Troubles with Turtles: Cultural Understandings of the Environment on a Greek Island
Berghahn Books, Incorporated
"Though predominantly informative about Greek rural life, the book constitutes an illustrative and informative account about human relationships with the natural world more generally." * H-Environment The people of Vassilikos, farmers and tourist entrepreneurs on the Greek island of Zakynthos, are involved in a bitter environmental dispute concerning the conservation of sea turtles. Against the environmentalists' practices and ideals they set their own culture of relating to the land, cultivation, wild and domestic animals. Written from an anthropological perspective, this book puts forward the idea that a thorough study of indigenous cultures is a fundamental step to understanding conflicts over the environment. For this purpose, the book offers a detailed account of the cultural depth and richness of the human environmental relationship in Vassilikos, focusing on the engagement of its inhabitants with diverse aspects of the local environment, such as animal care, agriculture, tourism and hunting. Dimitris Theodossopoulos is a lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Bristol and a senior research fellow at St Peter's College, Oxford. In the early nineties he carried out fieldwork on environmental politics and the indigenous perceptions of the environment in rural Greece. He is currently teaching anthropology and writing on a variety of themes, ranging from the human-environmental relationship to the ethnography of conflict and nationalism in the Balkans. His most recent field of interest focuses on Greek attitudes towards the Turks and the Greco-Turkish politics of friendship.