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Other Voices in Garden History - Telling Tales about Trees

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

About this event

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 sixth 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 6. 17 May: ‘Telling tales about trees: the voices and stories that have helped build Africa's Great Green Wall’ by Dr Camilla Allen

Africa's Great Green Wall is an ambitious project to restore land and livelihoods across the Sahel region, from Senegal to Djibouti. This romantic idea of a line of trees holding back the desert has been put forward by numerous politicians and activists, notably including Nobel Prize-winner Wangari Maathai, English forester and conservationist Richard St. Barbe Baker, and Burkino Faso's socialist revolutionary President, Thomas Sankara. In this lecture Camilla Allen, who recently finished a PhD on Baker, will trace the voices, stories and myths that have sustained the Great Green Wall, weaving together stories from Africa's past, colonisation, and independence to explore what is so compelling and pertinent about this tale of ecological restoration and redemption.

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Camilla Allen's research focuses upon the events, people and places that illuminate our relationship with trees and the natural world, using biography as a means of teasing out forgotten meaning and experience. Camilla recently completed her doctorate on the English forester and environmentalist Richard St. Barbe Baker, founder of the Men of the Trees, in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield and is currently co-editor of The Politics of Street Trees (Routledge, 2021) with Dr Jan Woudstra, which brings together a diverse collection of perspectives on the issue from academics, lawyers, campaigners and practitioners.

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