This paper examines issues of culture and power in regard to the Mu sacred forest, Vietnam, a
community forest. The research uses Foucault’s notion of ‘heterotopia’ as a heuristic tool to
interpret forest management. It appears that the Mu sacred forest can be understood as a space of
‘self reflective construction’, but also a space that might dissolve, destabilize, interrupt and suspend
power. The moment of power suspension frees people from their usual frames. They can escape to
some extent from authority and repression. This suggests that sustainable forest management can
be promoted through acceptance of local culture and that community forest can be a ‘space of
suspension and learning’.
Nguyen, N.Q., Wildemeersch, D., & Masschelein, J. (2013). Community Forest a Heterotopia. The International Journal of Environmental Studies, 70 (6), 877-892.