About the talk

Niklas Maak presents two different cases to show how the countryside changes – positively – as a result of unforeseen events. First, he describes a paradoxical development using the example of gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda. The efforts to preserve their habitat led to the wild animals becoming habituated to the presence of humans and, as a result, leaving their natural habitat. Thus, a new zone has emerged unplanned, where gorillas and humans coexist, blurring the boundaries between civilization and wilderness. For the second example, Maak refers to the impact of the 2015 migration movement on rural communities in arrival countries. In depopulated villages in Italy and Germany migrants from Africa and the Middle East created new communities that brought vitality to desolate rural places.

“The countryside could become a space of experimentation, of freedom and self-determination, of acceleration, of new forms of beauty, of resistance.”

— Niklas Maak