Plants are the New Children

Gouache and watercolour on paper

21.5 x 16 in | 54.61 x 40.64 cm

2020

 

 

 

“Can I show a landscape as the protagonist of an adventure in which humans are only one kind of participant?

Over the past few decades, many kinds of scholars have shown that allowing only human protagonists into our stories is not just ordinary human bias; it is a cultural agenda tied to dreams of progress through modernization. There are other ways of making worlds. Anthropologists have become interested, for example, in how subsistence hunters recognize other living beings as “persons” that is, protagonists of stories. Indeed, how could it be otherwise? Yet expectations of progress block this insight: talking animals are for children and primitives . Their voices silent, we imagine well-being without them. We trample over them for our advancement; we forget that collaborative survival requires cross-species coordinations. To enlarge what is possible, we need other kinds of stories - including adventures of landscape.”

Text by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing 

from the book: The Mushroom at the End of the World, Page 155-156

The work was produced during the Virtual Art Project titled “Blurring Boundaries

organized by Inalks Shivdasani Foundation and Avid Learning in the year 2020

Reflection on the project by Ranjit Hoskote in scroll.in