Where horses run free? Autonomy, temporality and rewilding in the Côa Valley, Portugal

Caitlin DeSilvey, Nadia Bartolini
2018 Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers  
This paper builds on work about rewilding and human-animal relations by focusing inquiry on Portugal's Côa Valley, where a concentration of prehistoric rock art animal figures shares a landscape with a rewilding pilot which seeks to reestablish a population of wild horses. In response to recent geographical debates, the paper offers a sustained, situated analysis of the temporalities of rewilding and related claims to nonhuman autonomy. In the Côa Valley, ancient images of animal others are
more » ... imal others are enrolled in efforts to return "wild" horses to the landscape, but conceptions of wildness and domesticity, and autonomy and temporality, remain fluid and unfixedeven as they are implicated in the production of bounded spaces and invoked in present-day management imperatives. To conclude, we argue for an appreciation of degrees of animal autonomy in rewilding contexts, moving beyond the binaries that often seem to be the focus of rewilding debates. Understanding of these degrees of autonomy, we argue, must be grounded in histories of landscape co-habitation and co-production, and consider the intersection of past cultural tradition and conceptions of desired future natures. K E Y W O R D S cultural geography, heritage, landscape, nature conservation, rewilding, rock art
doi:10.1111/tran.12251 fatcat:6urk6g7ej5b65efvwdgz3w4f5a