In the 21st century what is meant by a “natural landscape”? What is it that makes a landscape special? How do the people who live, work and play in a particular area relate to It? What part do these landscapes play in the lives of those who live in more urban environments?

In the event of changes to the landscape brought about by significant climate change, how will people respond to any measures taken to help protect that landscape and its possible uses?

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I have launched the You Tube video this week.

I now realise that you have to take pot luck about the quality of image that some people experience when trying to watch the film. A slow internet connection really has a detrimental effect on the way the film is experienced. Playback can be improved by viewers of YouTube by clicking on the "360" button and changing it to "240" (directly underneath the video). This reduces the frame rate.

Technical difficulties aside, I want to use this short format to juxtapose city life (Brussels) with a rural town (Brecon) in order to highlight the difference in material wealth and convenience against what often seems a hard and much more physical existence , what herman de vries calls our primary reality.

Policies, such as the Common Agricultural Policy Reform are shaped and launched in the city. This policy encourages upland farmers to become environmental land managers rather than food producers, it also makes it more difficult for many small farming units to get any farming subsidies.

City dwellers depend on good air and water quality, increased biodiversity benefits us all. The high carbon life style of the city can “carry on as before” only if there are places in the world such as the uplands and particularly the peat bogs to help offset their activities.

The conundrum is that human beings all want.

The city dweller likes to dip into the “idea” of the country way of life whilst the country dweller, particularly the young, would like a little more of the bright lights and SHOPS!

……..and those who work the land? Well they are increasingly aware of a shifting balance between power and direction. For some farmers diversification now means turning from food production to energy production, filling fields with photo voltaic panels, wind turbines or hydro systems. Whilst others scratch their heads wondering who is going to feed the world. Like Knights of old, I suspect this is why the multi nationals step up to the mark with their genetically engineered factory style food production to “save the world” whilst keeping control of the profits.

City dwellers stay fit by visiting the gym, at weekends they may visit the “countryside.”

However we define the countryside, it has changed, it looks very different, but it’s central role remains the same… our primary reality and the Earth’s vital breath holes.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Back to blogging

Back to blogging after a long period of quiet.

The project has progressed and I am about to launch a short You Tube video and three more postcards to complete the set of six . I will put these onto the blog in the near future.

I have been disappointed with the lack of response to the blog. I was hoping to raise some form of debate or wider conversation through this. However, fairly early on I became aware that farmers in particular, do not spend a lot of time on their computers. So I guess that’s one big bunch of interested people I am not talking to! I also discovered that many young people living in the Brecon area do not express much interest in their natural environment, and are more likely to use the internet for social networking.

Now I am trying to put together a short filmic essay. I want to use give voice to some of the different points of view and concerns I discovered during my conversations with farmers, graziers, towns people and tourists. I also think it is important to raise awareness of the plight of these areas, and why it is necessary to protect and nurture them for future generations. Not because they are rural idles, these are tough environments in which to live, but because these fragile landscapes help improve the air and water quality for those of us living more convenient urban lives, and in many cases more responsible for creating pollution in the first place.

I am also concerned that by running down or discouraging the small family farm, and the increasing imbalance between food requirement and production it would seem a good time to justify the use of GM seeds. Thus taking more control away from the individual and placing it firmly in the hands of the multinational companies.