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Live Stream
Collage unter Verwendung von: Otto Ehrhardt (1869-1942): Ohne Titel (Pflanze). Abzug auf Silbergelatinepapier.

‘Gardens of Empire’ is a digital conversation on the colonial legacy of the (natural) sciences and its pervasive manifestations in museums, archives, and collections. Thinking through plants, herbariums, gardens, specimens, and with extractive zones and social ecologies, the conversation will look at the entanglement of knowledge production and colonial extractivism. Lectures and conversations by Ana María Gómez López and Minakshi Menon with moderation by Yolanda Rother.

As places of knowledge production and extraction, colonial collections (botanical, natural, or ethnographic) have shaped ways of living with humans and non-humans. Central to this have been the classificatory systems that emerged through the modern/colonial apparatus of the (natural) sciences and that continue to claim universality and objectivity. They therefore reflect a Eurocentric ‘planetary consciousness’ (Mary Louise Pratt) that not only serves a specific regulatory episteme but also enabled the corporal and material exploitive conditions of (neo)colonial extractivism in the Anthropocene. In their underbelly lies the idea of ‘nature’ as a detached and de-subjectivized object of study, to which relations are violently gendered and racialized.

Against this backdrop, the conversation will tentatively formulate thoughts on how these collections can be read (against)? What are the possibilities of redress in times of ecological crisis?

This panel discussion is the first of a two-part conversation. On March 21st, Malcom Ferdinand and Jason Allen-Paisant will continue the conversation on the topic of (de)colonial ecology.

Note: The lecture by Macarena Gómez-Barris is postponed to a later date.



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