Accepted paper:

Neglected landscapes in Sardinia


Franco Marcello Lai (University of Sassari)

Paper short abstract:

Social and economic changes in Europe are evident in the landscape: abandoned areas in rural and in urban and industrial areas. Social change caused ecological change.

Paper long abstract:

In Italy neglected landscapes are the product of social, economic and demographic processes that took place during the last fifty years throughout Europe. This paper is about Sardinian landscapes. It shows how views of neglected land can be interpreted as signs of different forms of social and economic organisation. In my paper I follow Gilles Clément and his concept of "third landscape" (tiers paysage), abandoned spaces in rural and urban areas. I have gathered a collection of photographs taken along roads, in marginal urban areas, on the coast and in the countryside. All the images show examples of "third landscapes". During the modern age, travel literature often established a connection between culture and landscape. From Montaigne to Goethe and to Guido Piovene the idea of "travelling in Italy" evokes a close link among societies, cultures and landscapes. Landscapes seem the mirror - or the metaphor - of Italian peoples' moral character. Even today, our glance is not neutral: for example, we tend to interpret untended lands in aesthetic and moral terms. Some travel books describe abandoned places: ruins tell stories, following the example of William Least Heat-Moon (USA), David Byrne (USA and other countries), Wu Ming 2 (Italy). In Sardinian fringe areas illegal behaviours gain ground, as waste abandonment along the roads; but sometimes neglected landscapes become "lieux de mémoire" or parks or "greenways".

panel P313
Practices of environmental justice: negotiating the relation between the social and the ecological sphere