on talking about it

There is a conference coming up at the University of Technology, Sydney, and you will preesent a paper about this weedyconnection project.


What does cosmopolitanism mean in an age where globalisation is accompanied by the War on Terror and where unprecedented levels of international migration are accompanied by attacks on multiculturalism and heightened ‘border security’ politics?
What futures can we imagine for cosmopolitan civil societies as community advocates and organisations struggle against defunding and the silencing of independent voices?

It cost stacks of $$$ to see it.
You wonder how many readers could afford it.
You will anyway paste the paper here in next few days.

Below is the abstract for the presentation.

Weed gathering: ethnobotanical practices in a cosmopolitan society.

Ethnobotany studies the complex relationships between plants and
The focus of ethnobotany is on how plants have been or are used,
managed and perceived in human societies.

Through my art practice I analyze and document the possibilities and
restrictions facing various ethnic groups in Australia practicing an,
at times, ancestral relationship with illicit non-indigenous plant
species (weeds).

This paper will present my “WeedyConnection” project, an online
resource aiming at examining non-native plants, and re-considering their
usefulness to contemporary culture in Australia.

I consider interactions between various ethnic groups in Australia and
transplanted botanical species in the local environment: the Polish
practice of mushroom collecting in the Belango State Forest; legal
restrictions on growing bamboo in Sydney; and personal accounts of
“illegal” foraging for dandelion.

Weeds are defined by a nation’s laws, and what is declared a weed in
one place may be a precious resource in another. My framing of “illegal”
and unwanted flora draws attention to the concept of “permissible
species” as a social construct. There is a significant metaphorical
connection between this definition of “weed” and the increasing restrictions
imposed on human migration by national governments.

Such a reconsideration of weeds and their uses may assist in expanding
our understanding of contemporary cosmopolitanism.

Also, it was spring equinox the other day..

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