WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Javier E. Fox (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Heather Erickson

Abstract: My thesis essay and creative work examines and critiques contemporary attitudes towards environmental sustainability by exploring the philosophies and practices of earlier global cultures that led them to a more harmonious existence with the natural world. My interest in this subject is intensely personal and based on my experience as an immigrant to the U.S. Growing up in the mountains of Colombia, I learned the importance of balance in life. We understood that our actions had a direct effect on the environment. As children, we are taught that humans are deeply connected to nature, dependent on its vital resources for survival and, therefore, responsible for acting as caretakers of our environment for the benefit of our entire community. In moving to the U.S., I observed many differences including a disconnection between people and nature, which is most evident in the vast amount of consumption and misuse of resources. As a citizen, I am concerned about what is lost when we remove the natural world from our lives and value a sanitized way of life that is mainly concerned with convenience. My research investigates cultures that for centuries, have lived in harmony and balance with the natural world. My research intended to compel the viewer to think about what these cultures might teach us about the way we distribute and use natural resources. My hope is to make work that contributes to a deeper appreciation and awareness of the consequence of our culture.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Environmental sociology
Restoration ecology
Environmental ethics

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