Provoking Landscapes: Materiality, Vitality, and Affect in a High Arctic Community

Öppen föreläsning: Kirsten Hastrup
Kirsten Hastrup

Kirsten Hastrup
Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

Abstract

The High Arctic landscape at the centre of this presentation is a prime example of landscape as a provocation (Massey 2006), always defying attempts at fixing it in time and space. This particular landscape is currently subject to rapid environmental change and to new political interests. This deeply affects social life in the region, which seems ever more out of bounds. As social communities become increasingly volatile, if not directly indefinable, well-established anthropological vocabularies are challenged. In this presentation, it will be argued that these challenges are neither really new, nor do they diminish the value of the discipline, so singularly well attuned to details of social life and to theorizing it in many directions. This will be shown with reference matters of materiality, vitality, and affect as these have presented themselves as pertinent during a long-term ethnographic engagement with the people living in the Thule-region in Northwest Greenland.