Tuesday, March 16 6pm Free event, registration required. Register here. The Loss of Green: Imaging Vegetal Worlds A conversation with Nancy Valladares, SMACT ’20; Semine Long-Callesen, HTC ’20; and Shireen Hamza, Harvard PhD candidate in the History of Science.
Join the MIT Wiesner Student Art Gallery for a cross-disciplinary conversation where botanical exchanges, medicinal practices and culinary history intersect to unearth the legacies of our ecological present.
Nancy’s show, Botanical Ghosts is live at the Wiesner Website.
Note from the Artist: I first crossed paths with Dorothy Popenoe at what is now Lancetilla Botanical Gardens in Tela, Honduras in 2017. I was working on a film at the time, trying to untangle the political and historical threads behind United Fruit Company’s stronghold in the region during the early 20th Century. I spent three years drawing from the gaps in archival collections at the Harvard Peabody Museum, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon, and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to create the speculative archive with Dorothy’s letters and photographs.
From her life and work emerged this project, which is both a homage to Dorothy and to the turbulent history of Honduran plantation worlds. Comprised of a constellation of images, texts, and video, Botanical Ghosts traces the transatlantic voyage of the Ackee Tree (Blighia Sapida), and its encounter with Dorothy at Lancetilla Botanical Experimental Station in 1932. This site was the central command of the political forces that shaped Honduran political ecology for decades — the unspoken archaeon of botanical governance and administration of non-human life. The agricultural paradigms that flourished here would spread all over the world in the form of agricultural technologies.