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Barbara Wimmer-Bulin, M.A.

Barbara Wimmer-Bulin, M.A.

Visiting Doctoral Fellow


Universität Regensburg
Department for Interdisciplinary Multi-Scalar Area Studies | DIMAS
Bajuwarenstr. 4
93053 Regensburg

Doctoral project

A Village in Trouble: The Industrialisation of Agriculture within a Natural Park and its Impact on the Socio-Cultural and Environmental Space in Southwest Portugal.

The region within the Natural park „Parque Natural da Costa Vicentina e da Costa Alentejana“ in south-western Portugal is witnessing first-hand transformations and paradoxes caused by a boom in the rapid expansion of agriculture and tourism. Industrial-scale farming has seen multinational enterprises bringing in tens of thousands of labourers from more than 25 countries. The paradoxes and tension are manifested in multidirectional mobilities of seasonal workers, labour migrants, incoming tourists and locals departing in search of prosperity in Europe.

Barbara Wimmer-Bulin has been observing these phenomena for almost ten years, combining her roles as ethnographer and photographer/artist with the aim of capturing the wide range of connections and frictions between globality and locality. She began by photographing the traditional shops in the village centre, which were gradually disappearing and being replaced by a new culture of shops, with Indian, Bulgarian and Nepalese shops and fast-food restaurants opening. Since her fieldwork, further changes have occurred, and her photographs and ethnographic study could be seen as witnessing a historical moment within a large-scale process of transformation. The impact has changed not only the socio-cultural dimensions within the village space, but also the surrounding landscape and its human behaviour towards the landscape itself and its ressources. Her research project aims to capture the changes that have occurred in the village of São Teotónio in order to demonstrate the interconnectedness of local, global, economic and political  processes, how this space has been modeled by the human exploration of ressources and how people developed strategies to deal with caused scarecities.

Curriculum Vitae

Barbara Wimmer-Bulin studied sociology, social and cultural anthropology at the University of Tübingen (2002-2009). Her Master's thesis focused on the concept of  transnationalism in migration studies. She has worked as an independent researcher, combining the arts and the humanities, conducting artistic research and developing projects on specific topics such as the concept of home, the relationship between humans and nature, and her current research project. She has worked as a cultural manager and developed exhibitions in public spaces. Her work has been shortlisted internationally. From April 2021 to 2023 she was associated with the Media Study Department at the University of Regensburg, where she developed student exhibition projects. Since April 2024 she is a PhD student at the Graduate School of East and Southeast European
Studies. Her research interests include human-nature relations, media and space, rurality and agribusiness, and the entanglement of locality and globality. She is also interested in the correlation between photography and environmental perception, and the use of images within discourses and narratives.

Positions, Assigment and Memberships

Member of: KunstvereinGRAZ (Regensburg), Internationales Festival Fotografischer Bilder (Regensburg), Kunst und Gewerbeverein (Regensburg). Freelance worker at the Museum für Archäologie der Stadt Kelheim, independent artist and writer.