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  1. 1. Geographies of Abandonment Developing case studies around the rewilding of abandoned places. Alan Parkinson, HoD King’s Ely Junior GA President 2021-2
  2. 2. Case Studies Vignettes Artefacts
  3. 3. Get involved…
  4. 4. The ecology and psychology of abandoned places: ghost towns and exclusion zones, no man’s lands and fortress islands – and what happens when nature is allowed to reclaim its place. Drawing on the work of Cal Flynn
  5. 5. Starting ‘local’: The Five Sisters (Bings), W. Lothian n-scotland-spoil-heap-wastelands-shivered-into-life
  6. 6. Scottish Locations featured in the book land-scotland-politics-45733111#
  7. 7. & the Chernobyl ‘stalking’ of Darmon Richter
  8. 8. The beauty of abandonment - perceptions of place
  9. 9. Slate Islands of Argyll - didn’t make the book... “Anthropogenic landscapes”
  10. 10. “Anthropogenic creations called into being by the meeting of humans and their environment. They are prominent among our contributions to our time and space. We make what has been called patterned ground. Place-making is a signal of our species. We make good ones and bad ones, and plenty of neither-here-nor-there ones. Good, bad or indifferent, they operate on all their constituents.” Tim Dee, 2018
  11. 11. Alaric Maude (2020)
  12. 12. Endogenous Exogenous Examples leading to the abandonment of places?
  13. 13. Wilderness and the Clearances Cal talks about the influence of her background in the Highlands Buying up land to rewild them - link to carbon storage - COP26
  14. 14. Slate Islands of Argyll “Anthropogenic landscapes” Anthroposcene “Anthroposcenic” - David Mattless
  15. 15. Why wild?
  16. 16. Rewilding All definitions: Oxford English Dictionary
  17. 17. Robert MacFarlane SAGT 2013 esentation-13-backup-copy
  18. 18. Loch Coruisk - as a sanctuary Empty places Image shared under CC license:
  19. 19. Danny MacAskill - Dubh Slabs and ‘the Ridge’ The remote Dubh Slabs rising out of Loch Coruisk in the heart of the Black Cuillin ridge provided some of the steepest terrain I have ever ridden as well as an amazing backdrop for the film.
  20. 20.
  21. 21. Places are dynamic and subject to constant change in their material structure and meaning. Places are not isolated or cut off from outside influences and so as people, ideas and objects pass in and out of a place in space and time they change it. They are therefore changing places.
  22. 22. Rewilding
  23. 23. Scotland’s UNESCO Trail - launched mid-October 2021
  24. 24. St Kilda - abandoned in 1930 - already a case study? Population change and migration
  25. 25. Ewen Gillies
  26. 26. St Kilda - a story that has already been told... August 29th 1930 & ‘Harebell’
  27. 27. At around 7:00 a.m. on April 28, 1986, Cliff Robinson, a twenty-nine-year-old chemist working at the Forsmark Nuclear Power plant two hours drive from Stockholm, went to brush his teeth after breakfast. In order to get from the washroom to the locker room, he had to pass through a radiation detector, just as he had done thousands of times before. This time was different, though - the alarm went on. It made no sense, thought Robinson, as he had never entered the control area, where he might have absorbed some radiation. He went through the detector a second time, and again it went on…
  28. 28. The story... history-of-a-tragedy-serhii-plokhy-review-death-of-the-soviet- dream 26th April, 1986 “It was a very warm and sunny day, very quiet and still. Some birds could be heard singing in the sky. It was just an ordinary spring day...” Nadezhda Timoshenko
  29. 29. Chernobyl - HBO
  30. 30. The location… CEZ
  31. 31. Can anyone make the Scottish connection? Map: Digimap for Schools
  32. 32. ‘Dark tourism’ Image: Sean Gallup / Getty Images
  33. 33. Kenopsia (noun): The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that's usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty
  34. 34. Tim Dee - ‘Four Fields’ One is a field in the Cambridgeshire Fens where I work. One is in South Africa, where he has a house, and has been seeing out the pandemic - returned to the UK a few weeks ago. One is in Chernobyl...
  35. 35. Rewilding Europe: Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
  36. 36. Holly Morris - TED Talk 2014/09/the-stalkers-inside-the-you th-subculture-that-explores-chernob yls-dead-zone.html
  37. 37. And you have to remember, these women have survived the worst atrocities of the 20th century: Stalin's enforced famines of the 1930s, the Holodomor, killed millions of Ukrainians, and they faced the Nazis in the '40s. So when a couple decades into Soviet rule, Chernobyl happened, they were unwilling to flee in the face of an enemy that was invisible. So they returned to their villages and are told they're going to get sick and die soon, but five happy years, their logic goes, is better than 10 stuck in a high rise on the outskirts of Kiev, separated from the graves of their mothers and fathers and babies, the whisper of stork wings on a spring afternoon. For them, environmental contamination may not be the worst sort of devastation. It turns out this holds true for other species as well. Wild boar, lynx, moose, they've all returned to the region in force, the very real, very negative effects of radiation being trumped by the upside of a mass exodus of humans. The dead zone, it turns out, is full of life.
  38. 38. Different narratives
  39. 39. David Farrier ‘Footprints’
  40. 40. Convergence of narratives “Curriculum making”
  41. 41. Scottish Curriculum Links - not too many Landscapes - landscape change Ecosystems and plant succession National 3: Place making - comparisons with the local area Mapping
  42. 42. Some abandoned places are “home” Explore notions of “home” with students and how their experiences are not typical of the majority of the world’s population.
  43. 43. Islands - some of you may teach / live on one… They have a special geography. Exploit it, and teach about it. Image: Alan Parkinson - CC licensed
  44. 44. Rewilding - example of upland landscape pbKGfAcBN_EPQBKe-hVASXduZ-O5Jw5BsJtclvmxyR6P318d2MQ
  45. 45. UK / National Parks in 100 Seconds - Dan Raven Ellison
  46. 46. Challenge the students to identify other locations where people have abandoned land... What examples can you think of?
  47. 47. Happisburgh, East Norfolk coastline ispute-over-village-car-park-7982436
  48. 48. Plymouth, Montserrat / La Palma Eruption….
  49. 49. Music of the World
  50. 50. The Shale Trail
  51. 51. ACTIVITY IDEA Students to research and create a guide book / leaflet / interpretive sign for visitors. Criteria for what to include . Rubric on successful outcome.
  52. 52. Practical Action - RESTOR.ECO Earthshot Prize
  53. 53. Chernobyl Extracts and Resource on Rewilding
  54. 54. Bigger picture
  55. 55. has-become-unexpected-haven-wildlife “Nature’s resilience can buffer human societies from disasters. As we head towards the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, and especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to remember that natural ecosystems are essential for human health and well-being.” Tim Christophersen, head of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s) Nature for Climate Branch.
  56. 56. Futures - the final chapter Where might we be in 100 years? Most children born today will be alive by the end of the century. We hope...
  57. 57. Future abandonments
  58. 58. The largest abandonment of all A thought experiment...
  59. 59. Dune
  60. 60. “...everywhere I have looked, everywhere I have been - places bent and broken, despoiled and desolate, polluted and poisoned - I have found new life springing from the wreckage of the old, life all the stranger and more valuable for its resilience” Cal Flyn, “Islands of Abandonment” (2021), p.323
  61. 61. Thanks for listening. See you in 2023!
  62. 62. Further reading, listening and influences Christian Richter photography: Chernobyl, HBO Series (2019) - available on DVD / BluRay / Streaming Soundcloud - Cal Flyn book extract: Alaric Maude (2020): The role of geography’s concepts and powerful knowledge in a future 3 curriculum, International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, DOI: 10.1080/10382046.2020.1749771 - open access - David Alcock
  63. 63. Reading Bustos, N and Sanchez F (2014) ‘Chernobyl - the Zone’ Centrala Dee, T. (2013). ‘Four Fields’ Jonathan Cape Farrier, D (2020) ‘Footprints’ Fourth Estate Flyn, C. (2021). ‘Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape’ William Collins Khanna, P (2021) ‘Move’ Weidenfeld and Nicolson MacFarlane, R (2007) ‘Wild Places’ Granta Mattless, D (2018) in Dee, T. (2018) ‘On Place’ Jonathan Cape Parkinson, A (2020) ‘Why Study Geography’ LPP Books Plokhy, S. (2018) ‘Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy’ Penguin Richter, D. (2020). ‘Chernobyl: A Stalkers’ Guide’ Fuel Design Weisman, A. (2008) ‘The World without Us’ Virgin Books