What is a green space? And what forms can it take?
Welcome to another round of "Ecocritical Threes," a brief three-point summary of the week's theory (in-class discussions) and practice (community engagement and experimental learning). The "Ecocritical Threes" series shares questions posed, reflections had, and anecdotes told, providing a glimpse into the interdisciplinary and intersectional thinking with which we are approaching climate change and climate justice this semester.
Metz is home to a number of gardens, and yet this week, we have been considering green spaces that have been curated differently - or not "curated" at all. In the process, we have looked at the historical and present-day power structures of green spaces (by focusing on their location in cities) and have looked to diversify - and render more inclusive - our understanding of "green space." Inspired by Fatima Ouassak's Pour une écologie pirate, Beronda L. Montgomery's Lessons from Plants, Camille T. Dungy's Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden, and Eric Lenoir's Petit traité du jardin punk: Apprendre à désapprendre, we've been calling the notion of "garden" into question and expanding it to include "punk gardens." We were sure to question the notion of "punk garden," too, and the examples below showcase a broad definition of this concept - from personal vegetable gardens to "street" gardens to blossoming "building" gardens.
How should we define "garden"? What does the history of such spaces tell us about the inequity of access to green space in cities?
How can rethinking the definition of "garden" or "green space" help us rethink our relationship (as human animals) to non-human animal and plant life? Is "punk" gardening a kind of revolutionary act?
What does the presence of green spaces do to the built environment and ecosystem of a city? How do these spaces contribute to climate change mitigation? In what ways do green spaces encourage social interaction and community building?