Wind Power and Landscape: Global Concerns vs Local Costs


Wind farms in Portugal have spread enormously during the last decade and are transforming the social and physical landscape. The map of classified areas in the country shows a great coincidence between main privileged sites of wind potential and protected areas. Starting from case studies in different regions where wind power has been recently developed, we approach issues of landscape management, protection, fruition and how they are intertwining with energy policies. Through ethnographic lenses our aim is to understand how global issues are perceived at the local level, selecting as case studies projects involving protected areas in Portugal.

This approach is one component of a collaborative project that is integrated in the "Emerging Energies, Emerging Landscapes" international network and aims to analyze the environmental policies and social processes that are leading to “the emergence of new wind energy landscapes” in three European countries: France, Germany and Portugal.

Biographical Note:

Professor Afonso has PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology and lectures in the Department of Anthropology, FCSH - Universidade Nova de Lisboa. She is a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at UMass Amherst in the Anthropology Department from September 13, 2013 to February 14, 2014.  Her main research interests include social change and development, applied anthropology, and social impact analysis.

She has participated in the project «Eoliennes et paysage : la politique éolienne entre politique de l'environnement et politique du paysage» [Wind Power and Landscape: Wind Power Politics, from Environment to Landscape Policies], coordinated by CIRED, sponsored by MEDD (Ministère de l’Écologie et du Developpement Durable, France) - Program Paysage et développement durable (2007-2010).

Recent publications include:

(2013) Sendim – Planalto Mirandês. Valores em Mudança no Final do séc. XX, Lisboa: Colibri.

with NADAÏ, Alain et al. (2013) “Une comparaison de l’émergence de paysages éoliens en France, Allemagne et Portugal “ in Yves Luginbühl, Daniel Terrasson (coord) Paysage et développement durable, Paris: Éditions Quæ.

(2012) Etnografias com Ciganos. Diferenciação e Resistência Cultural, Lisboa: Colibri.

with Carlos Mendes (2012) «Wind Power in the Portuguese Landscape: Global Concerns and Local Costs». in Negotiating Environmental Conflicts: Local Communities, Global Policies, Gisela Welz, Franziska Sperling and Eva-Maria Blum Editors, Series “Kulturanthropologie Notizen”, Universitat Frankfurt.

with Carlos Mendes (2010) «Energía Eólica y Paisajes Protegidos: Controversias en el Parque Natural de Montesinho». Nimbus, nº25-26.

(2006) «Practicing Anthropology in Portugal» in C. Hill e M. Baba, eds, in The Globalization of Anthropology; Co-edited with Sarah Pink and László Kürti (2004) Working Images, London: Routledge.


IGERT 24 Oct 2013 Ana Isabel Afonso from UMass Offshore Wind IGERT on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 2:30pm
Gunness Engineering Student Center conference room in Marcus Hall