Launch event for this special issue of Third Text edited by Ros Gray and Shela Sheikh. The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions presented new research on contemporary art practices that both explore and intervene in the cultures, politics and systems of representation generated through human interaction with the soil.
The editors' proposition is that in order to do full justice to Frantz Fanon’s diagnosis of ‘the wretched of the earth’, we must understand more deeply the extent to which this is due to the fact that the earth itself is wretched; and that part of this condition has been the destruction of ecological relations with the earth.
The phrase ‘the wretched earth’ signals an ongoing engagement with anti-colonial and anti-imperialist writers such as Fanon, but also the need to go beyond their reconfigured humanism to think about the multiple human and nonhuman cohabitations that constitute the soil and, more broadly, our more-than-human commons.
Ros Gray and Shela Sheikh – The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions: Introduction
Nomusa Makhubu – The Poetics of Entanglement in Zina Saro-Wiwa’s Food Interventions
Shela Sheikh –‘Planting Seeds/The Fires of War’: The Geopolitics of Seed Saving in Jumana Manna’s Wild Relatives
Hannah Meszaros Martin – ‘Defoliating the World’: Ecocide, Visual Evidence and ‘Earthly Memory’
Filipa César – Meteorisations: Reading Amílcar Cabral’s Agronomy of Liberation
Richard William Hill – Borderless Histories: The Botanical Art of Maria Thereza Alves
Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll – NonWest by North: Marianne North and William Colenso’s Responses to the Classification of Economic Botany
Åsa Sonjasdotter – The Order of Potatoes: On Purity and Variation in Plant Breeding
Sigrid Holmwood– Cultivating Colour: Making Mayan Blue from Woad
Jennifer Gabrys – Sensing Lichens: From Ecological Microcosms to Environmental Subjects
Read the articles here
Image: Courtesy of Third Text
A recording of the event can be found here