On Wednesday, 11 July 2018, at 06.00 pm, at Orto Botanico di Palermo artist and anthropologist Leone Contini will give a lecture-performance and a tour of Foreign Farmers, installation realised for Manifesta 12.
Manlio Speciale, curator of the Orto Botanico, will introduce the event.
Free entrance for visitors holding Manifesta 12 Ticket.
‘Since April 2018 I turned myself into a farmer to create a garden out of a 10 years collection of seeds. Majority of them were informally introduced by migrants into the country, for their own agricultural and culinary use. Since several years ‘foreign’ seeds are in fact sprouting and growing in little gardens and family farms, scattered from the countryside of Milano to the Tuscan hills, to the outskirts of Palermo. But at the Botanic Garden they bear fruit together, in a displaced, opulent garden.
However, while future traditions root down in the Italian soil, every farmer is turned into a pioneer of a foreign biosfere, even if he never moved from his heimat: he’s a stranger at his own place, his traditional knowledge being betrayed, year after year, by the ongoing climate transformations. And no seeds belong to a specific place, being vessels to transport informations across geographies, toward the future.
This is why the lau-gourd from Nazrul, a Bengalese inhabitant of Palermo, interwove its tendrils with the cucuzza (a similar gourd, shaped differently) from Di Liberto, which didn’t travel too far, from Villabate to the Botanic Garden.
Since April my garden transited from an unexpected cold springtime, which slowed down its growth, to anomalous quasi-tropical summer storms, which increased its vulnerability to parasite attacks. Only combining the skills of Giuseppe Di Liberto, Nazrul Islam, Mr. Hu (Tuscan-Sicilian-Wenzhounese chef and farmer) and Juan Rumbaoa (from the Philippines, based in Palermo since many years) I was able to save my (their) gourds, legumes and pumpkins.
On July 11 I will share anecdotes and seeds from this 3 months old garden. Under the shady pergola of Foreign Farmers we are all strangers, and everyone is welcome.’