Mending Waterscapes: Restoring River Landscapes

The destruction and pollution of rivers was a precondition for early urbanisation. With this seminar we invite you to explore intersections and tensions that exist between how the historical, cultural and natural sciences approach the restoration of river landscapes.

Register here! Please register by November 28th for physical or digital attendance.

A graphic of an orange sun setting in a sea of blue waves.

Program

14:15 Karen Lykke Syse and Erica Colman-Denstad: Welcome and Introduction

14:25: Jonathan E. Colman: In the twilight zone: Challenges to restoring riparian zones are not (eco)logical

14:45 Malin Kristine Graesse: Moving water and fish: Notes on the relationship between design and river restoration

15:05 Martin Lee Müller: Restoring river landscapes and river mindscapes. Between science, art and community engagement.

15:25 Coffee break

15:40 Gro Ween: Returning from the brink of extinction. Thinking with Akerselva Salmon.

16:00 Knut Nustad: Trout and the future of colonial river landscapes in South Africa: Contemporary debates.

16:20 Coffee break

16:30 Panel led by William Nore

Presentation abstracts


In the twilight zone: Challenges to restoring riparian zones are not (eco)logical by Jonathan E. Colman

Portrait of Jonathan ColmanJonathan E. Colman (ecologist) has been lecturing and working with restoration ecology for over 20 years. In this time, and long before, the importance of riparian zones and the ecological functions they perform along small brooks, streams, rivers, lakes and more has been well recognized in the scientific community. Colman will present a brief background into riparian zones, their degradation, and some examples of restoration efforts in Norway. Importantly, Colman claims that there exists a serious lack of engagement, understanding or knowledge amongst the key actors involved when aiming to restore riparian zones. What is really happening? Why is restoring riparian zones in practice so easy, yet in reality still so difficult? How can we better understand and improve the present situation?

 

Moving water and fish: Notes on the relationship between design and river restoration by Malin Kristine Graesse

Portrait of Malin Kristine græsseGraesse is an art and design historian working with the role of design in river restoration and fisheries management. In this presentation she will discuss the relationship between nature conservation, cultural heritage management and landscape design in river restoration projects. The presentation draws on material from her Ph.D. dissertation on the design history of fishways where she also explored the methodological potential of bringing art and design historical perspectives into nature conservation discourses.

 

Restoring river landscapes and river mindscapes. Between science, art and community engagement by Martin Lee Müller

Image may contain: Hat, Forehead, Hair, Head, Chin.Since his debut Being Salmon, Being Human (2017), ecophilosopher Martin Lee Mueller has been working at the crossroads between academia, art, and community engagement, on 4the double-theme of restoring rivers landscapes and restorying river mindscapes. A baseline for Mueller’s work is the argument that ecological restoration goes hand in hand with cultural restorying. Most recently, this work has propelled a community-driven festival on the Akerselva River in Oslo. MOTSTRØMS – “Against the Current” – began as a salmon homecoming festival in 2021, ten years after a fatal chlorine spill. In 2022, MOTSTRØMS has developed into a Deep Ecology Festival, a deep, annual inbreath between the human and the more-than-human, and a hub for cultural metamorphosis.

 

Returning from the brink of extinction. Thinking with Akerselva Salmon by Gro Ween

Portrait of Gro WeenSome wild animal species adapt well to urbanization, but as Akerselva provides testimony of, this is not the case with wild salmon. Up until the 1970s, salmon was a rare occurrence in Akerselva, Oslo's inner city's much neglected waterway. Today, Akerselva has become a loved green attraction, and the city celebrates the return of wild salmon in the river. Multiple webpages describe the wonder of being able to fish a 10 kilo wild salmon, almost from the beer terrace of the groovy inner city jazz venue, Blå. In this talk I describe the many kinds of work involved in bringing salmon back from the threat of extinction, and what this story can tell us about extinction, salmon, wild and tame, care for fish and landscape, in and beyond Akerselva.

 

Trout and the future of colonial river landscapes in South Africa: Contemporary debates by Knut Nustad

Portrait of Knut NustadWhat does it mean to restore river landscapes profoundly altered by land dispossessions and colonialism? Where policies for curbing pollution went hand in hand with the introduction of alien species for sport and the ‘Anglification’ of landscapes? The presentation gives an overview of contemporary debates in South Africa, and how these are entangled in wider conversations about property, restoration and attempts at undoing colonial histories.
 

Published Nov. 10, 2022 12:09 PM - Last modified Nov. 28, 2022 3:26 PM