Arqueología agraria, desarrollo local y vampiros

Entre los días 18 y 22 de Julio, nuestro compalero Pablo Alonso González abandonó el trabajo de campo en Vigaña para acercarse a un lugar de paisajes semejantes a los asturianos, la Transilvania rumana, y defender dos presentaciones en el congreso “Rural Space and Local Development”. Este fue organizado por la Facultad de Geografía de la Universitate Babes-Bolyai de Cluj-Napoca, y realizado en su sede en el pueblo de Sighetu Marmatiei, ubicado en la frontera con Ucrania. Además de un disfrute para el paladar y la vista, todo sea dicho, el congreso permitió establecer contactos con investigadores del Este europeo que protagonizaron el evento, procedentes fundamentalmente de Rumanía, Ucrania, Polonia, Rusia, Bulgaria y Hungría [+info sobre el congreso]. Nuestro grupo de investigación considera fundamental conectar la investigación científica con situaciones del mundo real a nivel socio-político y económico. Desde esta perspectiva, nuestro objetivo último no es tan sólo conocer una serie de aspectos del pasado per se, sino tratar de entender como estas formas pretéritas de vida, producción y población pueden repercutir en nuestro entorno actual y en qué direcciones las transformaciones contemporáneas están dirigiendo el cambio de las mismas.

Cartel del congreso

Así por ejemplo, en nuestra primera presentación tratamos de deconstruir el tan asentado mito de “Asturias, paraíso natural” que, como bien están demostrando los resultados de nuestras investigaciones de campo, de natural tiene poco, y mucho de cultural. Esto no nos sirve para caer en el extremo contrario y reinstaurar la dicotomía entre naturaleza y cultura, sino más bien enfatizar cómo las comunidades que habitaron –y habitan, no lo olvidemos– estos territorios consiguieron mantener equilibrios fundamentales para garantizar su reproducción social y la del medio. Y que su desaparición puede llevar a escenarios como el actual, donde devastadores incendios acaban con los medios de subsistencia de multitudes de pueblos y ecosistemas debido a la falta de control y limpieza de los mismos. Gastamos más en extinción de incendios que en prevención, y, en general, más que el gobierno de los EEUU en estas mismas tareas, pese a que España es veinte veces más pequeña. Y de sorpresas como esta trató la segunda ponencia. El estudio de caso de un proyecto con fondos europeos LEADER en Asturias demostró cómo la mentalidad faraónica y megalómana de ciertos estamentos de la sociedad española impide la realización de una investigación aplicada de calidad y a la larga acaban erosionando los espacios rurales debido al despilfarro generalizado de fondos.

Paisaje agrario en la Transilvania rumana

Pese a que más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo, parece necesario que cada país repita los mismos errores por los que nosotros ya hemos pasado. Polacos, rumanos y búlgaros, exultantes con su reciente inclusión en la Unión Europea y la consiguiente afluencia de fondos estructurales y de cohesión se movían entre la confianza en sí mismos y la duda metódica: “los españoles lo hicieron mal pero nosotros vamos a hacerlo bien”… ¿Y si acabamos haciendo lo mismo? Ojalá no lo hagan, pero sólo el tiempo lo dirá.

Pablo Alonso en un momento de su intervención

De vuelta a Asturias, Pablo pudo comprobar los avances del grupo en su ausencia y blandir el paletín por algunos días antes de cerrar la excavación bajo torrencial aguacero y decir hasta luego al maravilloso pueblo de Vigaña.

Abstracts de las comunicaciones presentadas en Cluj-Napoca:

Why Things Go Wrong? Cultural Parks at the Crossroads between Failure and Success: A Case Study

Pablo Alonso GONZÁLEZ (University of León, SPAIN / University of Cambridge, UNITED KINGDOM)

In recent years, discourses on rural, local or sustainable development have pervaded the language of public administrations, private enterprises and scholars in Spain. “Heritage” has become the new keyword. Many processes have coalesced to this outcome. However, the massive arrival of funding from the European Union cohesion and regional programs stand out, as they provide the firepower to set out and implement the envisioned projects. Today, Spain is undergoing a severe economic crisis and E.U. funds are coming to an end in many regions. It now seems clear that most plans of “rural development” have not brought the expected positive outcomes despite large investments. Perhaps, it is time of looking back and seeing what went wrong – or, at least, to start considering these problems as issues of academic and public concern -, instead of insisting in the same empty rhetoric and discourses with no possible implementation today.

I argue that the overall positive and neutral language of rural development, along with the strong economic support provided by E.U. funds enable many social actors to come together around the projection of territorial plans of touristic and economic development. However, this “Habermasian” ideal context of dialogue and equal communication is broken when the implementation of projects threatens to, or actually has, a real impact in the power balances between the main stakeholders in the territory. Accordingly, tensions arise between private enterprises, local and regional public entities, and scholars from different institutions. This situation leads to the creation of simple binarisms and oppositions: between culture and technology, preservation and development, short and long term interests, or between research and economic investment. Consequently, each social actor prefers to withdraw to earlier, “safer”, positions within the territorial assemblage that pose no risk for their academic, economic or political status quo.

Mostly, the public remains broadly unaware of these processes and power struggles. Ultimately, development projects become rhetoric and abstract devices that serve to brand a territory and its products, devoid of any clear driving vision and agenda for the territory. A case of study of a Cultural Park in Asturias (Spain), will serve to illustrate some of these issues. Despite the Project Guidelines were commissioned in open contest, assessed, and ultimately agreed by the different stakeholders, their implementation resulted in the breakdown of the fragile balance that kept the project moving forward. First, scholars and research objectives were marginalized. Then, the Cultural Park became a label suitable for marketing strategies that justify all kinds of policies and actions in the territory. Following the analysis of sociologist Bruno Latour, I will argue that the Cultural Park, as a social construction, failed because it became a different “object” for each stakeholder. Each of them would use it for its own purposes and to maintain their social, political or economic power balances undisturbed, blaming the others for its failure. What this hides is a fundamental absence of communication and understanding between scholars, public administrations and entrepreneurs, which precludes economic and social development. Overall, this shows the worrying weaknesses in knowledge transfer and/or applied knowledge that hinder the Spanish efforts towards modernization, accountability and political transparency.

Natural or Cultural Landscapes? An Alternative Approach to Rural Landscapes

Margarita FERNÁNDEZ MIER (University of León, SPAIN)

Jesús Fernández FERNÁNDEZ (University of Oviedo, SPAIN)

Pablo Alonso GONZÁLEZ (University of León, SPAIN / University of Cambridge, UNITED KINGDOM)

The history of spatial management during recent decades in the North of the Iberian Peninsula in peripheral and depopulated mountain areas, has been marked by the mystification of the natural values over the cultural. Thus, with the support of E.U. funding, policies have headed towards the creation of different kinds of protected areas. These policies tend to support a socioeconomic change in these areas, whose traditional dedication has been agriculture and farming, towards rural tourism. This economic shift has relied on the exploitation of natural resources as touristic attractions and on a new grid of infrastructures that deeply change the outlook of the territory. The keyword for this change in policies has been “natural landscape” instead of “cultural landscape”, thus ignoring the complex evolution of these areas, where the human action has been present since the prehistoric times.

Only recently research has started to study the history of these landscapes, underscoring their temporal depth and their complexity, the fundamental role of humans in their shaping, and the necessity to develop methodologies for their study through agricultural archaeology. The information obtained by these kinds of studies enables us to widen the range of information that we can communicate about the territory to potential visitors. Also, they enable us to create links between discourses about the territory and the people who inhabit them, who normally don’t feel connected to rural development discourses. This has been the case of research carried out in two villages in the Asturias’ mountains (Vigaña and Santo Adriano) with the aim of understanding the history of landscape formation in terraced and farming areas and their attached buildings, and the evolution of forests and their exploitation. The diachronic knowledge acquired should constitute the basis to underpin policies of protection and enhancement of heritage. Along with this scientific experience we will show a range of initiatives arisen in parallel which have contributed to “teach” the local people to value and understand the landscape they have contributed to shape during time, as well as to enable the visitors to understand the complex relation between man and space during History, the relevance of human agency in the shaping of the territory, and the relativization of the concept of natural landscape and its substitution for cultural landscape, more in tune with the underlying reality of the territory.

Anuncios
Esta entrada fue publicada en Arqueología del Paisaje, conferencias, congresos, produción científica, Vigaña. Guarda el enlace permanente.

2 respuestas a Arqueología agraria, desarrollo local y vampiros

  1. Pingback: De lo arqueológico a lo arqueolocal: Sobre el Proyecto de Ecomuseo en Santo Adriano | Arqueología Agraria

  2. Pingback: ¡Feliz 2013! | Arqueología Agraria

Responder

Por favor, inicia sesión con uno de estos métodos para publicar tu comentario:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Google+ photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google+. Cerrar sesión / Cambiar )

Conectando a %s