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Other Voices in Garden History - Contested Landscapes

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The ninth in a 10-part lecture series, celebrating the voices beginning to be heard, online once a week on Mondays at 6 pm.

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This series of illustrated lectures will explore the impact and legacy of empire, colonialism and enslavement on western garden and landscape history. Our aim is to bring back some of the voices usually absent from this history, to identify and fill gaps in our collective knowledge, and to explore new ways of engaging with the whole history of gardens, landscapes and horticulture.

The diverse range of topics and speakers will offer a new range of perspectives on the history of gardens and landscapes and suggest more inclusive ways of presenting and interpreting their stories. The series does not aim to point fingers or to encourage hand-wringing but is more a celebration of voices starting to be heard.

This talk is the ninth in our series aiming to hear voices previously absent from our garden history:

1: Guns and Roses: Humphry Repton at Warley Park

2: Historic Landscapes for All: Learning to Share

3: Learning from The Blackamoor

4: The Work of Ingrid Pollard

5: Collecting with Lao Chao [Zhao Chengzhang]

6: Telling tales about trees: the voices and stories that have helped build Africa's Great Green Wall

7: Working towards inclusive Botanic Gardens

8: Hearing the Voices from a Human Zoo

9: Contested Landscapes: Race and the English Rural Countryside Space

10: Other Voices in Garden History: Discussion Panel

This ticket is for this individual session and costs £5, and you may purchase tickets for other individual sessions via the links above, or you may purchase a ticket for the entire course of 10 sessions at a cost of £40 (students £15) via the link here.

Attendees will be sent a Zoom link 2 days prior to the start of the talk, and a link to the recorded session (available for 1 week) will be sent shortly afterwards.

Week 9. 7 June: ‘Contested Landscapes: Race and the English Rural Countryside Space’ by Maxwell A. Ayamba

Using his ethnographic work as co-founder of the Black Men Walking Group, and founder of the charity Sheffield Environmental Movement, Maxwell Ayamba will shed light on how the notion of race affects use of countryside spaces. He will explore how the racialisation of spaces has, as argued by Carolyn Finney, ‘the power to determine who actually participates in environmental related activities, whose voices are heard in environmental debates’. The lecture will consider how narratives of the English countryside rural space are so linked with the concept of Englishness that the presence of minorities can be seen as a dissolution of the English national identity and will examine arguments that membership of racial groups is ingrained in the structures of colonialism and imperialism.

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Maxwell A. Ayamba is a PhD research student in Black Studies, School of Languages & Cultural Studies, Department of American & Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham/M4C–AHRC. He is an Environmental Journalist by profession, formerly an Associate Lecturer/Research Associate, Sheffield Hallam University. Founder of the charity Sheffield Environmental Movement (SEM) and Co-Founder of the 100 Black Men Walk for Health Group, which inspired production of the national play ‘Black Men Walking’.

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