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Visions of the Future, Farming and Land Use in Welsh Science Fiction
Revista Helice, Volume: No. 33
Swansea University Author: Chris Pak
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Abstract: Farming is the quintessential human activity that has dramatically re-shaped landscapes across millennia. Highly politicised, farming landscapes have in different contexts been appealed to as support for Nationalist thought, instituted as policies for expansion and the displacement of othe...
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Abstract: Farming is the quintessential human activity that has dramatically re-shaped landscapes across millennia. Highly politicised, farming landscapes have in different contexts been appealed to as support for Nationalist thought, instituted as policies for expansion and the displacement of other peoples and non-human agents, and constructed as sites for the consolidation of oppositional and radical politics. In the context of climate change, contemporary farming practices have been challenged by a range of alternative modes of land use such as rewilding, challenges to the meat industry and to industrial farming practices. The recognition of the need for change as a response to the effects of climate change and the national conversation about land use and farming in Wales discloses a contested space where visions of the future are hotly debated. This article examines works of Welsh science fiction that have attempted to narrate aspects of rural change from the vantage of futurity. Analysing Islwyn Ffowc Elis’ A Week in Future Wales: A Journey to the Year 2033 (2021;original Welsh version 1957), Lloyd Jones’ Water (2014; original Welsh version 2009), and Cynan Jones' Stillicide (2019), it asks how rural change is conceived in the Welsh context and how these works relate to other narratives of climate change beyond the Welsh context. Focussing on how the resources of the mode are used to investigate the significance of farming landscapes, it will analyse how transformations that respond to key ecologic and socio-political issues are imagined.
Rural change, farming, Wales, water, Cymru
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences