عنوان مقاله [English]
Landscape may be made up of both physical and geographical features but they are also constituted through perceived experiences. We construct landscape through imagination as much as through vision. We also inhabit and cultivate our environment and transform it into multifaceted cultural landscapes.
Wars transform these cultural landscapes both physically and mentally, and with dramatic consequences. Evidence is visible not only in the mental constructions of landscape (in ideas, concepts, texts, images, or maps), but also in the physical landscape itself: traces and material witnesses of war are manifold.
Remaining structures and objects such as battlefields, front lines, walls, or fortifications have been either transformed into heritage sites or closed off as prohibited zones. War graves, cemeteries, and memorials were built to bury the dead and to commemorate countless lost lives. War gardening programs were initiated to counteract scarcity of food and depression at home. Camouflage landscapes created invisibility and devastated areas called for restoration. Even in Switzerland, said to be a land of peace and plenty, we can find traces of war landscapes and land used for defense.
Evidence is also given in theoretical approaches to landscape. The term "sense of place" is a key concept that focuses on behavioral and emotional approaches and attitudes toward spatial settings and landscapes. It highlights the love for landscape but also points to fear and danger as determining elements. After all, the direct experience of war has greatly influenced landscape perception and reflection, as is visible in the work of both the German sociologist Kurt Lewin and the US-American landscape historian John Brinkerhoff Jackson.
In this paper1, I will focus on how war shapes landscapes and informs our understanding and perception of landscape. I will first discuss landscape perception in the context of fear and danger and then I will present exemplary war-related structures and practices of shaping the landscape, some of which persist to this very day.