Visions Aqueuses en Lower Murray Country

Abstract : Waters are contested entities that are currently at the centre of most scientific discussions about sustainability. Discourse around water management underlines both the serious absence and devastating overabundance of water: rising sea levels compete against desertification; hurricanes and floods follow periods of prolonged drought. As we increasingly pollute, canalise and desalinate waters, the ambiguous nature of our relationship with these entities becomes visible. And, while we continue to damage what most sustains us, collective precarity grows. It is therefore unsurprising that shifting our understanding, and subsequent use, of water has been described as one of the biggest—and most pressing—challenges of our time.My research answers to this challenge. It centres on spatial poetics, that is, on the manner in which people engage and interact with their environment through art. More precisely, I explore the relationships between humans, waters and sound—both intrinsic and human-produced—in Lower Murray Country (South Australia). My aim is to unveil, theorise and create maps of these co-evolving relationships to reveal an array of manners to perceive and relate to these waters; and then draw on this plurality to question—and potentially reimagine—their cultural construction and representation. In order to do so, I transform waters into a leitmotif which enables me to weave my investigation together and move in-between theoretical and physical spaces to bring people and their environments into dialogue, both at the local and global levels. In particular, I draw on the watery movements of flow and resonance to operate this weaving, and associate these with rhythmanalysis and resounding (after philosophers Henri Lefebvre and Fran Dyson, respectively). I am also inspired by the work of philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant and use his concept of Relation as a key to enable me to translate these watery movements textually.I apply this aqueous theoretical frame to nearly two centuries of sonic production—ranging from Ngarrindjeri performance and colonial ballads through to contemporary classical music and sound art; and to nearly two centuries of evolution in the sonic character of Lower Murray Country’s waters—ranging from disfiguring deforestation and damming through to rising salinity and irrigation. As such, this thesis is built on the “accumulation of examples” advocated by Glissant (Poetics of Relation 172-4). It is structured around four sections—four punctiform visions of waters written as a prelude to a potential infinity of others. Furtive, partial, oriented and fragmented, these visions denote times of particular significance: times open to challenge; times of hinges and articulations where radical alteration (can) occur.
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Camille Rouliere. Visions Aqueuses en Lower Murray Country. Linguistique. Normandie Université; University of Adelaide (Australie), 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018NORMC014⟩. ⟨tel-02019036⟩

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