Producing Seascapes

Producing Seascapes is a short documentary (26 minutes) which sets out to explore how visions of coastal environments and seascapes differ between European, national, regional and municipal planners, as well as local people and visitors. The case study is in the Northern Bohuslän archipelago and coastal region on the west coast of Sweden.

In this pilot project, we wanted to find out to what extent the Swedish planning approach envisaged for the marine environment of Northern Bohuslän takes into account how people value their marine environment.

Planning and managing the marine environment is ultimately about managing humans. While ecological, social and economic considerations are part of the process, marine planning entails societal choices which reflect specific visions of what the marine environment ought to be. These visions reflect human values and worldviews that are generally accepted as being true.  Yet, different values often come into conflict with each other. The existence and influence of values are rarely recognised in marine science or policy at national and European levels of governance. Yet, it is the collective choices made by local people through the resources they use, and the places they visit and live in, that drive many pressures on the marine environment. Understanding local level perspectives will be critical in shaping the unfolding policy process for our seas.

This pilot project was developed by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Scotland and Sweden, consisting of art-science team Ruth Brennan and Stephen Hurrel from Scotland, working with Prof. Andrea Nightingale from the University of Gothenburg and SLU Uppsala, and Linus Karlsson and Elina Anderson from the University of Gothenburg.

A public participatory approach was devised by Brennan and Hurrel in order to engage with local people and visitors in the Northern Bohuslän region.

The purpose of this documentary is to provoke thought, in order to highlight the importance of allowing different ‘stories’ to be visible and acknowledged in the planning of the marine environment.

Link to our film on Vimeo


Project details

Duration: Sep 14 - Jan 16

Funders: University of Gothenburg - The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, Tjärnö (Value: SEK358,000). Additional funding provided by MASTS (Value: £500)

Partners: Stephen Hurrel (Hurrel Visual Arts); Andrea Nightingale (University of Gothenburg and SLU Uppsala); Linus Karlsson (University of Gothenburg); Elina Andersson (University of Gothenburg)