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Wed, May 01



Socialist Herbalism

Histories and Practices of Care in Eastern Europe & the Baltics MASSIA Open Call for 3rd Gathering, 1-10 May 2024

Socialist Herbalism
Socialist Herbalism

Time & Location

May 01, 2024, 12:00 AM – May 10, 2024, 11:50 PM

Massiaru, Massiaru, 86004 Pärnu maakond, Eesti

About the event

Soon after the 2nd Socialist Herbalism gathering in Sept ’23, the ongoing genocide in Gaza against Palestinian people began. Since then, we have been witnessing multiple genocides, ecocides, epistemicides driven by white supremacist, colonial-capitalist forces.

For our 3rd Socialist Herbalism Gathering we call for a focus on Land & Grief, to engage with what we have been feeling for the past 6 months, with our positions and orientations, with our collective relationships to land.

We warmly invite you to join with the intention of sharing knowledges, ideas and experiences of herbal histories whilst being engaged in practices of communal living and working, as part of the process of being in a temporary collective. Sharing can happen in the kitchen, in the garden, whilst handling medicinal herbs from the apothecary, whilst doing some of the never-ending reproductive and care labour that soil, plants, human-made environments with roofs, and our own bodies need.

Details about the research project

The collaborative and interdisciplinary project engages with contemporary feminist, queer and disability-informed questions of care, healing and the more-than-human in artistic and community living and practice. It investigates historical European Socialist visions of the environment, science, and the use of alternative medicines, and sets these in conversation with global queer and feminist modalities, imaginations, and practices of care, which revisit herbalism as a community practice.

This geographical and historical area is of particular interest first due to the role of the Socialist states in extraction and economic value-production around medicinal plants, echoing the colonial European extractive drive toward plant matter and plant knowledge. Secondly, most of these practices and healing modalities are pre-socialist and stem from a variety of cumulative knowledges about more-than-human entities, about healing of the human body and a relationship to land and landscape. This present is inextricably embedded in white supremacist and etno-nationalist processes of nation- building, as much as unacknowledged forms of oppression of human and plant life. A clear example of these oppressive histories is the 19th century Romanian history of enslavement of Roma peoples, and the simultaneous extraction, dismissal and punishment (as witchcraft) of medicinal knowledges and practices belonging to Roma communities.

The project wants to ask questions about the scales of these histories and their co-presence with state violence, as well as their role as modalities of healing, by holding a number of Herbal Gatherings on the topic, bringing together academic researchers, artists and curators, herbalists, environmental scientists, and ethnobotanists.

Dates: 1-10 May 2024

Location: MASSIA, Massiaru, Estonia,

Expression of interest If you would like to attend the gathering in person, please send a max 200-word paragraph about your practices/ research/ research-as-practice / practice-as-research and how you resonate with the larger project and the intentions of the gathering to

Look up for exact details regarding Costs, Access, Conditions and Travel HERE

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