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ASSIGNMENT 3 The Multi layered Landscape

In this phase we will examine the impact of mining on communities, the indigenous dimension, the overlapping use of land and competing activities.

Assignment 1, the Big Picture uncovered something. We studied the mining industry as a global system. We got an understanding of the power of the mining industry, ore-prices impact on production, the race for minerals, population growth and the urge for resources etc. We understood something of what the mining industry adds and what it does not add in different nations, for instance the completely different situations in Congo and Norway. Not in my backyard, but where is my backyard? – That is a question of scale. Assignment 2, the Perforated Landscape looked into mines as local system and into a new regional landscape where mineral extraction is potentially an important future activity. The question we asked ourselves was in which way the mining industry will introduce itself as an actor in the Arctic landscape. This section is probably not yet a catalog of the physical impact of mining, the mines as systems that is dependent of and feeds into other systems. The mining terminology lacks clear graphical expression in drawing and diagrams in the submissions. Have not yet a feeling of scale in regard of nature conservation, waste, environmental hazard from the landscape architects viewpoint. But we will get there.

Fields of Exploration - Limits of Exploitation is a master studio at AHO - Oslo School of Architecture and Design, in the winter of 2012 led by Knut Eirik Dahl, Kjerstin Uhre, Espen Røyseland and Øystein Rø.

We are aware of the massive amount of new information that you are exposed to, so the next step is to inhale and exhale calmly with one short reflective text and one amazingly beautiful piece of visual communication.


In the Multi layered Landscape we expand the number of voices. The mining industry has both a physical footprint and a non-physical. Now we will focus on the multiple systems that negotiate futures in the North. The loss of flexibility in for the reindeer herding siidas is a core issue in the territories of the North. Then there is a multitude of other activities, identities and stories in the landscape to be considered. Different life spans in land use; the economics, logistics, planning, resettlement, etc. related to mining communities, and activities that have belonged to the landscape for hundred of years. What about closure? What kinds of footprint does mining leave behind in time to come in the Arctic where vegetation settles very slowly? We will not give answers to everything but try to understand things and open for some reflections. In a research it is important to consider everything that comes in one's way. Some of you might find out more of what we do not see about how mining operations will become part of development in the north. Search for your own voice, how do you as landscape architects contribute to this negotiation? What about the landscape itself and the landscape terminology? It is our contention that the mining industry as a system cannot be a self contained system. Like all other systems must consider themselves as a part of a larger whole, and that it affects and interacts with other systems (before, during and after production). The other systems range from ecosystems, water bodies, traditional land use, economics, legislation, demographics, gender, competence, society etc.

The indigenous dimension is present in all the nations in the circumpolar area, their degrees of autonomy and living conditions is dependent on the different national politics, legislation and practices. Indigenous people are protected by the UN Declaration of Human rights and by the ILO Convention no. 169 on tribal people, which Norway has ratified. In Norway the Sami people is protected by the norwegian Constitution §110 a. It is the responsibility of the authorities of the State to create conditions enabling the Sami people to preserve and develop its language, culture and way of life. Traditional reindeer herding is protected by the legislation, but is under considerable pressure from altered land use, urbanization, industrialization and infrastructure. The new promises of prosperity of the high North strangely enough has opened a field of competition, conflicting interests, growing racism and opportunistic political motivated challenge on gained rights for the Sami people. Suddenly the pristine, special and quite harsh territories are becoming the Promised Land – a new battlefield. Human relations are at play. Mapping has a connotation related to power and colonialism that is important to be aware of. Any new map introduces new realities. Exploration and mapping of natural resources adds a new layer which represents a pressure on culture, identity and landscape, to meet this we need to map the other layers, listen to the other stories, launch the other realities, gather knowledge and strategize for transparency and democratization. Our course looks for new discoveries seen through

the lenses of the landscape and seeks to provide a tool for an open debate on the new pressures in the northern territories. Open source mapping (as for instance open street map) are beginning to discuss the power of mapping and ease the access to mapping tools for everyone (with a web connection). Characteristic of how the new expectations and stories about the Arctic emerge is the drawing of maps - we live in a time of survey. Maps are a wonderful medium to learn, discover, navigate and communicate findings. But maps are also carriers of power, conquest and relocation of people. A line on a map can change people's lives and a people's history.

Format A text based on survey, interview or lecture notes highlighting at least one other layer that meets or overlap the mining industry on a local level. A comprehensive and beautiful image, (a map, a diagram, a collage...) that communicate your findings. The text should have the form of a chronicle or a short essay (on maximum 5000 signs includes spaces, Minimum 2500 signs included spaces. That is 1-2 normal A4 pages) It shall be worth reading, and the image shall have visual communicative and artistic qualities. You shall refer to sources for the text and if relevant, for the information in the image. We have proposed for you certain themes based on your survey on assignment 2, but you are free to choose other teams if you “are on a track” that you want to follow further.

Assignment 3  

The Multi layered Landscape

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