Becoming 'Wild' at the Intersection of Knowledges : Coffee Rust Crisis in Costa Rica
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This article explores the relationship between visualism, practice and knowledge through the specific case of the 2012–2013 coffee rust-epidemic and its repercussions among small-scale coffee farmers in Turrialba, Costa Rica. The article shows how the rust-epidemic marked an alteration not only in farmers and agronomists’ perceptions of roya, but also in farming practices. The argument of the article is twofold: First, that the perceptual shift of roya from being ‘calm’ to becoming ‘wild’ involved both top-down and bottom-up processes; and, second, that farmers increasingly combine looking and seeing in their daily management practices. We illustrate these dynamic interchanges by drawing on Okely’s (2001, Visualism and Landscape: Looking and Seeing in Normandy. Ethnos, 66(1):99–120) approach to visualism, and argue that an emphasis on interchanges and interconnections between knowledges is essential in dealings with ecological alteration.