CRITICAL SPACE PART 1




                   © Tony Ward
                       2007
 For more free slides see: www.TonyWa...
CRITICAL
          THEORY
Critical Education Theory is part of a broader theory
called Critical Theory. Critical Theory is...
WHAKAPAPA
Critical Theory evolves from the wider
discipline of Social Theory, and looks at the
ways in which political ide...
CONTEMPORARY
                CULTURAL STUDIES
Marx had based all of his theorising on issues of Class difference, which te...
CRITICAL SPACE THEORY
Critical Space Theory evolves from the wider
discipline of Critical (Social) Theory, and looks
at th...
ONE WORLD
From outer space, there is no up or down, no
North or South. Outer Space has no separate
and independent referen...
COLONISATION AND SPACE
If the planet Earth, seen from space has no directional reference points, then how is it that all o...
SPIRITUALITY AND PLACE
Before the advent of capitalism and the
resultant commodification of space, different
places seem t...
NAMING/LEGITIMATING:
All the concepts, theories and meanings
that shape our lives are socially
constructed. This is to say...
NAMING/
           REPLACEMENT
The process of colonisation operates on the dual axes of displacement and
replacement. For ...
COLONISATION AND SPACE

The dis-place-ment of peoples, the
appropriation and renaming of their
places is not a new phenome...
ST. MICHAEL BURROWBRIDGE




The dis-place-ment of peoples, the appropriation and renaming of their places is not a new
ph...
ST.MICHAEL GLASTONBURY




This same pattern of colonisation was reproduced over and over throughout Celtic Britain, as th...
MT. ST. MICHELE
Such ancient places of pilgrimage have for over a
thousand years been surmounted by a fortress-like
church...
ST. MICHEL LE
         PUY
Another example is the Chapel of St. Michel at Le Puy, in France.
What each of these sites has ...
SILBURY
       TREASURE
Before the coming of Christianity there had existed and
prospered across Europe a form of spiritua...
THE GREAT GODDESS




               Silbury Mound Diagram                                         Painted pot, Hactlar, T...
SLEEPING
        GODDESS
This supreme deity of the pre-Christian culture was
spread throughout Europe from neolithic times...
THE WATER OF
    LIFE
The replacement of Celtic meaning happened over time,
and to help it along, wells that had nourished...
SPIRITUAL
     REBRANDING
But it was not easy to simply bowl the Earth Mother out of the
way. After thousands of years of ...
SHEELA NA GIG
Sheela Na Gig was the quintessential symbol of the sexual
spirituality. She is a Celtic figure who adorns ma...
SEX AND LIFE
In the Pre-Christian era, sexual symbolism was to be
found in all of the ancient earthworks and dolmen.
The c...
HEGEMONY AND SPACE
  We will see from all of this that the creation, appropriation, reframing, re-branding, superimpositio...
THE GEOGRAPHY OF POWER
 “To see the ghostly outline of an old landscape beneath the superficial covering of the con tempor...
COLUMBUS
The “discovery” of America, while profitable to the
European colonisers (primarily the Spanish) carried a
terrible...
TERRORIST COLUMBUS
      In European culture, Christopher Columbus is portrayed as a hero-
      explorer who brought “pro...
THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH
While the late Pope John Paul may seek to defend the activities of the
Church in the process of col...
THE CHURCH AND CAPITALISM
The gold and silver stolen from the Americas by Columbus and the Conquistadors brought so much s...
ST. MICHAEL CHALMA MEXICO




And as in the case of Celtic Europe, St, Michael and the Church once again played a key role...
DIS-PLACE-MENT
If the purpose of colonisation was (and still is!) the
desire to obtain new sources of natural and labour
r...
COLONISATION
A belief in the inherent superiority in a particular set
of cultural codes has always been the basis for
Colo...
LEGALISING GENOCIDE
The profound legal and moral ambiguities and irrationalities raised
by the Church’s participation in c...
TAXONOMY OF SPACE
Having thus defined itself as a superior
social form by virtue of its (Christian)
civilisation, Western ...
THE ENCLOSURES
Initially, the surveying, defining and legalised legitimation of private property was to realise and increa...
INDUSTRIALISATION
In his poem, The Deserted Village Oliver Goldsmith describes the complete annihilation of the communal l...
APPROPRIATING PLACE
A place is a site of human event or events which have lodged in the collective memory of a people. Oft...
REFRAMING SPACE
While the appropriation of Space, Meaning, Place, Spirituality has been occurring
throughout human history...
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Critical Space Part 1 (Slideshare)

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A critical analysis of the role played by space in architecture and planning as an instrument of hegemony, econocide,colonization and capitalist imperialism.


If you would like to see similar and freely downloadable PDFs please visit my website at: www.tonyward.edu.com

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Critical Space Part 1 (Slideshare)

  1. 1. CRITICAL SPACE PART 1 © Tony Ward 2007 For more free slides see: www.TonyWardEdu.com
  2. 2. CRITICAL THEORY Critical Education Theory is part of a broader theory called Critical Theory. Critical Theory is socio- political theory developed in Germany in the 1930s in response to the rise of Fascism. It sought to explain the failure of Marxism to bring about a social revolution, It challenges received notions of reality, seeking to demonstrate the ways in which our conceptions are socially constructed. Critical Theory is reflexive that is, it is aware that the “reality” that we experience “out there” does not exist independently of ideology, but that it is shaped (along with our perceptions of it) by forces of power and hegemony that have a human agency. These forces continually try to control all the means of shaping society and its belief system - Education, the Media, Religion, the Law, The Church, Planning Regulations, the Economy etc. They do so to reproduce their own version of reality, their own economic, social and cultural supremacy - their hegemony. Critical Theory views all beliefs, realities, values etc. in their social and economic context and asks, “who stands to gain from society seeing things this way? It then looks to discover how the beneficiaries of the system have created the system to benefit themselves at the expense of others
  3. 3. WHAKAPAPA Critical Theory evolves from the wider discipline of Social Theory, and looks at the ways in which political ideology shapes experienced reality as a way of maintaining existing regimes of privilege and social control. It casts a critical eye upon History, Philosphy, Education, the Media, the Law, the Church and Politics and all of the instruments and vehicles which shape the way we see things. It holds that these instruments of social control are themselves shaped by the ideologies and power structures of Capitalism, and that their purpose is to reproduce these conditions in ways which benefit the already-powerful. Instead, Critical Theory promotes a counter-ideology which sees these agencies as potential vehicles for social liberation and transformation and as a means of attaining social, cultural, and economic equity. Initially, it did this from an orthodox (economic) Marxist point of view, but increasingly has adopted many of the tenets and theories of Cultural Studies to demonstrate how control over culture has come to play a fundamental part in sustaining the power status quo.
  4. 4. CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL STUDIES Marx had based all of his theorising on issues of Class difference, which tended to overlook or negate important class differences that occurred on the basis of or alongside of issues of Race or Gender, with all of the multiple layerings of meaning and experience with which these are associated. At the University of Birmingham in the 1960s, West Indian Professor Stuart Hall and a group of Critical Theorists established the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. The mission of the Centre was to analyse all of the instruments or agencies of cultural production - the Media, the Schools, The Legal System, the Churches, the Parliamentary system etc., operate to reproduce the power relations in society through the reproduction of dominant cultural views and values. Their work took place in the context of a cultural revolution that was emerging in Britain, where the irreverent pronouncements and music of the working class Beatles and images of Coronation Street were beginning to challenge middle class norms, images and values. With the advent of the Beatles, it became recognised that it was no longer appropriate to think of culture as only high culture - opera, ballet, fine art etc. It was now clear that there were cultures, each competing for hegemonic control over the meanings of everyday life. Cultural Studies therefore focused on all of those institutions that shape culture and power relations, Media, Politics etc. (see below). One of the most recent additions to the field of cultural studies has been the study of Critical Space - how space gets created, by whom and for what purpose.
  5. 5. CRITICAL SPACE THEORY Critical Space Theory evolves from the wider discipline of Critical (Social) Theory, and looks at the ways in which space is created, named and given meaning in the context of power. It casts a critical eye upon the history, the development and practice of Town and Country Planning, Land Development and Landscape Design. It holds that space in the modern western world is shaped by the ideologies and power structures that devolve from Capitalism, and that it’s purpose is to reproduce these conditions in ways which benefit the already- powerful. Instead, Critical Space Theory promotes an ideology of space-creation as an instrument of social transformation and as a means of attaining social, cultural, and economic equity. Initially, the issue of space was not taken seriously from a Marxist point of vie. Time, not space was the predominant variable in Marxist analysis. This was because Marx conceived his theories around the economic value of workers’ time in the production process. Increasingly, it has been recognised that the appropriation and creation of space has been a powerful factor in the Colonisation and in the creation of surplus value. Traditionally, the Church and the Legal profession have been its primary proponents.
  6. 6. ONE WORLD From outer space, there is no up or down, no North or South. Outer Space has no separate and independent reference points. What we see when we look at planet Earth from “out there” is a finite, directionless interrelated and self- regulating eco-system which has supported life for countless millennia. That life is now threatened by the excesses visited upon the planet by one species - our own. Throughout the history of the human race, the planet has continued to nourish our species and to absorb the consequences of our activities. This is no longer the case. Reliable evidence that we are approaching a critical point in our survival continues top mount. Yet this state has only appeared in the last 100 years. No doubt, the increase in world population, coupled with the finitude of resources has contributed. But there remain enough resources on the planet to sustain us. What has led to this threat to our survival is rather the attitude that we have had to them - an attitude of exploitation driven by greed and supported by a system of capitalist production which ensures that the resources themselves will not be equally distributed.
  7. 7. COLONISATION AND SPACE If the planet Earth, seen from space has no directional reference points, then how is it that all of the maps that we see represent the Earth in the same way - with “North” at the top and “South” at the bottom? And how come that time is measured along lines of “longitude” that originate in London? The answer is, of course, that the maps are made by people who originated from the “Northern Hemisphere” and who colonised the rest of the planet. This colonisation, driven by emerging capitalism represents the most dramatic historical attempt to define and commodify new space.
  8. 8. SPIRITUALITY AND PLACE Before the advent of capitalism and the resultant commodification of space, different places seem to have been invested with a very special and numinous sense of spirituality. Throughout history and all over the world, some places have been continually singled out as sacred - often in very different cultures and by very different peoples. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (right), for instance, is sacred to Christians, Jews and Muslims - all for apparently different reasons and associations. It is the site where the prophet Abraham was reputed to have bound his son, intending to sacrifice him as commanded by God. Each of the three religions revere the place. King David built the first synagogue there, and Jews worshiped here for over a thousand years. Later, the prophet Mohammed dreamed that he ascended into Heaven from this same place. Such histories seem to indicate that the place itself possesses this special or sacred quality, independent of the lives and perceptions of the people who revere it. But this theory ignores the processes of power that drive cultural developments.
  9. 9. NAMING/LEGITIMATING: All the concepts, theories and meanings that shape our lives are socially constructed. This is to say that ideas and things don’t have meanings in and of themselves but only those meanings that are given or ascribed. The power to give meaning - to name - is one of the most powerful powers that exists because it shapes all of our views and beliefs about the nature of the world. This power, the power to name is not evenly distributed across society. Some individuals or organisations have almost all of the power, which they exercise through Education, the Media, the Law, and so forth. Education is a very powerful agency in the social construction of meaning. A related power to naming is the power to legitimate. Of all the knowledge available in the world, only a small proportion is viewed as significantly valuable to society and culture to be included in curricula, published, displayed in museums and galleries etc. A great deal of knowledge is excluded from this kind of public recognition. Knowledge that is included is said to have been legitimated. Usually, Universities play a key role in the process of knowledge legitimation, because they have been able to establish an erroneous reputation for being ideologically-free. But the power of naming and legitimating is inherent in the entire educational system, and is most noticeable in the area of curriculum. The power to determine what goes into an educational curriculum and what is left out is enormous. Those aspects of knowledge that are left out or remain unspoken or unvoiced become invisible in society at large. It is as though they do not exist.
  10. 10. NAMING/ REPLACEMENT The process of colonisation operates on the dual axes of displacement and replacement. For colonisation to be complete, the colonised must come to accept the culture of the coloniser as preferable - for whatever reason. All the concepts, theories and meanings that shape our lives are socially constructed. This is to say that ideas and things don’t have meanings in and of themselves but only those meanings that are given or ascribed. The power to give meaning - to name - is one of the most powerful powers that exists because it shapes all of our views and beliefs about the nature of the world. This power, the power to name is not evenly distributed across society. In a colonised society, the members of the colonising culture have almost all of the power, which they exercise through Education, the Media, the Law, and so forth. To name a town after oneself (right) is perhaps the ultimate in egotism, embodying an extraordinary disregard for the other. But such examples are commonplace in colonial history either by the original coloniser or later by their admirers. The naming of mountains (Mt. Cook, Mt Egmont, Mt. Edgecumbe), rivers (Avon), bodies of water (Cook Straight, Fauveaux Straight), islands (Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Christmas Island, Norfolk Island etc.), headlands, rivers etc was part of the re-naming of places that characterised the re-place-ment process in the South Pacific. As a result, whole histories were erased and whole cultures were rendered non-existent. This is why the term Postcolonialism is so dishonest. It presumes that the process of colonisation is a thing of the past, when in fact it continues through the present through all of the agenc ies of the State and Civil Society.
  11. 11. COLONISATION AND SPACE The dis-place-ment of peoples, the appropriation and renaming of their places is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history there have been numerous odious examples of the cultural superimposition of indigenous communities through the definition and structuring of space
  12. 12. ST. MICHAEL BURROWBRIDGE The dis-place-ment of peoples, the appropriation and renaming of their places is not a new phenomenon.Throughout history there have been numerous examples of the superimposition of colonising cultures on indigenous communities. Here, at Burrowbridge in Britain we see the superimposition of Christian culture over that of the earlier Celtic culture. The Church of St. Michael stands atop the ancient Celtic mound, which in its own day was the centre of religious rituals. Similar examples abound throughout Europe, almost all of them associated with the superimposition of a new dominant culture and associated spirituality.
  13. 13. ST.MICHAEL GLASTONBURY This same pattern of colonisation was reproduced over and over throughout Celtic Britain, as the Church strove to appropriate the sacredness of these wahi tapu to its own ends. The mound at Glastobury had been the site of ritual spiral perambulations, complete with prayers and incantations of the ancient culture of the Celts. The Church of St. Michael aims to capture the sacredness of this place and to use it to achieve the hegemony of Christian beliefs over the pagan population. In particular, the colonisation of the Celts involved the discrediting and replacement of their deity.
  14. 14. MT. ST. MICHELE Such ancient places of pilgrimage have for over a thousand years been surmounted by a fortress-like churches, proclaiming their dominance to the surrounding community. Such appropriations were important elements in the process of hegemony And in France too, the same process occurs. Here, at the famous Benedictine monastery and village of Mt St, Michele (right) stands atop an island-rock that was equally sacred to pre- Christian peoples. The first chapel was built in 708, following a vision of St. Michael the Archangel. Similarly, at Mount St. Michael in Cornwall (below) an island of ancient Celtic spirituality is now surmounted by a church dedicated to St Michael the Archangel.
  15. 15. ST. MICHEL LE PUY Another example is the Chapel of St. Michel at Le Puy, in France. What each of these sites has in common, of course, is a dedication to St. Michael, famous in Christian mythology for slaying a dragon. Not surprisingly, the dragon (horned, winged and breathing fire) was not only the embodiment of Satan in early Christian iconography, but also of the Earth Spirit - the source of the pre-Christian spirituality, embodied in the Mother Goddess cult. It was the destruction and re-appropriation of this spirituality that was the reason behind the symbolic skewering of so many sites sacred to the Mother-religion. The Goddess was replaced, of course, by a male deity. But she lives on even today in the re- branded (albeit much less powerful) guise of the Virgin Mary.
  16. 16. SILBURY TREASURE Before the coming of Christianity there had existed and prospered across Europe a form of spirituality very different from that which was to supplant it. It was a spirituality founded on the belief that the Earth is the mother of all things, that she nourishes her children, that she is both infinitely patient and terrifyingly powerful. She is, literally, The Source. In modern terms, l we call her Gaia. In ancient Britain, her most imposing presence was to be found at what is now Silbury, in Wiltshire. There, a great earth mound which has puzzled archeologists for centuries is now believed to be a supine representation of the Great Goddess herself. It is the largest human- made earthwork in Europe. Elegantly described in Michael Dames’ book The Silbury Treasure, a compelling picture emerges of life before Christianity, of the beliefs of the people, of their reverence for the Earth, and the beauty and integrity of their culture and their remarkable industry.
  17. 17. THE GREAT GODDESS Silbury Mound Diagram Painted pot, Hactlar, Turkey Dames suggests that the Silbury Mound is an earth-effigy of the pregnant Goddess. Her body, he suggests, is strategically aligned with significant points of the solstice compass - a matter of great significance for a people who lived by what they could grow. Her body is aligned specifically along the East-West axis of the Equinox, while the Midwinter sunrise aligns with her vulva, and the Midwinter sunset aligns with her breast, The form is so arranged that the Goddess “gives birth” to the new year, and at the same time devours the Midwinter sun as it sets. The moon, too is incorporated into the system (as you might expect in a gynocentric culture), as it is born (aligned to the vulva of the effigy) as a full moon at precisely the time of ancient Lammas Day (appropriated as Harvest Festival Day in Christianity.)
  18. 18. SLEEPING GODDESS This supreme deity of the pre-Christian culture was spread throughout Europe from neolithic times. The Great Goddess, or Earth Mother. Here (right) we see a comparison between a reclining image of the goddess from Malta, compared illustrating the supine position of her Silbury counterpart. The imposition of Christianity across the continent therefore had a very real gender basis, as the Goddess was supplanted by a male Judeo-Christian God. At the everyday level, Gynocentric culture and behaviours (including matrilineal patterns were replaced by patrilineal systems and male- dominance. What was at stake was a cultural gender war, which sought to break the power of women, of the priestesses and of the gynocentric world of pre- Christian Europe.
  19. 19. THE WATER OF LIFE The replacement of Celtic meaning happened over time, and to help it along, wells that had nourished the spirituality of the old religion were “re-branded” with Judaic-Christian meaning, as here at the David and Goliath Spring at Tissington, Derbyshire (right). Examples abound. One of the most famous, is the Chalice Well at Glastonbury, which is also associated with the myth of King Arthur (below).
  20. 20. SPIRITUAL REBRANDING But it was not easy to simply bowl the Earth Mother out of the way. After thousands of years of belief and ritual she was well established in the hearts and minds of her subjects. Any attempt to simply eradicate her would have been doomed to failure. Instead, the Earth-Mother icon was appropriated and integrated into the icon of the Blessed Virgin. Shrines that had once sustained the spiritual life of the community were transfixed by new Churches dedicated to Our lady (Notre Dame, etc). While the thousands of way-side grottos like this one at Kilnaganoch in County Wicklow, Ireland were rededicated to the Virgin Mary . Nor was it only the Great Goddess who was ousted by Christian cosmology. Whereas the old world had been one which both celebrated and facilitated the natural processes of life - procreation, birth and death, Christianity shifted all of these into another framework - Heaven, Hell, Repentance, Forgiveness redemption. All dependent upon a stern, male God. In order to retain some of the mysticism of the Great Goddess, Mary, the Mother of the Son of God remained a virgin, having mated with the Holy Spirit rather than the body of Joseph. The separation of sexuality and spirituality and the demonisation of the former which was the hallmark of Christianity was a necessary component in destroying the mysticism of the Great Goddess and remains so down to the present.
  21. 21. SHEELA NA GIG Sheela Na Gig was the quintessential symbol of the sexual spirituality. She is a Celtic figure who adorns many ancient buildings, ruins and doorways in the British Isles. Her origins and meaning are lost in the obscurity of time, but she seems to have many of the same characteristics of Hinenuitepo in Maori culture and Kali in ancient Hindu culture. That is, she is at one and the same time the female (Godess?) representative of sexual desire and of death. She represents both the mystery of female sexuality, and is the guardian of the Underworld. In Maori culture, Maui-a- taranga, desiring of eternal life, sought to enter the vagina of Hinenuoitepo. Unfortunately, the piwakawaka (fantail) saw his feet sticking out, and started to giggle. Hinenuitepo awoke, to crush Maui between her thighs. Similar myths exist in many indigenous cultures, linking female sexuality with death and eternal life, with the lifting of tapu, and marking the entrance point of sacred space. The psychologist Carl Jung would have referred to this as a manifestation of an archetype - that is, a more or less universal projection of deep, unconscious structures and experiences. They were all part of the rich cosmology of pre-Christian Europe, where sexual symbolism was integral to life itself, and which had to be expunged from the cosmology of the “pagans”. Sexuality became conversely associated with sinfulness and Satan - who reciprocally was embodied in the serpent-dragon slain by St. Michael.
  22. 22. SEX AND LIFE In the Pre-Christian era, sexual symbolism was to be found in all of the ancient earthworks and dolmen. The crick Stone (above right) and the Men An Tol stones (below right) - both in Cornwall attest to the universality of the symbols of life. The Lingham and the Yoni are their counterparts in Hindu mythology, But in the European context, they play a wider part in daily affairs than as simple representations of body parts. They are located - like the Silbury Mound and Stonehenge to measure and depict the seasons, so symbolise every year, the death of the old and the (re)birth of the new, their alignments carefully articulated and based upon a deep knowledge of the yearly lunar and solar cycles. The old calendar, too, was appropriated. The Midwinter Solstice became Christmas. The first day of Summer (Beltane) became Mayday - dedicated by Christians to the Virgin, The Spring Equinox (time of rebirth) became Easter, when Christ triumphed over death. Lammas became Harvest Festival Day, and so on. Not to put too fine a point on it, in the move to replace the female deity, nothing was sacred. All of this was part of the early European tradition, to be transformed irrevocably by the imposition of Christianity, and with it, the advancing economic structure of capitalism.
  23. 23. HEGEMONY AND SPACE We will see from all of this that the creation, appropriation, reframing, re-branding, superimposition of spatiality is not a simple phenomenon, but involves a systematic effort along a number of fronts:. • MilitaryForce • Education • Law • Communication systems • Material Production • Spiritual Reframing Until the 15th Century this process continued in a more or less spasmodic way. With the “discovery” of America and the subsequent and immediate and dramatic rise of capitalism, a qualitative change happened. This involved the introduction of The Market, and with it, the commodification of all things - including spirituality. The theft of land and productive resources from the colonised, sanctioned and encouraged as it was by the Church represents the ultimate reduction of spirituality to the commonest level of greed usury and avarice. While time was considered by many to be the key to economic and social analysis, it was the discovery, appropriation and creation of space which drove the engines of capitalism and continues to do so today. Space is the silent and most powerful partner in the creation of hegemony
  24. 24. THE GEOGRAPHY OF POWER “To see the ghostly outline of an old landscape beneath the superficial covering of the con temporary is to be made vividly aware of the endurance of core myths. As I write, the New York Times reports an ancient ash tree at El Escorial, near Madrid, where the Virgin makes herself known to a retired cleaning lady on the first Sunday of each month, much to the chagrin of the local socialist mayor Behind the tree is, of course, the monastery-palace of the Most Catholic King of Spain, Phillip II. But behind both are centuries of associations, cherished particularly by the Franciscans and Jesuits, of apparitions of the Virgin seated in a tree whose Eastertide renewal of foliage symbolised the Resurrection. And behind that tradition were even more ancient pagan myths that described old an hallowed trees as the tomb of gods slaughtered on the boughs, and encased within the bark to await a new cycle of life.” So writes Simon Schama in his book Landscapes of Power. What is elided from Schamaʻs is any engagement in power that might have been part of this process of superimposition. The process is characterised instead as a natural progression of ritual experiences, through history, of the same spiritu loci. He forgets to note, for instance, that the Jesuits sought specifically to appropriate sacred spaces of indigenous peoples and to invest them with their own dogma as a means of colonising the natives and re-acculturating them to Christian, “civilised” ways. The progression of historic ritual behaviours associated with specific places is not innocent, but is steeped in the blood of countless generations who have been the victims of murder and genocide. The Escorial Phillip II, and his father, Charles V, for instance, were responsible for the enslavement and murder of millions of indigenous peoples in South America in their greed to extract its gold and silver. This was accompanied by the Christanisation of the native peoples in a process which involved the appropriation of their sacred sites.
  25. 25. COLUMBUS The “discovery” of America, while profitable to the European colonisers (primarily the Spanish) carried a terrible price for the indigenous peoples. In the Potosí mines of Bolivia alone, the Spanish brought in six thousand African slaves to work the silver, but they all died of altitude sickness. Local Indians forced into slave labour for the Spanish did not fare much better. Four out of five died in their first year in the mines over the first few decades of mining. Nor was the genocide confined to Bolivia. Reports from Haiti indicate that in the decade following the arrival of Columbus, more than half of the half-million Haitians had been murdered by the Spanish. A young Jesuit priest, Bartolomé de las Casas who participated in the conquest of Cuba wrote in his journals that he estimates that in the fourteen years following the arrival of Columbus, over three million native people were murdered or died from the results of their enslavement in South America. All of this was carried out to accomplish the acquisition of new space for the Spanish Crown, supported by a system of colonial/geographical franchises legitimated by the Pope. The “New World” was divided up for colonisation among the European countries and legitimated by the papal bull Inter Cetera Divini which established a right to colonise and appropriate resources based upon the legitimating argument of “saving souls. Thus the Church played a key role in the legitimation of genocide.
  26. 26. TERRORIST COLUMBUS In European culture, Christopher Columbus is portrayed as a hero- explorer who brought “progress” and Christianity to native peoples. To many of these same native peoples, Columbus is seen as a terrorist who brought death, slavery, starvation and centuries of subjugation. This poster (below right) is taken from indigenous demonstrations such as the one in Columbia (left) during the 500th Anniversary of Columbus’ voyage in 1992. Demonstrations such as this took place all across the all Americas to mark the start of their subjugation and exploitation. But Columbus did not make his voyage in social political or cultural vacuum. As Marx has noted, the expropriation of gold and silver from the Americas was the first and essential moment in the development of Capitalism. This moment also saw a change in the philosophy of the materialism of space, where it was now valued for its productive capacity as a basis for capital accumulation, rather than as inherently and therefore spiritually valuable.
  27. 27. THE ROLE OF THE CHURCH While the late Pope John Paul may seek to defend the activities of the Church in the process of colonisation on spiritual grounds, there is no denying that greed for gold was also one of its motivations. As Jack Weatherford has noted: “The churches of Europe still groan under the weight of American silver and gold jealously guarded but ostentatiously displayed. Once simple churches such as those in Toledo suddenly soared to new heights, expanded, and had new windows installed to let the sun pour down on the vast collection of gold and jewels from the New World. The cathedral of Toledo boasts a five-hundred pound monstrance (right) made from the Indian booty brought back by Columbus himself. Córdoba, Avila and every other city in the south boast similar artifacts, even though they do not always brag about the source of the precious metals. Gold became so common in European palaces and churches that architects developed a novel style of decoration emphasising entering light that could illuminate the gold and make it dazzle the observer.” The Church cannot absolve itself from the crimes which were committed in its name!
  28. 28. THE CHURCH AND CAPITALISM The gold and silver stolen from the Americas by Columbus and the Conquistadors brought so much surplus wealth to Europe that it made investment a necessity, fuelling the surge in capitalist development. But the Church was deeply implicated in the crimes of genocide. As Jack Weatherford has also noted: “I first saw this wealth of silver and gold in a Holy Week procession in Cōrdoba…Out marched the Pious Brotherhood of penitents (below right) and the Union of Nazarites of the Holiest Christ and Our lady of Tears in Sorrow. Dressed in their long robes of purple and white topped by tall conical hats from which hung veils covering their faces they looked like marchers in a Ku Klux Klan rally. The first one carried a six foot high cross of silver. Twelve young boys, without masks but wearing twisted lace collars several inches thick followed him, each of them carried a gold trumpet four feet long and a foot wide at the mouth. From each trumpet hung a banner of the Hapsburg eagle… Following the trumpet players marched more boys with tall silver crosses and more men with covered faces. Slowly and clumsily… forty young men followed in tight formation carrying On their shoulders a float of Christ on the cross…Every night during Holy Week three such processions wended their way through the narrow streets of Cōrdoba…(which) alone had twenty nine such processions, each with two floats, and in the region of Andalusia over three hundred such processions marched during Holy Week…. The processions and the churches of Europe offer the most visible reminders of the deluge of American gold that showered Europe in the Sixteenth Century.”
  29. 29. ST. MICHAEL CHALMA MEXICO And as in the case of Celtic Europe, St, Michael and the Church once again played a key role in the process of colonisation, dispossession and pacification. Here, winged and victorious, the Christian Archangel St. Michael (of course!) commands the cave at Chalma, Mexico, where an ancient idol stood. The figure of the warrior archangel recalls an long-abandoned Mexican spirituality, the cult of the triumphant Huitzilopochtli. In the quest for Mexican gold, the Spanish Conquistadors and their accompanying Jesuits enslaved and murdered millions of indigenous Aztec and appropriated their sacred sites as a means of pacification.
  30. 30. DIS-PLACE-MENT If the purpose of colonisation was (and still is!) the desire to obtain new sources of natural and labour resources for the expansion of Capital, the means was (and remains) the displacement of indigenous peoples. Initially, this meant their displacement from their natural and traditional environments, accomplished by military and “legal” means. But for peoples who had inhabited a space for countless millenia, their displacement signified more than a mere exclusion. It meant also their dis-place-ment from their stories, their place-names, their histories, their spiritual values and their very identities, and hence their sense and recognition of themselves as a distinct cultural group. In this sense, colonisation was and is an act of genocide. Furthermore, this act of genocide did not end with the dis-place-ment of indigenous peoples’ identities, but continues down to the present with their re-place-ment by dominant culture values, beliefs, histories etc. Indigenous place names, names for plants and animals, stories of origin etc. are all to be replaced if the hegemony is to be complete. But it never is! Acts of resistance continue, so resistance is itself redefined legally as an illegality, necessitating further imprisonments, dispossessions and displacements. Here (left) a group of Zapatista Indians from Chiapas protest outside the cathedral in Mexico City in 1989, prior to the Chiapas uprising..
  31. 31. COLONISATION A belief in the inherent superiority in a particular set of cultural codes has always been the basis for Colonisation and Colonialism. The American colonisation of the West, and the dispossession of its indigenous peoples was carried out under the ideology of Manifest Destiny. Europeans believed that they had a superior culture, and that it was their God-given destiny to occupy the land and to extinguish the culture of its original inhabitants. In this illustration, we see Liberty leading the settlers across the prairie, Bible in hand, stringing telegraph wires with the other, while the “savages” flee ahead. This White Supremacist belief system, coupled with its spiritual justification - Christianity - was the basis of every genocidal act in the Americas from the discovery by Columbus in 1494 down to the present. Its purpose was the acquisition of resources, (land, precious metals and slaves) to fuel emerging capitalist production and capital accumulation. Christianity became the main vehicle by which European values were imposed upon indigenous peoples. Its imposition - through Education was both subtle and devastating. Linda Tuhiwai Smith, a Maori scholar suggests that schools were placed in Maori communities like Trojan Horses - to destroy the less visible aspects of Maori life, through the imposition their cosmologies and ideologies. In other words, the semantic structures of the colonisers have infiltrated into and replaced over time those of the colonised. The consequence for the colonised, as Fanon suggested, has been the most odious form of colonisation, and that which has brought with it the greatest pain for the colonised - the colonisation of the mind - so that they have come to disbelieve and reject the most sacred precepts of their own traditional cultures and therefore their identities. The late African American writer James Baldwin summed up this experience succinctly, when he said that he "despised" black people, "possibly because they failed to produce Rembrandt."
  32. 32. LEGALISING GENOCIDE The profound legal and moral ambiguities and irrationalities raised by the Church’s participation in colonisation and genocide, and later by the emerging rationalist movement of the Enlightenment needed to be resolved. The impact of colonisation on indigenous peoples spoke to an illegality that could ultimately undermine the whole process. Throughout the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries a major philosophical debate took place which sought to resolve these ambiguities in international law. The British philosophers Hobbes and Locke provided the rationale. First, Locke defined ownership in terms of work. One did not own land unless one worked it. This rationale defined a new separation between the individual and society in which the state of nature (and society and the needs of its members) were defined in terms of property ownership and labour which required the protection of laws. Civil rights were then defined in terms of property ownership. This distinction then resulted in the new concept of civil society being defined as superior to indigenous social arrangements, Along with this, came new legal definitions of civilised and uncivilised peoples connected to land ownership together with new concepts of (trading) nations, which excluded migratory peoples. All of this sought to legitimate both philosophically and legally the dispossession of native peoples from their lands and resources under the advancing banner of civilisation. A history of working the land and a willingness to accept Christianity then became the hallmarks of the definition of civilised peoples. The rationalist movement of the Enlightenment grew from this need to legally legitimate grand theft and genocide.
  33. 33. TAXONOMY OF SPACE Having thus defined itself as a superior social form by virtue of its (Christian) civilisation, Western culture now had a “legal” right to dispossess whoever did not fit its own self-serving definition. But in order to maintain the hegemony of its self- legitimation, it was necessary not only to dis-place indigenous peoples from their natural environment, but to re-place their own norms, concepts, beliefs and social structures with ones that conformed to the new rationalist model. Education played and continues to play a major role in this process. Concepts of individualised ownership had to become the cultural norm in previously collective societies. In addition, the surveying and taxonomising of land and resources became one of the key processes of colonisation. The Western ways of defining space are clearly different (and one might say opposed) to the ways in which indigenous peoples define space. The former clearly excludes any spiritual referencing - conceiving of space as only a material resource capable of generating profit or capital accumulation. Here we see one of the standing stones at Avebury in Wiltshire - a World Heritage site, with a property line (and fence-line) going right through the middle of it. Capitalist divisions of space pay no heed to anything that is hard to measure and cannot easily be included in a balance sheet..
  34. 34. THE ENCLOSURES Initially, the surveying, defining and legalised legitimation of private property was to realise and increase its productive capacity. This was the rationale that was used to enforce not only the theft of land abroad, but to also legitimate the Enclosure of commons land at home. In England, Ireland and Scotland, people had shared a common use of the lands for grazing and growing their subsistence crops for millenia. This spiritual and economic space was marked by ritual. The ceremonial perambulation of this space in Britain was called “Beating the Bounds” (below) and was an annual event. Developing Capitalism required that these traditional forms of “ownership” be replaced by individual titles which could be traded. Taking Locke’s definitions of ownership, new legalities were imposed which required proof of individual title, Land ownership then became the key to civil and political identity. Only land-owners could vote in the emerging (post revolutionary) society. Peasants were thus rendered politically powerless to overturn the new laws which were the source of their dispossession and displacement. It was a model that was to be replicated with devastating effect in the Colonies
  35. 35. INDUSTRIALISATION In his poem, The Deserted Village Oliver Goldsmith describes the complete annihilation of the communal life of the English countryside and the ruination of the productive capacity of the land as the peasants are forced out by the new landowners. In village after village, enclosure destroyed the subsistence economy of the poor. Peasants without legal proof of rights were rarely compensated. Those who were able to establish a claim were left with land inadequate for subsistence and a disproportionate share of the very high enclosure cost. Millions of peasants were displaced, and forced to migrate to the cities, forming a vast pool of cheap labour for the new industrialised factories, These of course were owned by the newly emerging Capitalist (land-owning) class who had now moved the capital acquired by their initial (legalised) theft into industrialisation and factory production. Those who could not or would not work in the factories were press-ganged into the army and navy to support the military occupation of the colonies and expropriation of their natural resources for production. As Foucault rightly points out, it was to absorb the residual population that institutionalised prisons and asylums were created, and the penalty of “Transportation” initiated.
  36. 36. APPROPRIATING PLACE A place is a site of human event or events which have lodged in the collective memory of a people. Often, places are marked, identified and remembered through ritual telling of stories or ceremonial activities. Once a Space has been colonised and appropriated, it becomes a formality that events, people and stories associated with that place become themselves commodified, colonised and appropriated as here (below) where the realtor uses the stories of the displaced peoples to sell his house site to eager clients. The irony of associated and romanticised ethnicity serving as a moment of further colonisation, displacement and appropriation is self evident. The fact that we can recognise the validity of the characterisation should alert us to its commonality in dominant culture where we apparently search for remnants of that innocence which we have destroyed to use as a mark of our own cultural capital. The same irony is evident in the emergence in the 17th and 18th Centuries of the Romantic garden landscape in European culture which tried to reproduce in a depoliticised aesthetic the very public space which its Capitalist beneficiaries had themselves destroyed through the Enclosures. In grand estate after estate the nouveau rich called upon the services of landscape architects to develop for their aesthetic pleasure gardens which both masked the reality of the theft at the same time that they recreated symbolised it. Today, tourists in their thousands flock to these sites to marvel, oblivious to the suffering that they both caused and denied.
  37. 37. REFRAMING SPACE While the appropriation of Space, Meaning, Place, Spirituality has been occurring throughout human history,the pace and extent of this process has accelerated exponentially over the last four hundred years. Along with traditional forms of appropriation, another, more modern form has appeared. This form of appropriation attacks not only spiritual values and material productivity. It attacks also our understanding of the earth itself. It does this through the experiential mode of the aesthetic, and its medium is LANDSCAPE

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