How Art and Gardening Bring Cultures and Generations Together

Patch of ground Art meeting photoEncounters Arts/Video screen capture

I may have recently railed against the notion that environmentalism and the local food agenda are elitist, nevertheless, it's hard to deny that the green movement could do a better job of embracing diversity and reaching out across cultural, political, racial and generational divides.

The Transition Movement has been vocal about the need to address diversity, and avoid getting pigeon holed according to the usual comfortable demographics. And now I've just come across a wonderful inter-generational art and garden project that combines permaculture gardening with multi-media performance art and, crucially, community building and breaking bread with people we might otherwise not meet.

patch of ground cooking photoEncounters Arts/Video screen capture

Run by UK-based arts organization Encounters Arts, A Little Patch of Ground was a twenty-week project in which two diverse multigenerational groups, one rural and one urban, learned to grow food, cook, and eat together—all the while exploring themes related to the natural world, resource depletion and climate change—and developing a multi-media performance art piece as a culmination of the project.

It is, of course, no accident that the project chose food and gardening as a central theme. We all eat, and all cultures have a rich heritage of both cooking and gardening. (Yes, even we Brits can cook a thing or two!) Just as refugee gardens can bring diverse cultures together, so too A Little Patch of Ground seeks to create a space where people can learn from each other and grow as a result.

This short video explains more.

Encounters: A Little Patch of Ground urban/rural 2011 from Encounters-Arts on Vimeo.

How Art and Gardening Bring Cultures and Generations Together
In London and rural Devon, a multi-generational garden and art project shows how environmentalism can and must embrace diversity.

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