Heritage Ecologies and the Rhetoric of Nature

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Heritage Ecologies and the Rhetoric of Nature
  Rhetoric and Redescription in Cultural Heritage 󰁥󰁤󰁩󰁴󰁥󰁤 󰁢󰁹    Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels and Trinidad Rico UNIVERSITY PRESS OF COLORADO Boulder   © 􀀲󰀰􀀱󰀵 by University Press of ColoradoPublished by University Press of Colorado 󰀵󰀵󰀸󰀹 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 􀀲󰀰󰀶CBoulder, Colorado 󰀸󰀰󰀳󰀰󰀳 All rights reservedPrinted in the United States of America e University Press of Colorado is a proud member of  Association of American University Presses. e University Press of Colorado is a cooperative publishing enterprise supported, in part, by Adams State University, Colorado State University, Fort Lewis College, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Regis University, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, Utah State University, and Western State Colorado University.∞ is paper meets the requirements of the ANSI/NISO Z󰀳󰀹.󰀴󰀸-􀀱󰀹󰀹􀀲 (Permanence of Paper).Cover Art “Typographic Wall Calendar 􀀲󰀰􀀱󰀴” by Harald Geisler (haraldgeisler.com)“Stunning reinterpretation of a calendar is a masterful example of how a designer can completely flip a genre signifier on its head. Geisler reimagines calendars in order to change the way we visualize time, and in turn, redefines what it means to save the date.”—Mike McGregor, Kickstarter e Typographic Wall Calendar is made of exactly the number of used keyboard keys (i.e., 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀰 and 􀀱󰀵) that represent the year.Since 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀹 it is printed in srcinal size. Prints can be ordered at www.haraldgeisler.com. e University Press of Colorado gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the University College London Qatar toward the publication of this book.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataHeritage keywords : rhetoric and redescription in cultural heritage / [edited by] Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels and Trinidad Rico. pages cm Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 󰀹󰀷󰀸-􀀱-󰀶󰀰󰀷󰀳􀀲-󰀳󰀸󰀳-󰀹 (paper) — ISBN 󰀹󰀷󰀸-􀀱-󰀶󰀰󰀷󰀳􀀲-󰀳󰀸󰀴-󰀶 (ebook)􀀱. Cultural property—Protection—Study and teaching. 􀀲. Cultural property—Protection— Terminology. 󰀳. Historic preservation—Study and teaching. 󰀴. Historic preservation— Terminology. 󰀵. Rhetoric—Social aspects. 󰀶. Rhetoric—Political aspects. 󰀷. Description (Rhetoric)—Social aspects. 󰀸. Description (Rhetoric)—Political aspects. I. Lafrenz Samuels, Kathryn. II. Rico, Trinidad. CC􀀱󰀳󰀵.H󰀴󰀶􀀲 􀀲󰀰􀀱󰀵 󰀳󰀶󰀳.󰀶'󰀹󰀰󰀷—dc􀀲󰀳 􀀲󰀰􀀱󰀴󰀰󰀴󰀶􀀱󰀰󰀴􀀲󰀴 􀀲󰀳 􀀲􀀲 􀀲􀀱 􀀲󰀰 􀀱󰀹 􀀱󰀸 􀀱󰀷 􀀱󰀶 􀀱󰀵 􀀱󰀰 󰀹 󰀸 󰀷 󰀶 󰀵 󰀴 󰀳 􀀲 􀀱  󰀲󰀰󰀷  DOI: 􀀱󰀰.󰀵󰀸󰀷󰀶/󰀹󰀷󰀸􀀱󰀶󰀰󰀷󰀳􀀲󰀳󰀸󰀴󰀶.c󰀰􀀱󰀳 13 Because this is how an empire is claimednot just with stakes in a stolen land,but with words grown over palates, with strength of tongue as well as strength of hand. —O󰁷󰁥󰁮 S󰁨󰁥󰁥󰁲󰁳 In June 􀀲󰀰􀀱􀀲, world leaders, scientists, NGOs, environ-mentalists, indigenous peoples, and other interested people convened in Brazil for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Known as ‘Rio+􀀲󰀰,’ the Conference marked the twentieth anni- versary of the historic Earth Summit, where nations signed the legally binding Convention on Biological Diversity   (CBD), a guiding document in natural heri-tage policy and research. e CBD was one of the first environmental initiatives to champion and recognize indigenous cultural heritage and intellectual prop-erty. Interestingly, that same year, the World Heritage Committee created the cultural landscape designation, in part to address divisions between cultural and natural heritage. Building on the momentum and taking direc-tion from the Earth Summit, Rio+􀀲󰀰 focused discus-sions around the ‘three pillars’ of sustainable develop-ment: economic development, social development, and environmental protections. Although Rio+􀀲󰀰 served as  Natural Heritage Heritage Ecologies and the Rhetoric of Nature  M󰁥󰁬󰁩󰁳󰁳󰁡 F. B󰁡󰁩󰁲󰁤  󰀲󰀰󰀸 MELISSA F. BAIRD a platform of innovative thinking around sustainable development, attention to heritage and culture were noticeably absent in discussions. In fact, the Final Rio Document, a focused product outlining sustainability and development goals, was criticized by the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) for not addressing culture. 󰀱 I am not surprised that heritage was not explicit in conversations, as I have found that cultural and natural heritage are often not identified within sus-tainable development or conservation approaches. is underestimation of the importance of heritage in conservation initiatives is significant. Heritage engages a global network of experts who are leading voices in conservation, preservation, and policy matters and are sanctioned by the nation-state as  well as by international governing bodies (e.g., UNESCO, ICOMOS, IUCN, the World Bank, and so on). As key power holders, experts testify and pro- vide opinions in land rights and native title claims, bioprospecting contracts, biotechnology patents, water rights and sacred sites claims, ecosystem inven-tories, and cultural and natural heritage nominations to the World Heritage list. For example, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s recent accep-tance of Tanzania’s request to excise part of the Selous Game Reserve to allow for uranium mining brings into sharp relief the centrality of heritage experts in development negotiations. Mapping out the nuances and contexts of just how governments, environmentalists, heritage experts, and other deci-sion makers draw on the rhetoric of nature (or not) is part of the work that  we must do. is chapter examines how the rhetoric of nature is embedded within heri-tage ecologies, defined here as a set of relationships within environmental and heritage practices that engages with and mediates our ideas of nature. In this brief discussion, I cannot present a complete analysis of the nature/culture or social/ecological divide (but see, e.g., Escobar 􀀱󰀹󰀹󰀶, 􀀱󰀹󰀹󰀸; Macnaghten and Urry 􀀱󰀹󰀹󰀸; Soper 􀀱󰀹󰀹󰀵). Instead, I follow Kathryn Lafrenz Samuels’ claim that heritage be recognized as a “kind of rhetoric” (Chapter 􀀱). Lafrenz Samuels’ call is timely, especially for teasing out where ideas of nature (or wilderness, sustainability, and conservation, for that matter) are embedded in heritage practices. In the final section, I imagine how the rhetoric of nature can be also an emancipatory discourse and/or deployed in ways that reshape conceptions of heritage. I ask if counter-hegemonic alternatives can provide nuance and specificity as a way for stakeholders to intervene or mobilize discourse into agency or resistance.  NATURAL HERITAGE  󰀲󰀰󰀹 HERITAGE ECOLOGIES AND THE RHETORIC OF NATURE Natural (and environmental) and cultural heritage are conceptual categories that carry enormous influence and are invoked at the local and international levels to influence and provide political legitimacy to cultural and environ-mental policy. Understanding how these concepts are conceived and deployed in heritage practices and tracing their political and legal implications is due.  e epistemologies of nature, namely the multiple theories and methods that are brought to bear in interpreting the natural and cultural worlds, are legacies of Enlightenment thinking that conceptually separated out human experience from nature (see Baird 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀹 for discussion). e nature/culture paradigm has deep roots in Western models of time and space and is tied to historical for-mations and colonial practices. Although scholars have sought to unsettle this limited and largely Eurocentric view of the world (Haraway 􀀱󰀹󰀹􀀱; Latour 􀀱󰀹󰀹󰀳; Ingold 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀰; Strathern 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀴; de la Cadena 􀀲󰀰􀀱󰀰), challenges remain. Recent ethnographic studies have gone a long way in correcting this bias to show how the divide is situated in practice (see Baird 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀹; Helmreich 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀹; Meskell 􀀲󰀰􀀱􀀲). ese studies provide insights into ongoing and sometimes contentious debates over the role of culture in conservation and development (Agrawal and Redford 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀹; Curran et al. 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀹; Inglis and Bone 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀶; Kopnina 􀀲󰀰􀀱􀀲; Redford and Sanderson 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀰; Schwartzman, Nepstad, and Moreira 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀰;  Terborgh 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀰). ey show how, in many ways, communities are framed as either key drivers in environmental impacts (Oates 􀀱󰀹󰀹󰀹) or central to conser- vation approaches (Hughes 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀵; Van Damme, Sibongile, and Meskell 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀹). No matter the position one takes, how we frame our ideas of nature and cul-ture do have significant and far-reaching consequences for stakeholders. In other words, rhetoric matters.In World Heritage contexts, I have argued that ideas of heritage are largely determined through the agendas and recommendations of Western experts, international heritage agencies, and the nation-state and reframed to fit spe-cific World Heritage values (Baird 􀀲󰀰󰀰󰀹). Meaning, experts often rely on specific visions that are largely environmental, aesthetic, and material. is is not specific to World Heritage; as in other contexts, such as nature reserves or parks, outsider interests often shape ideas of what is natural (and what is not). Dan Brockington (􀀲󰀰󰀰􀀲), for example, showed how ‘indigenous’ pastoral herders of the Tanzania’s Mkomazi Game Reserve were evicted from their land, the result of lobbying by powerful international conservation NGOs  who sought to establish a wildlife sanctuary. In the Tanzania example, what ‘experts’ imagined was natural had lived consequences for the pastoral herders.
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