Exploring humankind’s interaction with nature
The themes for this issue focus on mutualism, interconnectedness, and pandemic, alongside a series of dialogues.
A MUTUAL FEELING
The issue opens with a look at how our lives are inextricably entangled with the lives of other species, and the way that artists and creatives are attempting to recognise this. We examine the legacy of George Washington Carver, the black son of a slave owner, whose insights into soil preservation and crop diversification in 19th century America preempted the concerns of modern regenerative agriculture. And Brazilian chef and author Bela Gil argues that agroecology could be the key to ending climate change and food poverty.
OUR ROOTS ENTWINED
We find out how a 16th century guru living in northern India has inspired ecology lessons in contemporary Dubai, and learn about the tenets of the Bishnoi community who were eco-warriors before the term was invented. Deepti Asthana’s photographic essay explores life for teenage girls in a remote Himalayan village. And Catherine Gilon connects colonial interventions in Nilgiris, southern India, with the current threat to native species and destabilisation of the ecosystem.
A CHANCE TO REFLECT
We examine how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected food security, with an insight into how people are finding local solutions to the collapse of global supply chains, focusing on initiatives in India, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Colombia, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, the US and the UK. And how the gardens in Domiz 1, the oldest and biggest refugee camp in Iraq, have become a symbol of hope to the camp’s 32,000 inhabitants.
Writer Maia Nikitina explores the way in which the Russian myth of Baba Yaga has evolved to reflect the country’s changing relationship with nature. Ellen Miles makes the case for nature access as a human right. And Sol Polo is inspired by artist Maria Laet’s work seeking to mend the divide between humankind and the elements.
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