Friday, March 23, 2012

Jim Mason and Landscape:
Jim Mason: at his hogan January 10, 2006
The landscape in Burnham, NM on the Navajo Nation has changed in the past 6 years since I first met Jim Mason in 2006.  On that cold January day he talked about how his hogan shook like an earthquake when the dynamite blasts at the mine were set off.  How he was concerned about the blasting causing Mother Earth to come apart under his home.  How his sheep could no longer drink the water.  Jim asked "who is doing this without telling us"?
Jim Mason: his hogan broken apart by mine blasting June 5, 2008
For 2 1/2 years I watched as the mine encroached on Jim's home.  In June of 2008 I stopped to talk with him.  I knew the blasting had greatly damaged his hogan. "Everything inside our home is falling down.  No one, the mine, or the Federal Government has contacted us.  No offer has been made to help rebuild our hogan.  The blasting continues 7 days a week, 24 hours a day". 
Jim Mason: remains of hogan destroyed by mine blasting August 22, 2011
That June day in 2008 was the last time I saw and spoke with Jim.  In August of 2011 I drove by his home.  The sheep were gone and a small pile of wood lay where his hogan and home had once stood.

The Oxford Dictionary of Geography defines landscape as: "An area, the appearance of an area, or the gathering of objects which produce that appearance.  The concept of the landscape as the expression of interaction between humans and their environment".

Jim was part of the interaction between humans and their environment. He had little choice on the outcome. 

be strong, be safe, Carlan

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