Displacement from sensory connections to cultural identity and place, and an examination of some consequences for human and environmental wellbeing
The modern world facilitates increasing disconnection from land, cultural identity and each other. Yet as humans we have an inherent need to connect and belong.
This paper, in light of insights gained through the writer’s art practice, examines how people make sense of the world through sensory responses to the environment and what it is that disconnects people. It considers how sensory responses to the environment manifest themselves in the way buildings are designed, what food is eaten and where it is sourced, the way people relate to each other, and other day-to-day miscellanea. The paper concludes that, in their turn, these new visual and sensory layers that are introduced to the world reinforce, perpetuate and visually mirror back exactly what people’s relationship to the land is.
The paper suggests that these visual, auditory and tactile ramifications of a population’s actions affect sense of belonging, and consequently individual and environmental wellbeing such that people are driven to seek out alternative ways of connecting when traditional connections to land, community and cultural identity become increasingly unattainable.