Looking beyond the fence. The production of military landscapes

Thomas Theis Nielsen, Stig Roar Svenningsen

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Military landscapes are much more than the physical space where the military occupies itself and where it holds land deeds; barracks, training grounds, depots etc. We will argue that military landscapes and spaces transcends ideas of bounded, Euclidian spaces and should be conceptualized rather as a
complex system of social interactions constantly changing as the result of the spatial practices of the military and of civil society. Hence, military landscapes are not just a constant physical space and cannot only be measured and understood solely in terms of physical structures; hectares of training grounds or prices of office buildings alone. While physical structures such as depot building, barracks etc. all display a very constant presence, the actual use of these structures may vary considerably, even within a relatively limited timespan. Other structures and their use are more stable and constant for longer periods. Military landscapes, we argue, should be conceptualized, inspired by the ideas of Henri Lefebvre and other key thinkers in geography. Hence, military landscapes and spaces are constantly produced as the result of interaction between the spatial practice of the military, the physical space and installations found herein and finally the representations of military spaces, for instance maps, images, statues etc. In this paper, we will conceptualize the military landscape of Denmark in the past 150 years. We will focus on the ephemeral practices and presence of the military as well as the long lasting military influence on the cartographic practice of Danish topographical mapping and the construction of memorial sites in order to establish a more comprehensive understanding of military landscapes and spaces in Denmark.
Original languageDanish
Publication date14 Feb 2018
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2018
EventMilitary and Postmilitary Landscapes: Central European Conference of Historical Geographers - Charles University, Faculty of Science, Prag, Czech Republic
Duration: 14 Feb 201815 Feb 2018


ConferenceMilitary and Postmilitary Landscapes
LocationCharles University, Faculty of Science
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address

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