Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Permaculture as counterculture (online)

Value the Edge: Permaculture as Counterculture in Australia

This paper considers permaculture as an example of counterculture in Australia. Rather than describing the history of permaculture, the authors choose two moments as paradigmatic of its evolution in relation to counterculture. The first moment is permaculture’s beginnings as part of the back to the land movement, coalescing around the publication in 1978 of Permaculture One by Mollison and Holmgren, which functioned as “a disruptive technology, an idea that threatened to disrupt business as usual". The second moment is best exemplified by the definition of permaculture as “also a world wide network and movement of individuals and groups working in both rich and poor countries on all continents” (Holmgren). We argue that the shift in understanding of permaculture from the “back to the land movement” to the contemporary conceptualisation of permaculture as a global network of practices, is representative of the shifting dynamic between dominant paradigms and counterculture from the 1970s to the present.

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