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University of Greenwich

30 Park Row

London

SE10 9LS

United Kingdom

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As part of the Greenwich Maritime Centre & Coastal and Marine Research Group's (RGS) 2018 Seminar Series we are very proud to announce our second seminar:

"Art, Resilience and Porosity in the Coastal Zone" by Simon Read.

Lecture Theatre QA080

Free

It is an anomaly that whilst most coastal communities consider the continuing resilience of the coast and its defences a priority, there is a growing belief from the policy development sector that this should flow from a reinvigorated climate of social resilience. This begs the question of who is responsible to deliver resilience? From a community point of view the expectation persists that this is the duty of a benign authority, which recently has provoked a profound sense of betrayal when it is realized that this may not be so. This in turn evolves from a belief in the inherent value of coastal landscape, which is valued as much for its cultural significance as it is a source of livelihood. The bonds that tie people to place make them determined that the configuration of the landscape should remain as it always was or as it always was presumed to be. Although in reality it may be tenuous, it is nonetheless deeply rooted in the community psyche that a landscape that is inherently changeful is also predictable, consistent and cyclical in spite of copious evidence to the contrary.

So we have immanent on our coast a strong sense of ownership of the coastal landscape and resistance to change but an acceptance of responsibility to intervene in its governance is not so evident. That this needs addressing is certain and from my point of view the arts are strongly implicated in a state of affairs that has come about through the historical separation of communities from the direct sense of responsibility for their own landscapes.

Partly through the agency of the arts the coast has become a leisure site and a temporary escape from reality, where the real challenges of loss of foreshore, erosion and property blight are romantic footnotes and can be walked away from as somebody else's problem. An earlier model for this could be the celebration of the dignity and nobility of the fishing community in Cornwall by artists of the 19th century.

In this presentation I plan to discuss the responsibility the arts have in promoting and shaping new understandings of coastal processes within and beyond the coastal community and to propose a more engaged approach to local awareness, sense of ownership and stewardship.

For more information on our seminar series please visit: http://www.gre.ac.uk/ach/gmc/seminar-series/gmc-and-cmrg-seminar-series

Find out more about the Coastal and Marine Research Group (RGS) here: https://coastalmarineresearchgroup.wordpress.com/

If you have any queries please email: gmc@greenwich.ac.uk

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University of Greenwich

30 Park Row

London

SE10 9LS

United Kingdom

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