Data centres, precision-farming, home offices and increasing connectivity: new forms of rurality are emerging physically and conceptually, and new dynamics are at play between ‘human’, ‘extra human’ and ‘non-human’ scales. What possibilities might there be within these new inter-scale relationships? What social and environmental gains and losses are at stake? Re-Scaling the Rural aims to initiate a critical investigation of past, current, and what may become future concepts and interpretations of rural life.
The UN’s 2018 Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) highlighted the power imbalance that exists between the ‘big players’ in global agribusiness on one hand, and smallholding farmers, local fishing communities, migrant rural workers and indigenous peoples, on the other.
While the UNDROP may be primarily aimed at developing countries, it may be as relevant to many European countries where, for instance, big farming industries are replacing small-scale farming at a rapid pace and villages are being abandoned, partly as a consequence of politically supported centralization.
Does UNDROP belong to a paradigmatic alternative to the ‘urbanization of everything’? What kinds of ruralities might pertain if small rural voices (including those of other species) were listened to more? What can cities learn from villages? (and vice versa)? What if farms and other industrial projects in affluent countries got smaller instead of bigger?
Re-scaling the Rural will be interdisciplinary, international and local in scope. It will take place in, and be informed by, the Thy region of the west coast of Denmark. The conference will include paper presentations, keynote lectures and guided walks and talks in the area.