Shaped by Rivers

March 9th, 2020

Exploring the reciprocal relationship between people, rivers, and the landscape, focusing on the unique setting of the Driftless Area of the Upper Mississippi region.

Field Guide 02 and exercises in embodied knowledge

Spared the homogenizing effects of glaciers, the Driftless area of the upper Mississippi region reflects the uninterrupted work of rivers over millions of years. Characterized by deeply incised river valleys, the land resisted agricultural practices and gridded transportation systems imposed on surrounding flatlands. The Shaped by Rivers field guide explores how this anachronistic geography demanded a unique relationship from its human inhabitants, and how recent flooding continues to raise questions around global impacts on this reciprocal web of relations: human, land, and river. Accompanying this, a set of exercises pursue the question of how we might center respect and care in visions of community and ecological health, while embodying a knowledge and remembrance that resists settler-colonial amnesia.