We Belong to the Land

Category: Art Direction, Design, Writing, Photography, Exhibition

Designed at:
The University of Oklahoma


For the final 1.5 years of my 3 year MFA program at OU, I was working on one single project titled ‘We Belong to the Land.’

The project was intended to highlight the fact that we often treat the land like consumers, disregarding the long-term consequences. This leads to the loss of the natural landscape and careless development that is focused more on profitability than on preservation and community.

The title of the project was derived from the 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, in which American author and environmentalist Aldo Leopold wrote, “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

The primary artifact of the project was a 132-page book entitled ‘The Atlas of Anti-destinations.’

It is a book about places you probably wouldn’t normally visit and why they are important. Anti-destinations are the natural places, the quiet places, the dark places–the places in the most jeopardy of having their very character compromised by the spread of urbanization. The book was intended to acquaint (or reacquaint) readers with the areas that would typically be blank spots on the map in hopes that they will see the value in these locations and be motivated to preserve and protect them.