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Title: From marshes to reclamation : there and back again : contested nature, memories and practices in two wetlands of Agro Pontino, Italy
Author: Gruppuso, Paolo
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 2128
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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What is a wetland? What does this category imply? Is it different from a land which is wet? This thesis addresses these questions through a study of environmental conflicts in two protected wetlands in Agro Pontino, Italy. This region, 70 kilometres south of Rome, was affected between the 1920s and the 1930s, by one of the most important operations of land reclamation of that time, conducted by the fascist regime which drained the largest marshland in Italy, i.e. the Pontine Marshes. Based on fieldwork in protected wetlands considered as the remnants of the Pontine Marshes, the thesis includes the analysis of various original case studies, such as the activities of Environmental Interpretation and farming, among others. Moreover, it discloses archive records that cast new light on the social and environmental context of the Pontine Marshes. The thesis explores how farmers and conservationists relate with a particular kind of environment, namely wetlands in conservation areas; their relations with non-humans; their different reading of the history and evolution of these landscapes and the connections between these aspects and the conflicts affecting these areas. These conflicts concern different ideas of what a wetland should be and the appropriate practices aimed at implementing those ideas. The research, which is influenced by the work of Tim Ingold, challenges the established notion of wetland, based on a topographic and spatial understanding of the world, suggesting that wetlands are patterns characterized by movements, tasks and activities: entanglements of innumerable life-lines traced by human and non-human beings in the accomplishment of their tasks. It is in this entanglement which politics emerge, conflicts flourish and life goes on. Accordingly, I argue that following these life-lines and exploring what I call the geography of the meshwork, can disclose new interpretative perspectives to understand environmental conflicts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Reclamation of land ; Wetlands ; Pontine Marshes (Italy)