Authentic Place, Local Identities and Environmental Discourses

In R. C. Hillerbrand & R. Karlsson (eds.), Beyond the Global Village. Environmental Challenges inspiring Global Citizenship. The Interdisciplinary Press (2008)
This paper is intended to provide a critic perspective on the definition of places authenticity as proposed in the conventional environmental discourses. It suggests that, by following a very widespread view, modernity is con- sidered responsible for the loss of authenticity and the consequent disen- chantment of the world. However, environmental discourses claiming for the defence of places authenticity and adopting a rhetoric of nostalgia for a loss primeval relation between humans and nature are liable of some critics. In particular, these refer to the essentialist definition of local places and cul- tures and to the relevance of the underlying power geometries. In order to inquire the possibility for a more positive gaze on modernity an alternative account of modernity is provided, by considering some suggestions from the hybrid geography. A different perspective on places as heterogeneous and porous is proposed together with further developments for the alternative environmental commitment.
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