(de)Bordering

Creative research exploring the politics of immigration and the environment through planting.  

Funded by the Brigstow Institute, this initiative will work collaboratively with relevant communities, gardeners and artists (Charli Clark and Paul Hurley) to explore issues around immigration. Two plots will be designed and developed in Royal Fort Gardens, University of Bristol on land adjacent to the Ivy Gate – work will begin Spring 2021.  

The team will co–design two hospitable spaces with and for migratory humans and nonhumans. The two plots will be thematically connected by themes of north/south and coming/going. They will seek to reflect the human experiences and cultures of global migration, but will also be designed to be welcoming and appropriate to the needs of other species’ migration. The site will take the role of a living laboratory to open up spaces for new conversations and thinking around the politics of immigration and planting. 

These plots will serve as a critical intervention within discussions of environmental and migration policies asking, among other things : 

  • What do we need to create spaces hospitable to migrations of humans and nonhumans? 
  • How might ecological thinking enable the cultivation of understanding about migration and the challenges of hostile environments?  
  • How is the language of invasive others mobilised in debates over both biodiversity and migration? 
  • How do we negotiate the politics of environmentalism and the politics of migration? 
  • What would a more level ground look like, feel like, and who would maintain it? 

Researchers: