Voices 06/12/2010

Air and space producers

Duccio Corsini

Farmers give for granted that they produce air and space for everybody. We rely on them for the per capita quota of vital goods which represent the minimum requirement for survival on Earth. It is now the time to remember it and develop a new sensitivity, changing the cultural perception, image and idea of the country and those who work it and live in it. The farmer is the main producer of air and space, not just someone who trades corn, oil or wine.

These goods are also correlate to the esthetic and functional structure of the landscape which was inherited from the previous generations. The farmer is, in this historic epoch, in a relevant position with respect to his and the society’s future. A position which is full of responsibility but which also represents an interesting chance to act, because the production of those goods assumed an ethical meaning. Air and space for all give an important social role to farmers.

I am aware that the crisis of consolidated models and common ideas in the farming world makes it hard to understand the enormity of the innovation at hand. As it happens in all crisis which overwhelm a system of values, leaving people in awe, the simple consideration of the agriculture as the activity to produce food is not enough and forces to relate to a different solution and to a change in way of thinking the agriculture.

I do not have ways to suggest now, but I desire to make questions.

Who manages the territory?

To manage the territory, different aspects ought to be taken into account: the property, the entrepreneurial spirit, the defense of the environment and the cultural vision. Should these aspects be kept separated or be considered complementary one of the others?

In the end, managing the territory entails preserving the landscape?

I am convinced that for the management of a territory, these aspects are closely related and parts of a non divisible union. The future of all, represented by the available air and space, is comprehended in the formula which defines the landscape:

P (Landscape) = S (Individual) + N (Nature) As Michael Jakob wrote, there is no landscape without individuals, neither landscape without nature. The addition in the formula is the link point between the two, and our look, conditioned by the way of thinking, determines the landscape that we would like to create.

The focus today is mostly on the individual who produces and little on the capital and on the land, which is instead the true added value represented by the investments which are necessary to plan the future.
Owning the land, no matter the size, is the strong and indestructible drive which pushes towards the future, through the history, preservation and improvement of the land itself. Owning a land is being aware to live in a chunk of the planet.

Since the sharecropper is a figure who is disappearing, the cultural issue depend on a change of the vision, since the farmer and the land owner tend to be the same person more and more, nowadays. Like in all human events, when form and content, or the goal and the means to achieve it, or more in general the spirit and the matter are separated, the orientation is lost more easily. It is necessary to put the farmers at the center of attentions.
The farmers are producers of landscape, first guardians of the future of the environment and of the development of their territories. Belonging to the land is a human and social fact, that those directly interested by it should feel as a visceral feeling.

di Duccio Corsini