Creative Participation: Rethinking Reclamation

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Virginia Tech

This project investigates the development of Western Man's relationship with nature by comparing and contrasting it with the relationship that Native Cultures, particularly Native American Cultures have with nature. This reveals Western Man's reliance on the concept of objectivity and the resultant objectification of the natural world. In so doing Western Man has put himself apart from the rest of the world, somehow above it. Although I do not argue that this is wholly unjust, I do argue that it has resulted in a loss of an essential component of the human experience. Creative Participation is identified as a way to bring together some of the lessons of the Native communities with the existing knowledge of Western Society. This knowledge is then applied to the practical problem of Mine Land Reclamation in Southern West Virginia. Creative Participation, at its heart, is a way to reconnect man with the reality of his connection to the rest of the world, rather than his separation and control of it.

Coal Mine Reclamation, Native American Religion, Southern West Virginia