Lost islandness: nostalgic mindscapes of a suburban peninsula community
(University of Latvia)
Paper short abstract:
The paper discusses the ways in which identities of a former fishing community are tied to the concept of islandness that is undergoing transformation due to recent economic and environmental change.
Paper long abstract:
The paper is based on the study of a former fishing community located on a suburban peninsula. It discusses the ways in which identities of local inhabitants are tied to the concept of islandness that is central to construction of the meaning of the place. It entails customary combination of geographical isolation, exposedness to water, close social ties, and occupational specifics (fishing). Also, linguistic aspect is of importance, as the name of the locality (Mangaļsala) contains the word "island" (sala). Recent economic, environmental and social change, caused by the decline of fishing industry and development of the Riga Seaport infrastructure, is accompanied by nostalgic talk on several grounds, one of them being the vanishing insular characteristics of the place.
Island ethnographies revisited: challenging utopias, re-evaluating heritage?