Semiotics of Landscape

Prince, Hugh 1989. Art and agrarian change, 1710-1815. In: Cosgove, Denis and Stephen Daniels (eds.), The Iconography of Landscape: Essays on the Symbolic Representation, Design and Use of Past Environments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

John Barrell has drawn upon this literature to argue that landscape painters did in fact address agrarian change, less in empirical surveys of topographical features than in symbolic depictions of social relations and perceptions. (Prince 1989: 98)
Too early in the article to make any differnece, but I do savour the jargon. To apply it on my own material: concursivity is the symbolic mediation of social relations and perceptions which manifest themselves in bodily behavior.
Picturesque views concentrate on crags, cliffs, waterfalls, woods, dead trees and crumbling ruins; romantic pictures seek to arouse powerful feelings of wonder and awe at the beauties and sublimities of cloud forms, geological structures and plant life. (Prince 1989: 98)
More usable lexemes. For my purposes, these could be used for discussing the aesthetics of body language. E.g. beauties and sublimities of body motion.
There can be no doubt that the artists and also their patrons regarded the topographical specificity of these pictures as critical for understanding their contents. (Prince 1989: 99)
E.g. correctly interpreting the concursive passages in literary texts is critical for understanding their contents.
William Marhsall observed that 'at all times, the manager of the estate was better enabled to detect bad husbandry ... by having the whole spread under the eye, at once'. John Barrell comments that an open field 'would thus present itself to the observer as a scene of continuous and simultaneous activity, carried on in all parts of the field yet visible "at a glance", and in which almost the entire village was engaged'. (Prince 1989: 102)
Sounds like a natural, temporary, panopticon.
We are sufficiently close to the turnip field to observe that the two nearest labourers are resting from their work, that three are inspecting a plough lying on its side and that two others are clutching armfuls of turnip roots. We cannot clearly read the expressions on their faces but their postures indicate that they are taking a break from tiring work. (Prince 1989: 107)
Art reviews apply concursivity as a regular technique, it seems. Infering the nature of the activity from posture.
The ploughmen recede into the distance; they are figures without faces, occupying subordinate positions within the natural environment. We do not meet them eye to eye; they do not disclose their individuality to us. We see them only in their relation to the landscape, following the plough, bound to the soil, performing their duties as labourers. Our eye commands the landscape and the landscape contains two faceless ploughmen. (Prince 1989: 111)
It is courious that according to this author, the eyes disclose individuality. And it seems that since this is yet another painting in which the faces are expressionless (painted too far to see), they are reduced to "figures without faces," and still the author does his best to put these figures into some relationship with the rest of the painting. It seems that human bodies are extremely important on paintings, even landscape portraits.
As John Barrell points out in the phrase, 'smiling brow', taken literally, makes no sense unless it is read as 'a brow puckered as in a gesture of smiling'. The mixed metaphor may express a tension between opposing sensations experienced by the ploughmen: on the one hand, feeling worn out by physical labour; on the other hand, feeling contented at accomplishing a necessary and useful job cultivating the soil. (Prince 1989: 112)
In Ekman's terms this would be called a "blend".

Ingold, Tim 2006. The Perception of the Environment: Essays in livelihood, dwelling and skill. London, New York: Routledge.

Ch. 11. "The temporality of the landscape", pp. 189-208.
I adhere to the view that social or cultural anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology form a necessary unity - that they are all part of the same intellectual enterprise. (Ingold 2006: 189)
Well, I adhere to the view that sociosemiotics, cultural semiotics, biosemiotics and semiology form a necessary unity - that they are all part of the same intellectual enterprise, but you don't read me banging on about it. Oh, right, you just did. Boo-ya. Disciplines are pointless. Score for transdisciplinarity.
First, human life is a process that involves the passage of time. Secondly, this life-process is also the process of formation of the landscapes in which people have lived. Time and landscape, then, are to my mind the essential points of topical contact between archaeology and anthropology. (Ingold 2006: 189)
Well, every process involves the passage of time, that's why it's called a process intead of an event. And the second point could have been worded more carefully also - right now it seems like stepping back and forth conceptually, making baby steps towards an idea - when it could just as well have been stated that "the human life-process involves the passage of time during which landscapes which people inhabit are formed." And then it appears that the word "formation" is inefficient - it should be "transformed." Why am I supervising a chapter written back when I myself just finished basic school? I really do enjoy literature from the 1970s more - there was more emphasis on correct language, and exact expression of ideas, it seems. Nowadays you can "write" or rather assemple together words on any old toss and probably get it published. And regretfully, I am no exception.
For both the archaeologist and the native dweller, the landscape tells - or rather is - a story, 'a chronicle of life and dwelling' (Adam 1998: 54). It enfolds the lives and times of predecessors who, over the generations, have moved around in it and played their part in its formation. To perceive the landscape is therefore to carry out an act of rememberance, and remembering is not so much a matter of calling up an internal image, stored in the mind, as of engaging perceptually with an environment that is itself pregnant with the past. (Ingold 2006: 189)
Beautiful, somehow.
But where land is thus quantitative and homogeneous, the landscape is qualitative and heterogeneous. Supposing that you are standing outdoors, it is what you see all around: a contoured and textured surface replete with diverse objects - living and non-living, natural and artificial (these distinctions are both problematic, as we shall see, but they will serve for the time being). (Ingold 2006: 190)
A (good) preliminary definition of what a landsape is for this authors.
As the familiar domain of our dwelling, it is with us, not against us, but it i sno less real for that. And through living in it, the landscape becomes a part of us, just as we are part of it. (Ingold 2006: 191)
This is a fairly familiar metaphorical construction. It makes perfect sense in terms of the Umwelt theory: what I perceive in the environment (the landscape) is a reflection of myself, of my Merkwelt ("sign-world").
In the landscape, the distance between two places, A and B, is experienced as a journey made, a bodily movement from one place to the other, and the gradually changing vistas along the route. The surveyor's job, however, is to take instrumental measurements from a considerable number of locations, and to combine these data to produce a single piece which is independent of any point of observation. (Ingold 2006: 191)
The body is the point of observation and the surveyor creates an image of the landscape which is presumably without a body. This, I imagine, is theoretically difficult. Because a map, even a complex one riddled with pictures such as the Google Earth project, is nevertheless viewed from a perspective (above) interchanged with bodily positions (points of observations, perspectives of the photographs).
This picture is of the world as it could be directly apprehended only by a consciousness capable of being everywhere at once and nowhere in particular (the nearest we can get to this in practice is by taking an aerial or bird's-eye view). To such a consciousness, at once immobile and omnipresent, the distance between A and B would be the lenght of a line plotted between two points that are simultaneously in view, that line marking one of any number of journeys that could potentially be made (cf. Bourdieu 1977: 2). It is as though, from an imaginary position above the world, I could direct the movements of my body within it, like a counter on a board, so that to say 'I am here' is not to point from somewhere to my surroundings, but to point from nowhere to the position on the board where my body happens to be. (Ingold 2006: 192)
This is kinda trippy. It reminds me of a drawn picture of an astronaut standing on his own giant helmet, looking down at the helmet which he is at once holding in his hands and standing. The phrase "being everywhere at once and nowhere in particular" is nifty - it can be used to talk about the Big Brother.
There is a tradition of geographical research (see, for example, Gould and White 1974) which sets out from the premise that we are all cartographers in our daily lives, and that we use our bodies as the surveyor uses his instruments, to register a sensory input from multiple points of observation, which is then processed by our intelligence into an image that we carry around with us, like a map in our heads, wherever we go. The mind, rather than reaching into its surroundings from its dwelling place within the world, might be likened in this view to a film spread out upon its exterior surface. (Ingold 2006: 192)
This is really cool. Gould & White's book is titled Mental Maps.
A place owes its character to the experiences it affords to those who spend time there - to the sights, sounds and indeed smells that constitute its specific ambiance. And these, in turn, depend on the kinds of activities in which its inhabitants engage. It is from this relational context of people's engagement with the world, in the business of dwelling, that each place draws its unique significance. Thus whereas within space, meanings are attached to the world, with the landscape they are gathered from it. Moreover, while places have centres - indeed it would be more appropriate to say that they are centres - they have no boundaries. In journeying from place A to place B it makes no sense to ask, along the way, whether one is 'still' in A or has 'crossed over' to B (Ingold 1986a: 155). (Ingold 2006: 192)
This reminded me of the opening scene in Bradbury's Fahrenheit - Montag is sensorially aroused by the experience of warmth at a specific street corner.
It will alrady be apparent that I cannot accept the distinction offered by Yi-Fu Tuan, who argues that an environment is 'a given, a piece of relaity that is simply there', as opposed to the landscape, which is a product of human cognition, 'an achievement of the mature mind' (Tuan 1979: 90, 100). For that is merely to reproduce the dichotomy between nature and humanity. (Ingold 2006: 193)
Eh. The dichotomy set out by Tuan seems sensible. Being in a constant war with the mind/body dualism might be cool and desirable for a philosopher, but at some point you probably should put it aside (solve it for yourself in some measure) and move on to more interesting things.
But to think of environment in this sense is to regard it primarily in terms of function, of what it affords to creatures - whether human or non-human - with certain capabilities and projects of action. (Ingold 2006: 193)
This is so useful it needed to be underlined - there are many definitions of functionalism, but this one seems reasonable and brief enought to actually be useful.
...the environment is 'nature organised by an organism'.
The concept of landscape, by contrast, puts the emphasis on form, in just the same way that the concept of body emphasises the form rather than the function of a living creature. If the body is the form in which a creature is present as a being-in-the-world, then the world of its being-in presents itself in the form of the landscape. Like organism and environment, body and landscape are complementary terms: each implies the other, alternatively as figure and ground. (Ingold 2006: 193)
Ingold's conception of the body likens it to the anatomical body, rather than the anatomo-physiological body. In similar terms there are (in terms of perspectives or approaches) the social body, the psychological body (or body-image?) and probably also a semiotic body (the body in terms of it's sign-functions, it's significance or it's motions within the semiosphere).
Though the notion of embodiment has recently come much into fashion, there has been a tendency - following an ancient inclination in Western thought to prioritise form over process (Oyama 1985: 13) - to conceive of it as a movement of inscription, whereby some pre-existing pattern, template or programme, whether genetic or cultural, is 'realised' in a substantive medium. This is not what I have in mind, however. To the contrary, and adopting a helpful distinction from Paul Connerton (1989: 72-3), I regard embodiment as a movement of incorporation rather than inscription, not a transcribing of form onto material but a movement wherein forms themselves are generated (Ingold 1990: 215). (Ingold 2006: 193)
I'm beginning to get it: Ingold is a contrarian. But indeed he has a point: both Foucault (with his inscribed bodies) and Lotman (with his behavioral programmes) can be accused to some extent of preferring form over process.
Now in introducing the concept of temporality, I do not intend that it should stand as a third term, alongside the concepts of chronology and history. For in the sense in which I shall use the term here, temporality entails a perspective that contrasts radically with the one, outlined above, that sets up history and chronology in a relation of complementary opposition. The contrast is essentially equivalent to that drawn by Alfred Gell (1992: 149-55) between what he calls (following McTaggart) the A-series, in which time is immanent in the passing of events, and the B-series, in which events are strung out in time like beads on a thread. Whereas in the B-series, events are treated as isolated happenings, succeeding one another frame by frame, each event in the A-series is seen to encompass a pattern of retentension from the past and protentions for the future. Thus from the A-series point of view, temporality and historicity are not opposed but rather merge in the experience of those who, in their activities, carry forward the process social life. Taken together, these activities make up what I shall call the 'taskscape', and it is with the intrinsic temporality of the taskcape that I shall be principally concerned in this section. (Ingold 2006: 194)
Very reminiscent of Ju. Lotman's discussion of the passing of time. Taskscape seems like a useful notion; I'm just not sure yet how to use it.
How, then, should we describe the practices of work in their concrete particulars? For this purpose I shall adopt the term 'task', defined as any practical operation, carried out by a skilled agent in an environment, as part of his or her normal business of life. In other words, tasks are the constitutive acts of dwelling. (Ingold 2006: 195)
I'd go as far as saying that this is a missing puzzle piece from my nonverbalism project: bodily behavior as living-directed individual action - e.g. a "task" can be a very powerful device for analysing everyday life.
No more than features of the landscape, however, are tasks suspended in vacuum. Every task takes its meaning from its position within an ensemble of tasks, performed in series or in parallel, and usually by many people working together. (Ingold 2006: 195)
Sounds like a hermeneutic circle.
One of the great mistakes of recent anthropology - what Reynolds (1994: 410) calls 'the great tool-use fallacy' - has been to insist upon a separation between the domains of technical and social activity, a separation that has blinded us to the fact that one of the outstanding features of human technical practices lies in their embeddedness in the current of sociality. (Ingold 2006: 195)
This seems to be what Marcel Mauss argued against in his Techniques of the Body. For him, bodily techniques are socially constructed (mainly via imitation), and indeed embedded in sociality.
It is to the entire ensemble of tasks, in their mutual interlocking, that I refer by the concept of taskscape. Just as the landscape is an array of related features, so - by analogy - the taskscape is an array of related activities. [...] ...the taskscape is to labour what the landscape is to land... (Ingold 2006: 195)
This is how it can be useful - total institutions (such as the military) has a specific taskscape into which the soldier trainees are disciplined into.
Now if value is measured out in units of money, and land in units of space, what is the currency of labour? The answer, of course, it time - but it is time of a very peculiar sort, one that must be wholly indifferent to the modulations of human experience. To most of us it appears in the familiar guise of clock-time: thus an hour is an hour, regardless of what one is doing in it, or of how one feels. But this kind of chronological time does not depend upon the existence of artificial clocks. It may be based on any perfectly repetitive, mechanical system, including that (putatively) constituted by the earth in its axial rotations and in its revolutions around the sun. (Ingold 2006: 195)
Very precise. Because labour is indeed (at least in a capitalist society) measured in time, thus resulting in a situation wherein worktime is forced (oppressive) and it is constantly fought against up to the point of the workday being mostly constituted by procrastination and innocent play with interspersed periods of work (this is of course the case of the modern office).
The temporality of the taskscape is social, then, not because society provides an external frame against which particular tasks find independent measure, but because people, in the performance of their tasks, also attend to one another. (Ingold 2006: 96)
The taskscape is social because of social perception (we humans are quite unable to disattend to the behavior of others around us).
Looking back, we can see that Durkheim's error was to divorce the sphere of people's mutual involvement from that of their everyday practical activity in the world, leaving the latter to be carried on by individuals in hermetic isolation. In real life, this is not how we go about our business. By watching, listening, perhaps even touchin we continually feel each other's presence in the social environment, at every moment adjusting our movements in response to this ongoing perceptual monitoring. (Ingold 2006: 196)
So Ingold argues for instrumental action and social action being inseparable. Also, the adjustment of movements makes me wonder if this contention is at least slightly caused by nonverbalism, e.g. have most philosophers after the 1970s who talk of social stuff payed more attention to the movements of the bodies because of the body language discourse? I think it possible - Kristeva being knowledgeable about the work of Ruesch and Mahl is a case in point.
...there are cycles and repetitions in music as in social life, these are essentially rhythmic rather than metronomic (on this distinction, see Young 1988: 19). It is for precisely this reason that social time, pace Durkheim, is not chronological. A metronome, like a clock, inscribes an artificial division into equal segments upon an otherwise undifferentiated movement; rhythm, by contrast, is intrinsic to the movement itself. Langer has argued that the essence of rhythm lies in the successive building up and resolution of tension, on the principle that every resolution is itself a preparation for the next building-up (1953: 126-7). (Ingold 2006: 197)
As I haven't read Young and I've largely forgotten what Ingold means by chronologic, I ignorantly assume that the difference between rhythmic and metronomic is one of complexity: metronimic is "unvaryingly regular in rhythm", but rhythm itself can be very complex.
...the forms of the taskscape, like those of music, come into being through movement. Music exists only when it is being performed; it does not pre-exist, as is sometimes thought, in the score, any more than a cake pre-exists in the recipe for making it. Similarly, the taskscape exists only as long as people are actually engaged in the activities of dwelling, despite the the attempts of anthropologists to translate it into something rather equivalent to a score - a kind of ideal design for dwelling - that generally goes by the name of 'culture', and that people are supposed to bring with them into their encounter with the world. (Ingold 2006: 197)
Somehow I recognize the realist-idealist dispute in this: for Ingold, the notes are not the music and the recipe is not the cake, but he seems to miss the point that they contain the "ideas" of music and cake. And, indeed, master cooks and musicians could - for themselves - read these texts (the notes and the recipe) and experience or project the cake and music from their vast knowledge. Ingold seems to miss this.
Just as with music, the forms of the landscape are generated in movement: these forms, however, are congealed in a solid medium - indeed, to borrow Inglis' words again, 'a landscape is the most solid appearance in which history can declare itself' (ibid.). Thanks to their solidity, features of the landscape remain available for inspection long after the movement that fave rise to them has ceased. If, as Mead argued (1977 [1938]: 97), every object is to be regarded as a 'collapsed act', then the landscape as a whole must likewise be understood as the taskscape in its embodied form: a pattern of activities 'collapsed' into an array of features. (Ingold 2006: 198)
Both landscape and music are forms generated out of movement, but in very different ways. Taken together with Mead's contention, the landscape is indeed "taskscape in its embodied form", but music in this sense is a single task in it's embodied form.
Human beings do not, in their movements, inscribe their life histories upon the surface of nature as do writers upon the page; rather, these histories are woven, along with the life-cycles of plants and animals, into the texture of the surface itself. (Ingold 2006: 198)
I dislike Ingolds contrarity, but he is correct: whether it be the landscape "inscribed" by the movements of bodies or the body "inscribed" by the behavioral programmes of culture, in both cases it is not a creation (on a blank canvas) inasmuch as modification (of already-existing features).
My conclusion that the landscape is the congealed form of the taskscape does enable us to explain why, intuitively, the landscape seems to be what we see around us, whereas the taskscape is what we hear. To be seen, a thing need do nothing itself, for the optic array that specifies its form to a viewer consists of light reflected off its outer surfaces. To be heard, on the other hand, a thing must actively emit sounds or, through its movement, cause sound to be emitted by other objects with which it comes into contact. Thus, outside my window I see a landscape of houses, trees, gardens, a street and pavement. I do not hear any of these things, but I can hear people talking on the pavement, a car passing by, birds singing in the trees, a dog barking somewhere in the distance, and the sound of hammering as a neighbour repairs his garden shed. In short, what I hear is activity, even when its source cannot be seen. And since the forms of the taskscape, suspended as they are in movement, are present only as activity, the limits of my taskscape are also the limits of my auditory world. (Ingold 2006: 199)
This parallelism also makes sense in the sexist view that the man is active and the woman is passive: while the former discusses politics and shit, the latter must remain merely beautiful, a part of the atmosphere.
I am not an art historian or critic, and my purpose is not to analyse the painting in terms of style, composition or aesthetic effect. Nor am I concerned with the historical context of its production. (Ingold 2006: 201)
Very eloquent apology.
Of course, 'hill' and 'valley' are opposed terms, but the opposition is not spatial or altitudinal but kinaesthetic. It is the movements of falling away from, and rising up towards, that specify the form of the hill; and the movements of falling away towards, and rising up from, that specify the form of the valley. Through the exercises of descending and climbing, and their different muscular entailments, the contours of the landscape are not so much measured as felt - they are directly incorporated into our bodily experience. (Ingold 2006: 203)

Wichester, Hilary, P. M., Lily Kong and Kevin C. Dunn 2003. Landscapes: Ways of imagining the world. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.

Ch. 3. "Landscapes of everyday popular cultures", pp. 35-65.
While cultural geographers influenced by the Berkley School tended to focus their gaze on the exotic and the antiquarian, in recent years increasing research attention has turned to landscapes of everyday life. These take the form of ordinary landscapes in our daily routines, such as street names, shopping centres and neighbourhood spaces, which we examine in later chapters, as well as landscapes of popular cultures, such as those of food, film and music, which we focus on in this chapter. (Winchester, Kong and Dunn 2003: 35)
These are later in the chapter named foodscape, filmscape and musicscape. I think landscape became for these authors a theory or frame on it's own.
Films are a form of text or cultural product that are recognized as having particular influence in the social construction of national identities. National governments dedicate considerable resources to support their indigenous film industries. It is considered important that citizens consume films that reflect local cultural landscapes. (Winchester, Kong and Dunn 2003: 43)
Like Viimne Reliikvia and Kevade for Estonians.

Kõresaar, Ene 2002. The farm as the symbol of the state: Metaphorical depiction of the nation and the state in the childhood memories of older Estonians. In: Jaago, Tiiu (ed.), Lives, Histories and Identities Vol. II: Individual. Society. Life story. Tartu: University of Tartu, Estonian Literary Museum, 169-187.

Childhood is referred to in the biographies as a period of the happiest and the warmest memories. The childhood community - mostly the village - is the small [personal] world of the biographer - "rich in smokes [farms] and children, and paradise of flowers and birds" (f., 1923, EE552: 3). The childhood village is associated in the biographies with high social values like solidarity, mutual assistance and respect and informal equality. (Kõresaar 2002: 172)
I feel a good possibility of this being attributable to infantile (childhood) amnesia: anything before the age of 10 is quite unreliable. That's why the childhood memories can appear onesidedly warm, small, paradise-like with high social values.
Home as a specific and social room is described in detail in childhood memories. Biographers from farmers' families dedicate a considerable part of their biographies to their home farm, its size (as a rule, the area of the farm is given exactly!) and its physical environs, daily life on the farm (with animals as the inevitable part of the farm - their names are mentioned, too), to rare leisure time and typical arrangement of farm life. (Kõresaar 2002: 175)
Here I speculate that the exact area of the farm is given by rote memory - the size is something that has been discussed many times and the numbers have merely stuck. The names of the animals, on the other hand, seem very plausible. One of the professors who turned 60 this year stated in her biographical presentation that she, too, remembered the names of the farm animals well. Generally, dwelling seems to be a fairly common subject to discuss in biographies.
A country home in the childhood symbolises safety, stability and continuity. The inevitable part of farm descriptions - nature is here an equivalent of certain social and human qualities - harmony, freedom, natural purity and goodness, and in the biographies nature is given a 'national' content. A 'natural' childhood is also a 'national' childhood. (Kõresaar 2002: 177)
I presume this is because the Estonian national character is supposedly very close to nature [looduslähedane].
As a rule, both parents are described as hard-working and honest people. Father is skilled at every work, he is an artist of life, who takes the family through hard times and gives good education to children; mother is a clever housewife, talented home decorator. Mostly at least one of them has a talent, which is inherited by children. Usually it is musicality: father plays the violin or the concertina, mother sings well. Furthermore, father is socially active, he organises choir singing or is connected with the local parish administration (mother's activities are mentioned by some town children). Also father's progressive open-mindedness is remembered: father is among the first to buy a radio, a car, he experiments with new methods of construction and land improvement, mother's open-mindedness is exposed for instance in home decoration and using the skills studied at home economics courses. Yearn for education, love for literature, freshness of mind and being well-informed of various matters of life are more often mentioned about father, but similarly negative traits or habits (short temper, excess drinking, gambling). Father is a many-sided person, mother stays in the background, she is rather remembered for her own emotional safety (mother's singing in twilight) and care. (Kõresaar 2002: 181-182)
Although the author explicitly argues against this in the beginning of the article, I am still left with the feeling that the father is talked about more and more idealized because most of the biographies come from females. As it is the case that female life expectancy is much higher.

Sooväli, Helen, Hannes Paland and Mart Külvik 2003. The Role of Rural Landscapes in Shaping Estonian National Identity. In: Unwin, Tim and Theo Spek (eds.) European Landscapes: From Mountain to Sea. Tallinn: Huma, 114-121.

Another tendency during the 1990s has been the marginalisation of rural areas, leading to the loss of traditional landscapes and thereby lifestyles. At the same time, we wish to believe that rural landscape has always played a great role in constituting Estonian national identity. (Sooväli, Palang and Külvik 2003: 114)
As in the last article, Estonian national identity is here, too, connected with nature (rural landscapes).
Landscape may be understood (Tilley, 1994) as a signifying system through which the social is reproduced and transformed, explored and structured. Landscape, above all, represents a means of conceptual ordering that stresses relations. (Sooväli, Palang and Külvik 2003: 114)
One of the most clear-headed theoretical constructions I've come across in this course.
Vos and Meekes (1999) identify five main stages in landscape history in Western Europe: natural/prehistoric landscape which covers the period between Palaeolithic and ancient Greek times; Antique landscape which was followed by Mediaeval landscape. Landscape got a new concept in Renaissance times and the period up to the 19th century in landscape history could be called traditional agricultural landscape. From the 19th century together with the technical revolution we can talk about industrial landscapes. The present-day landscapes can be termed postmodern landscapes. Characteristic to these landscapes is a complex mosaic of different, often contradicting landscape types, controlled by people.
Distinct from Western Europe, Estonian rural landscape history can be divided into five stages, based on the shift of dominant ideologies in the society (Palang and Mander, 2000). Firstly, ancient landscapes which were shaped by the prime settlers of the territory throughout the post-glacial epoch. This period came to an end in the early 13th century (traditionally 1227) when Estonia was occupied by foreign invaders and the local people were christianised. The second stage of landscape history, from 1227 to 1919, could be called estate landscapes. This was a time when the land belonged to the Baltic German estate-owners and locals were working for them as serfs. The first farm landscapes emerged after the abolition of serfdom in Estonia and livonia in the middle of the 19th century, alongside the national awakening. The Land reform in 1919 ended the existence of large estates and the Estonian farmer became the owner of the land. This era laster till the Soviet occupation and the collectivisation of agriculture in the 1940s. The subsequent collective landscapes were dominated by socialist ideals and the erecting of new structures upon a demolished past. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Land Reform of 1991 made the land one of the priorities of the state. According to the reform procedures the former owners and their descendants were returned back to the lands they once had owned. As there is no clear philosophy behind the current landscape change, neither in terms of ideology nor economy, these could be called postmodern landscapes.(Sooväli, Palang and Külvik 2003: 116)
Essentially, the Estonian landscape history differs from Western Europe most markedly by the industrial/farm landscape and postmodern landscape being interjected by the Soviet collective landscape.
Estonians had no specific landscape symbols used as icons that they could identify themselves with, in contrast to the case with the Imatra rapids in Finland for example (Sörlin, 1999). Estonian national identity was primarily constituted by the learned men from the university town of Tartu where the surrounding landscapes differ somewhat from the rest of the country. Characteristic to this part is a mosaic landscape of hills, lakes and forests. Consequently, the landscape elements that were used in shaping the national identity are characteristic of that part of Estonia. The songs written by Estonian authors for the three first Estonian National Song Festivals held in 1869, 1877, and 1880 contain three larger symbolic landscape discourses - forest, hill and valley. Other landscape features, very characteristic of Estonia such as sea and bogs were seldom mentioned. [...] Probably the sea was so far away from the learned men and therefore no songs on the sea themes were sung in the song festivals. (Sooväli, Palang and Külvik 2003: 116-117)
Haha, those darn learned men.

Palang, Hannes 2010. Time boundaries and landscape change: collective farms 1947-1994. European Countryside 2(3): 169-181.

The currently prevailing historical narrative treats 1930s as the golden era and everything that happened afterwards is unconditionally bad and unjust. The Soviet narrative, contrarily, depicted the 1930s landscape as unjust and the Soviet one as just and progressive. (Palang 2010: 178)
A good example of ideological connotations.

And now something completely different:
Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! (Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator)


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