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Anthropology News October 2010 IN FOCUS

Greening in the Red Zone Zone in Cyprus, the Demilitarized

Zone between North and South
Green Space and Disaster Resistance, Recovery and Resilience We operationalize greening
as an integrated approach to the
cultivation (including planting,
Keith G Tidball of individuals and small groups of to prepare for crops, as in work stewardship and adaptive manage-
Cornell U people, in relation to each other the soil or cultivate the land; to ment) of vegetation and green
and powered by the adaptive educate, socialize, form and refine, spaces. Greening takes place in
Access to green space and the act of systems of human life and devel- as in cultivate your musical taste; cities, towns, townships, informal
creating green spaces is well under- opment (Disaster Preparation and to seek the acquaintance or settlements in urban and peri-
stood to promote human health, and Recovery, Ecology and urban areas and in battlefields
especially in therapeutic contexts Society , 2008) This notion of war and of disaster. Greening
among individuals suffering trau- is of particular relevance in [I]t is often argued that all sites include small woodlands,
matic events. Less well understood, areas that are densely popu- public and private urban parks
although currently being studied, is lated, where both catas- and gardens, urban nature areas,
the role of access to green space and trophes and recovery from disasters are local, at least in street tree and city square plant-
the act of creating and caring for it them are most complex. ings, botanical gardens and
in promoting neighborhood health
and well-being as related to social-
Although much of our
thinking about individuals
the short term and that cemeteries. The chapter authors
explore how greening can enable
ecological system resilience. An who have experienced catas- or enhance recovery from disaster
important implication of this work trophe focuses on suffering all human resilience is local. or conflict in situations where
lies in specific instances of greening and despair, Fredrickson et al community members both actively
and the presence of greened spaces (What Good are Positive Emotions goodwill of, or make friends with. and measurably participate in
in promoting and enhancing in Crisis? Journal of Personality Drawing on these multiple defini- and receive benefits from their
recovery, and perhaps resilience, in and Social Psychology, 2003) argue tions and on our interest in nature, greening activities.
social-ecological systems disrupted that not only are resilient people community and crisis, we ask: The term red zone has a history.
or perturbed by violent conflict or buffered from depression by posi- Might there be a role for cultiva- One of its first usages was in refer-
other catastrophic disaster. Despite tive emotions but also actually tion of nature in fostering positive ence to the Zone rouge, the name
the well documented importance thrive through such emotions. In emotions following a disaster or given to about 465 square miles
of interaction with nature in post- a study of individuals who experi- armed conflict? Can cultivation, of northeastern France that was
traumatic stress management, enced the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, and even the presence of the fruits destroyed during World War I
examples of community-based Fredrickson et al conclude that of these labors, contribute to indi- (Smith and Hill, 1920). In more
natural resource management are positive emotions do not disap- vidual and social-ecological resil- recent times, the term has been
often overlooked in disaster relief pear in times of acute and chronic ience after a crisis? used to refer to unsafe areas in Iraq
contexts. stress they are present and func- after the 2003 invasion of the US
In this piece I preview the tional during crisis and that efforts Green and Red and its allies, the opposite of the
forthcoming edited volume titled to cultivate and nurture positive The evidence accumulated in Green Zone, a presumably more
Greening in the Red Zone (Tidball emotions in the aftermath of crisis the forthcoming Greening in the safe area in Iraq. The term was also
and Krasny, eds, Springer), which pay off both in the short-term, by Red Zone focuses on community used to describe dangerous areas
will begin to address this gap in improving subjective experiences, greeners (the people), community in Bangkok, Thailand during the
initial documentation of greening undoing physiological arousal, and greening (the practice) and commu- 2010 unrest (www.ennaharonline.
responses to disaster and will enhancing broad-minded coping, nity green space (the places). The com/en/international/3948.html).
provide illustration and interpreta- and in the long-term, by mini- chapter authors answer ques- For our purposes, we use the term
tion of these greening phenomena mizing depression and building tions about the role of greening red zone to refer to multiple settings
through a series of cases or exam- enduring resources, the hallmark people, practice and places in (spatial and temporal) that may be
ples. Through this book project, of thriving They suggest that building and demonstrating resil- characterized as intense, potentially
and the brief review of it here in this finding positive meaning may be ience in the face of catastrophic or recently hostile or dangerous
commentary, I hope to contribute the most powerful leverage point surprise and change. They explore, areas or times, including those in
to the disaster relief discourse by for cultivating positive emotions through multiple theoretical and post-disaster situations caused by
exploring how access to green during times of crisis methodological lenses, how the act natural disasters such as hurri-
space and the act of creating Might there be a deeper signifi- of people coming together around canes, earthquakes and areas asso-
the restoration and stewardship ciated with terrorist attacks and war.
C O M M E N TA RY of nature might enhance indi- Within these red zones are people
vidual and community resilience, for whom the red zone represents a
green spaces in extreme situations cance to Fredrickson et als choice and perhaps even contribute to perturbation or disruption of their
might contribute to resistance, of the words cultivate and culti- social-ecological system resilience, individual, family and community
recovery and resilience of indi- vating in the above passage? in chaotic post-disaster or post- patterns of living. For a herder in
viduals, communities and social- Marianne Krasny and I propose conflict contexts. Because of the rural Afghanistan, a soldier occu-
ecological systems. that the term cultivate has both rapid growth of cities globally and pying the herders village or a relief
metaphoric and material meaning their ever looming importance as worker from an NGO, red zones
Cultivating Resilience and that both meanings are foun- sites of conflict and disaster, much represent both a time period and
Resilience scholars Masten and dational to the multiple greening of the focus of the discussion is points on a landscape where ecolog-
Obradovi remind us that it is arguments presented in this book. on urban settings (eg, the Berlin ical and social forces are disturbed
often argued that all disasters are According to online dictionaries, Wall, post-Katrina New Orleans, suddenly, drastically and with
local, at least in the short term cultivate has various accepted post-9/11 New York, Sarajevo), little warning. These situations are
and that all human resilience is definitions, such as: to nurture although regionwide examples are referred to as Stability, Security,
local, emerging from the actions or foster the growth of plants; also included (eg, the UN Buffer Transition and Reconstruction

IN FOCUS October 2010 Anthropology News

(SSTR) contexts by aid, diplomacy tance of political conditions to the Mistrust skyrocketed
and military organizations. Sri Lanka success of short-term relief and as delays in deploying
continued from page 9 long-term rebuilding operations. relief to the north and
Filling in the Gaps The tsunami occurred during a east (areas already
Returning to the objective of this example, the tsunami altered land- long-standing conflict between the adversely affected by the civil war)
edited volume, the aim is to explore holding patterns along the coasts Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) increased perceptions of inequity.
how people and their relationship by consolidating property in the and the separatist guerrilla move- By 2006, the 2002 ceasefire had
with nature might enhance indi- hands of hotel developers in some ment of the Liberation Tigers of disintegrated. Increasing hostilities
vidual and community resilience areas with intensive tourism. Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Sri Lankanists led to the official abrogation of the
and perhaps even contribute to In the agricultural and fishing will likely spend another decade cease fire in 2008 and the GoSLs
social-ecological system resilience region on the east coast, alloca- assessing the impact of the tsunami seizure by military campaign of
in chaotic post-disaster or post- tion of house reconstruction funds on Sri Lankas entrenched ethnic all LTTE-occupied territories
conflict contexts. I remind the to male members of the family conflict and the ceasefire that had by mid-2009. In the final anal-
reader that we hope to take very threatened to undermine local been signed in early 2002. Scholars ysis, our tsunami research team
initial steps to address gaps in the traditions of female-owned dowry already concur that the lack of trust watched as the aftermath of the
resilience literature dealing with the houses and the widespread Tamil between the two sides adversely disaster enhanced the authority of
surprisingly few resilience studies and Muslim custom of matrilocal affected the distribution of relief the central government instead of
focused on cultural systems (Wright marriage, placing dwellings in the supplies. Instead of building trust promoting peaceful reconciliation
and Masten 2005). We also plan hands of male instead of female through collaborative humani- between the warring factions.
to attend to the literatures striking kin. Drawing on prior knowledge tarian efforts, the GoSL sought to
absence of work that embeds of the area, anthropologists pointed centralize distribution of interna- Michele Ruth Gamburd is
human development in ecosystems out these changes to development tional aid while the LTTE hoped to professor of anthropology at
that include interactions among workers, and subsequent field- control distribution in the territo- Portland State University. She is
species and nonhuman systems and work revealed that the matrilocal ries under its authority. the author of The Kitchen Spoons
integrates the theory and science household system is likely to be The stakeholders were keenly Handle: Transnationalism and
of individual human resilience in preserved in practice, despite these aware that the microcosm of relief Sri Lankas Migrant Housemaids
development with broader ecolog- post-tsunami housing policies. administration carried implica- (2000) and Breaking the Ashes:
ical systems theory and research An eventual return to local Tamil tions for territorial control, polit- The Culture of Illicit Liquor in Sri
exemplified by resilience scholar- Hindu goddess worship was also ical legitimacy and national sover- Lanka (2008).
ship (Masten and Obradovi 2008). documented despite the immediate eignty. Aggressive Sinhala nation-
This book is not intended to post-tsunami loss of faith in protec- alists categorically refused to Dennis B McGilvray is professor
be the answer or the proverbial tive seashore temples and shrines. devolve power in the distribu- of anthropology at University of
silver bullet for post-conflict and tion of aid, believing that this step Colorado at Boulder. His most
post-disaster situations, nor for Political Fallout would grant undue legitimacy to recent books include Muslim
advocates of community forestry Disasters always unfold within the LTTEs de facto state in the Perspectives on the Sri Lankan
and greening. We dont intend pre-existing political contexts. Sri north. Unable to agree on power Conflict (with Mirak Raheem,
to communicate that community Lankas recovery from the tsunami sharing for the administration of 2007) and Crucible of Conflict:
greening is a panacea. However, provides multiple lessons about humanitarian aid, the warring Tamil and Muslim Society on the
we have increasingly heard from disaster diplomacy and the impor- parties fell deeper into conflict. East Coast of Sri Lanka (2008).
post-conflict planners in military
and development assistance agen-
cies, in urban community devel-
opment contexts and among post-
disaster first responders that there February 2011 Anthropology News Call for Proposals:
is something important about the Circulation of Knowledge and Culture
role humans relationship with
nature plays in survival situations, As we begin 2011, the dissemination of knowledge tion of knowledge and culture play out in research?
when the threat of loss of life, and culture continue to change. When doing the How can anthropological knowledge better cross
of home and hearth is real and work of anthropology, one must learn how others disciplinary boundaries and be circulated outside
looms large, or after disaster strikes communicate their culture, whether it be through anthropology?
when one is trying to put the pieces objects, actions or language. In turn, anthropolo-
back together again. This book, gists share what they learn. Guidelines
we hope, will begin to document For the February issue of Anthropology News, we To participate, email a 300-word abstract and
these reports and engage them crit- seek proposals for a thematic series on the circu- 50100-word biosketch to Anthropology News
ically from a number of disciplines lation of knowledge and culture. We invite you to Acting Managing Editor Amy Goldenberg
and perspectives. explore how knowledge circulates among all stake- ( We welcome pro-
holders, whether research participants, colleagues posals for In Focus commentaries, Teaching
Keith G Tidball serves as asso- or others outside of anthropology. We welcome Strategies, Field Notes articles, photo essays, news
ciate director and cofounder of the proposals that reflect on a variety of questions stories and interviews. Proposals for photo essays
Civic Ecology Lab in the College including but not limited to: How does knowledge should also include up to five high resolution photo-
of Agriculture and Life Sciences circulate? How do we circulate this knowledge back graphs (tiff or jpg), each with a caption and credit.
and as extension associate in the to the communities studied? How are people in Selected authors will be notified of their status in
Department of Natural Resources communities studied following up on the results early November, and full articlescommentaries of
at Cornell University. His research of anthropologists work? How might this circu- 1,000-1,400 words or shorter pieces for other article
focuses on community-based lation of ideas change culture? How does circula- typeswill be due December 1.
natural resource management in
post-catastrophe contexts, within a Proposal submission deadline: October 20, 2010. Early submissions are encouraged.
resilience framework.