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19:30 Welcome and introduction: Sofia Lovegrove
19:35 Sharon Willoughby: Inclusive Storytelling in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
19:55 António Carmo Gouveia: Botanic gardens, 19th century plant collections and collectors, in former portuguese colonies in Africa
20:15 Evie Evans: On the Nature of Botanical Gardens and Museums
20:35 Panel discussion and Q&A
|ABOUT THE LECTURES|
Inclusive Storytelling in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has published a new and ambitious Manifesto for Change 2021 – 2030, declaring a mission ‘to understand and protect plants and fungi for the well-being of people and the future of all life on Earth’. One of the goals underpinning this mission is the determination to ensure that ‘the diverse countries and cultures that partner with RBG Kew and contribute to our collections are accurately and equitably represented. We will move quickly to ‘de-colonise’ our collections, re-examining them to acknowledge and address any exploitative or racist legacies, and develop new narratives around them’. We will be asking what this means for storytelling within the gardens themselves and how we can develop inclusive storytelling that embraces the full richness of history and our tangled relationships with the natural world and each other.
Botanic gardens, 19th century plant collections and collectors, in former portuguese colonies in Africa
António Carmo Gouveia will take us on a quick (de)tour through Portuguese botanical gardens involved in the study of plants in the country’s former African colonies, their activities in acclimating crops or medicinal species, and in amassing collections of natural products. António will also shed light on indigenous actors’ knowledge and participation in these complex interactions with tropical nature, real and imagined, an important part of these histories of botanical studies that is often left silent.
On the Nature of Botanical Gardens and Museums
Evie Evans will introduce how Framer Framed’s exhibition On the Nature of Botanical Gardens, curated by Sadiah Boonstra, connected a critical analysis of museums to the study of botanical gardens. Museums and botanical gardens have shown us ways of organising, categorising and defining an unknown world from colonial times to the present. The exhibition offers an alternative way to rethink – and decolonise – the concept of botanical gardens and colonial approaches to nature through contemporary art. On the Nature of Botanical Gardens also inspired Evie’s own research into analysing botanical gardens from a museological perspective, and the colonial logic of musealisation, rather than simply as spaces which are comparable to museums.