COUNTRYSIDE

“For me, it's just being outside the city, being cut off from the world..."
“I had the impression that by living in the countryside, you were excluded from a whole life of dynamism that you could find in the city, but not in the countryside.”
“Well, it suited me to live in seclusion... it suited me. There are people who prefer to live in urban areas. For me, it's the opposite. And even now, I would dream of living in the countryside, of being a bit far from everything.”
“When we work, we feel included in society because we participate in it. We are not excluded from diversity either, but politicians try to separate, to exclude individuals, communities, races.”

 

Theoretical Background

Countryside is a general word which refers to rural areas. The countryside is constituted by farmed fields and inhabited spaces. The word “countryside” has a lot of meanings. It is often seen in opposition to the city, since it is characterized by nature, in contrast to the urban and the artificial. Countryside has often a negative connotation: it is associated with degrowth and poverty. In France, an area of low-density population located in the countryside is even called “la diagonale du vide”: the empty diagonal. Countryside is also often criticised for its “emptiness”, mostly in terms of services and job opportunities. In 1947, Jean François Gravier published a book named “Paris et le désert français”, “Paris and the French desert” in English, where he describes the French territory as macrocephalic, meaning a territory centred on one city. Everything that is not urban is thus qualified as empty.