Dr. Katharina Schneider
(Universität Heidelberg)

Northern Javanese Waterscapes: A Comparative Perspective


What do we do, as maritime anthropologists, if the stories and everyday practices, personal experiences and strivings for success of the fishers we work with take us away from the sea, into spiritually rich coastal landscapes or transnational Islamic networks? What if in fishers’ lifeworlds, water matters (“waterscapes”), but saltwater is not necessarily central? In this paper, I utilize maritime perceptual strategies learned from saltwater people Papua New Guinea for exploring how three different waterscapes emerge from and feed back into social contestations in a fishery in northern Java. I also suggest how the approach trialled here for one fishery may be extended across ethnographic cases.

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