Mark Graham: "Walk on the Wild Side?"

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng3-2028; Campus Gotland - B43 (video)
  • Organiser: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
  • Contact person: Susann Baez Ullberg, Don Kulick
  • Seminarium

The Research Seminar in Cultural Anthropology

Mark Graham, Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University: "Walk on the Wild Side? The Systemisation of Animals and Nature in Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm"

The paper explores the position of wild animals in Hammarby Sjöstad Stockholm. Hammarby Sjöstad is marketed as a sustainable urban development and is known internationally for its ‘systemic’ approach to planning and technical solutions for sustainable living.  Situated just to the south of central Stockholm next to the Nacka nature reserve the area was planned as an extension of the inner city but is also home to a number of other species than humans, among them beavers, swans, beetles, toads and the occasional and unfortunate elk that wanders in, but rarely gets out again.  The practices of these animals can pose challenges for local residents and the authorities. For example, when the beavers fell trees and build their lodges, are they just doing what comes naturally or are they tree murderers, just like human residents who have cut down trees to preserve their expensive water views?  The paper addresses a number of themes including the system thinking derived from ecological ideas that underlies planning in Hammarby Sjöstad, the aesthetics of nature and animals, the semantics surrounding ‘invasive’ species and animal ‘misdemeanours’, and the wider context of nature management in Sweden.