This post will be convoluted, introversive and overall ranting away while feeling the need of barking, loud.
You have been invited by the Weeds Society of Victoria to present a paper at their annual symposium.
This year focus and general threat amongst the various invited speakers was Contentious views on weeds, hence the invitation.
By now you spent the best part of the past 10 years ranting away about weeds, the way human define nature and the legal/cultural implications that such assumptions have.
The day was probably one of the most exciting in your journey so far.
As an artist you get granted audience attention, regardless of the validity of your argument.
As an artist you also get dismissed and treated with contempt, regardless of the validity of your argument.
So there you were, talking to a government advisory body who effectively inform and legislate on what to kill or not in the environments we -humans- created. This is the people who have the power of life or death upon the countless amount of species that co-exists with humans in the State of relevance.
You thought the premise of the symposium was extremely brave, open and inclusive. It allowed for a number of voices to be heard in the forum, like David Holmgren, co-originator of the Permaculture principles, who defined his position on spontaneous flora, allowing for a greater understanding of (and allowances for) the ‘doings’ of nature.
As for yourself, you presented a safe angle, treasuring the advise you got a couple of years back from Kosta ( ‘Stick to your guns’), you introduced to the debate the aspect of multicultural engagement with nature. You are ‘multicultural’ yourself, therefore it was kind of an ‘indisputable’ position.. thanks to the pervading and -at best- boring political correctness permeating such events.
You can read my paper here, and hopefully on the Plant Protection Quarterly journal, the ‘Australian journal with an international circulation that publishes original papers on all aspects of plant protection’.
You came out having had the chance to introduce yourself to a number of people you know of from many years, like David Holmgren, but also John Thorpe, from John Thorpe Australia, a man who made his career on advising people on how to destroy nature (sorry, weeds) same as Geoff Carr, from Ecology Australia.
Incredible how private gain is such an important leverage point in deciding what species is allowed to survive, with all the hypocrisy and post-colonial-guilt-laundering that comes with it.
Astonishing Carr’s comment to define at what point he thinks we should actually acknowledge when a plant is naturalised, he replied with a John-Waine-style: “I will not rest until the last weed is gone”
Anyway, bring it on, thanks for letting me speak, there were so many more people fed up with the ‘we know best’ attitude.
Best comment on the day was by a member of the public, who stated something to effect of: “I am just fed-up with this masculist attitude towards nature, inciting war, repression, control and binary definition of good and bad. We should actually start a more feminine approach, of nurturing and care”