Cultural Landscape Concept in Russian Geography

A conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the "Cultural Landscape" seminar. Photo by the RGS press center
A conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the "Cultural Landscape" seminar. Photo by the RGS press center

A conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the "Cultural Landscape" interdisciplinary seminar was held at the Society HQ Headquarters in Moscow. The main questions discussed included the current state and prospects for the development of the cultural landscape in the Russian Geography.

The cultural landscape is a geographical landscape transformed by people due to human purposeful activity. The term is used in geography, as well as in other branches of science (archeology, history, ethnology) and interdisciplinary arears. The term was introduced at the beginning of the 20th century by German geographer Otto Schluter, who opposed it to a natural primitive landscape.

The following scientists spoke at the conference: one of the founders of the Russian Research Institute of the Cultural and Natural Heritage named after Likhachev, Dr. Sci. in Geography Yuri Vedenin (he spoke about the cultural landscape as the historical memory of Oikumene), the leading researcher of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, candidate of sciences in geography Vladimir Streletsky (he spoke about the cultural landscape in the cultural geography), professor, Dr. Sci. in Geography Andrei Manakov (he spoke about the transformation of the ethnic and confessional space of Russia since the early XVIII century) and other well-known geographers.
“If the space is urbanized, then the cultural landscape in it is an urban landscape ... Today the city has become a reflection of the state of society that we still have to comprehend. The city spreads where we could not have even imagined before - to the oceans and seas. Now we are moving towards the space urbanization ", Ivan Mitin, a professor of the Graduate School of Urban Studies of the Higher School of Economics, emphasized in his report.

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Главный редактор журнала "Культурная и гуманитарная география", к.г.н. Иван Митин. Фото: пресс-служба РГО

The theme of the cultural landscape is supplementary and it is reflected in various publications, for example, in the book by Olga Lavrenova "Geographical space in the Russian poetry of the XVIII - early XX centuries."

The "Cultural Landscape" seminar started by the Geographical Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1993 and now it has become an interdisciplinary one. Since the Russian Geographical Society Committee for the Cultural Geography was created in 2005, the seminar has been held within its framework. Many professors, researchers, students and graduate students from Russian Universaties as well as scientists from various research institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, school teachers, writers, cinematographers and representatives of public organizations are used to take part in this seminar. “The space of the Earth organizes culture, and culture organizes space" – these words by Yuri Vedenin perfectly reflect the "poles of attraction" that demonstrate the interdisciplinary nature of this seminar.