Rurality Re-Imagined

Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers and Wild Things

Ben Stringer


Rurality Re-imagined is divided into four loosely themed sections: Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers, and Wild Things with each comprised of five or six diverse chapters. In the section on Villagers, rural communities are considered as assemblages and spaces of vernacularity, as dark settings for TV dramas, new wave photography, and as sites for community arts projects.

The Farmer’s section critically re-invigorates the historical fascination with peasantry and farming in the arts through essays, painting, and photography that collectively place the agency of the artist under as much scrutiny as images of agricultural space and people. Stereotypically, the word ‘Wanderers’ conjures images of gypsy caravans, or country ramblers, but Rurality Re-imagined stretches the label to include not only the traditional migrations of reindeer herds, but also that of the motorway driver, and migrations of cultural forms as well, such as the hip hop clubs of New York to the fields of rural Devon. In the essays and images about Wild Things, wilderness emerges as a highly contested cultural terrain far from any state of purity as it manifests itself in the behaviour of people, flora, and fauna in cultivated and uncultivated landscapes and parks.


8" x 10" Portrait
Publication date: 
Spring 2018
Rights world: 

Katy Beinart,

John Brennan

Kate Corder

Julie Crawshaw

Adam Evans

Anna Fox

Kate Genever

Rupert Griffiths / Lia Wei

Sigrid Holmwood

Jessica Lee

Christine Mackey

Jane McAllister

Lala Meredith-Vula

Malcolm Miles

Jonathan Mosley / Sophie Warren

Eric Oskey

Rosemary McGoldrick

Dierdre O’Mahoney

Esther Peeren

Ben Pitcher

Wood Roberdeau

Sara Serrão

Rosemary Shirley

Ben Stringer

Kjerstin Uhre

Marcel Vellinga

Michael Woods

About the author: 


Ben Stringer teaches architecture design and history and theory at the University of Westminster, London, where he leads a Masters design studio. He is also a trustee of the Oxford City Farm.