Doreen Massey, ‘Landscape/Space/Politics: An Essay’

A wonderful essay by the geographer Doreen Massey, which she wrote to accompany the film made by Patrick Keiller as part of their Landscape and Environment research project.

The project set out to investigate received ideas about belonging and other, related subjects, by exploring part of a familiar though not always sympathetically viewed landscape – the southern English ‘countryside’ – equipped with a 35mm cine camera.

It was prompted by what appeared to be a discrepancy between, on one hand, the cultural and critical attention devoted to experience of mobility and displacement and, on the other, a tacit but seemingly widespread tendency to hold on to formulations of dwelling that derive from a more settled, agricultural past. While the former was extensive, it often seemed to involve regret for the loss or impossibility of the latter, and hence to reinforce, rather than rethink, some easily questionable ideas.


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