The Futility and Power of Cleaning a Landscape

Published in Worldwide Waste: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies.

This paper investigates why the culling of corvids in Northern Cyprus continues despite it being recognised by those that do it as ineffective. Participant observation, semi-structured interviews and archival research were conducted with a range of people involved in the management and practice of culling. The analysis shows that the introduction of the ruined landscape narrative to Cyprus during the era of British colonialism established a division between civilized and uncivilized, clean, and dirty behaviours amongst nonhuman animals. This relationship has been carried through into contemporary wildlife management by organisations involved in hunting who seek to maintain a clean hunting landscape through culling. However, it is argued here that this culling is futile and there is a disconnect between the effectiveness of the management of the landscape and what hunters are witnessing during hunting. Nonetheless, it continues because the cleaning of corvids as administratively recorded waste demonstrates the organisations’ and their administrative medium’s power and control over the landscape.

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