Exploring #NationalLandscapes, cultural identities & territorial resistance at University of Santiago de Compostela
On the 3rd of April 2017, Centre Maurtis Coppieters and the Research Group ANTE organized the “National Landscapes in the Global World” seminar at the Faculty of Geography and History at the University of Santiago de Compostela. Representatives of the university, as well as our President, Xabier Macías, opened the debate with the aim of reflecting on the mutual relationship between the construction of national landscapes and cultural identity, as well as the cultural and political consequences of this relationship in our interconnected global world.
The audience heard from academic experts and practitioners. Onofre Rullan presented the particular case of Balearic Islands, arguing that they are not part of the Iberian Peninsula, but a specific group of small islands with their own specific history and Mediterranean landscape, while Josep Boira explained how the “huerta” (vegetable garden), the iconic image of the Valencian Country, has recently been awarded protected status by the Valencian government, limiting uncontrolled construction, essential to preserve this Valencian cultural element.
As landscapes are understood through the interplay of material and immaterial factors, literature plays a key role in the ways we create and recreate landscapes. Carmen F. Pérez-Sanjulián and Paulo Kortazar explained how specific authors are strongly connected to the literary creation of the Galician and the Basque nation, respectively.
Alan Sandry and Valerià Paül focused on the ways stateless nations can preserve their particular landscapes in a global world, using the cases of Wales and Galicia to show that in order to preserve landscapes, the articulation of specific political and legal measures is of vital importance. In this regard, the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and Galician Institute for Territorial Studies are two examples of how legal and political instruments can be used to defend peripheral landscapes.