011.564860.
Rossi, Rachelle Service,
Members’ Research. “The Future of the EU’s Rural Areas.” Epthinktank,
Epthinktank, 10 Mar. 2022,
Van Hamelen, Eleven. Dutch
Farmers and Fishermen: Epeoplewho Feed Us - Home.Solari.Com,
Accessed 5 Oct. 2023