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Title:In Search of The Landscape’s “Original” State
Author(s):Shin, Jeongsu
Abstract:“It was not like this!” A public outcry yearning for the restoration of the landscape to the “original” state had brought ten horses to the experimental site on top of Mt. Halla every summer since 2016. With the designation of Mt. Halla—the highest mountain in South Korea, located at the center of Jeju Island—as a national park in 1970, cattle and horse raising in the national park was discontinued. The establishment of the natural preserve, unexpectedly, resulted in the overgrowth of broad-leaf bamboo across the region. This natural rewilding process has unsettled both local memories of ecological purity grounded in the historical connection of Jeju communities to the lands as well as more scientific ideals of purity through the endangerment of rare species that reside in the subalpine climate zone on Mt. Halla. This photo was taken in the summer of 2018 when I was conducting ethnographic research on a landscape restoration project carried out by the Jeju provincial government intended to address the relationship between ideal purity and historical ecology. With this photo, I indulge in thoughts on multispecies relationships that have created and dismantled the imaginaries of purity projected onto the landscape on Jeju Island.
Issue Date:2020
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Jeongsu Shin
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-04-15

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