Pastoralism and transhumance: keeping the age-old legacy of shepherding alive
How to regenerate the pastoralist culture that is losing ground so quickly? This problem is of a European scale, not just a national phenomenon. In 2012 Stéphane Verlett-Botéro organised as a secretary of the European Network of Pastoralists organizations an assembly of shepherds at the Documenta in Kassel. The goal of the assembly was to show that sustaining the pastoralism has a cultural dimension. It is not just of economic importance, it is also an ancestral culture that forged Europe. The shepherds are the artists that for 10000 years have sculpted Europe’s landscape. The pastoralism is heavily threatened by the agro-industry, by land-rights, by mining and by accumulation of bureaucratic norms. To give an example, electronic chips are now mandatory to trace the kettle, but this doesn’t make sense for a shepherd. He knows every single one of his animals, so it is just an unnecessary measure representing enormous costs. Verlett-Botéro sees the shepherds as one of the last autochthonous people in Europe. To save this tradition, the current effort is to make political demands by a united European Network of Pastoralist organizations.
- [Stéphane Verlett-Botéro]
Musée de l’Homme, Paris