Date: October 29th 2018

Time: 4:30pm – 6:30pm

Location: McHenry third floor ‘treehouse’ (the screened in room on the south side of the building)

We will be doing three select readings from the current special issue of Third Text, ‘The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions’ (vol 32, No 2-3). This special issue presents new research on, and generated through, contemporary art practices that both explore and intervene in the cultures, politics and systems of representation, generated through human interaction with the soil.


  1. Ros Gray and Shela Sheikh, “The Wretched Earth: Botanical Conflicts and Artistic Interventions: Introduction.”
  2. Nomusa Makhubu, “The Poetics of Entanglement in Zina Saro-Wiwa’s Food Interventions.”
  3. Filipa César, “Meteorisations: ReadingAmílcar Cabral’s Agronomy of Liberation.”

Screening: We will also be hosting a special screening of the recent feature-length 2018 film Wild Relatives by Berlin-based artist Jumana Manna, and a discussion facilitated by UCSC Film and Digital Media Professor Peter Limbrick. Here’s a brief synopsis of the 70-minute film:

Deep in the earth beneath the Norwegian permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Global Seed Vault to provide a backup should disaster strike. For the first time ever, seeds held there from a major gene bank in Aleppo are now being replicated, after its holdings were left behind when the institution had to move to Lebanon due to the civil war. It is refugees from Syria who are carrying out this painstaking work in the fields of the Beqaa Valley. In the Levant, dry conditions and the power of global agricultural corporations are the biggest challenge, while in the Arctic Circle – where the seed vault was supposed to withstand anything – it is rising temperatures and melting glaciers. Wild Relatives loosely links together different narratives and biographies, opening up a space to reflect on biodiversity, resilience, global justice and climate change, as well as disasters caused by human hand and the ambivalent efforts made to overcome them. Beauty and horror lie close together in the Anthropocene, just as they do in this film’s outstanding images.

In conjunction with the film, we’ll discuss the recent Third Text essay by Shela Sheikh, “‘Planting Seeds/The Fires of War’ The Geopolitics of Seed Saving in Jumana Manna’s Wild Relatives.”