Between the tides

Comparative arts and humanities approaches to living with(in) intertidal landscapes in UK and the Netherlands.

Between the Tides: Comparative arts and humanities approaches to living with(in) intertidal landscapes in UK and the Netherlands. Learning from those who live and work with complexity, change and fragility.

Workshop and networking project jointly funded by NWO and AHRC.

Intertidal and littoral landscapes

This research and exchange programme surveys current arts and humanities research and practice in the UK and Netherlands (NL) in relation to low-lying intertidal and littoral landscapes (ITLLs) and the communities who live and work with them.

It brings these together to exchange and develop conceptual and thematic approaches to living (within) dynamic, changing and rhythmic environments which are at risk, but also hold high value in natural and cultural heritage for the broader community.

The project is based upon case studies of the Severn Estuary and the Wadden Sea two of the most important intertidal landscapes in the world. The intention is to establish an international arts humanities community dedicated to ITLLs which will sustain beyond the project and extend to other areas across the world.

The proposed research exchange is centred on UWE Bristol and the University of Groningen (RUG) NL, (with other UK, NL and beyond participants).

ITLLs have always been changing and unsettled – routinely, through a series of rhythmic daily, monthly and seasonal cycles, and also in other ways through erosion, deposition and development. There are major points of uncertainty and contestation about these kinds of landscapes in terms of conflicting forms of value, use and management and differentiated risk and benefit between (sections of) communities and a range of stakeholders. All this impacts on how very important cultural (and natural) heritage is managed for the future, in relation to development and risk management.

By addressing how communities have lived with rich, dynamic, rhythmic and fragile landscapes such as ITLLs and the risks they bring, and how arts and humanities researchers and practitioners have responded to such landscapes and social interaction with them, the project will create wider insights into notions of 'Sustainable Communities in a Changing World'.

Project goals

The project addresses how arts and humanities practitioners can come together to help communities and local stakeholders develop new narratives of shared (i.e. locally, globally, future generations) heritage/risk.

What can we learn from those living/working with these fragile and dynamic landscapes? What wider lessons can be learnt for arts and humanities communities, and society more widely, particularly in the face of climate change and other environmental and economic challenges?

The RHC is a project partner in this initiative and has contributed to workshops on the Severn Estuary (2012) and at Wadden Sea (2013) and to a project panel at the 2013 International Emotional Geographies conference at the University of Groningen, Holland.

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