“Europe is a garden”: the border and ecological crisis
w/ Hussein Mitha
In November 2022, Hussein Mitha presented a discussion entitled "Europe is a garden": the border and ecological crisis. The talk took as its starting point a speech given by an EU foreign affairs chief who described Europe as a garden and the rest of the world as a jungle, articulating a logic of how western elites perceive and shape the geography of the climate crisis, justifying genocide as easily as demarcating and maintaining a garden. Through their talk, Hussein Mitha explored the concept of paradise, (paradise for whom?) amid devastation and ecological crises in the Global South and a strengthening of racist border regimes across the Global North.
Hussein Mitha is a writer and artist living in Glasgow. Their work often deals with racial capitalism, anti-imperialism and contemporary art. In their free time they like to walk, study literature, make floral paintings and do vegetal doodlings.
This event was hosted by Emma Lewis-Jones, an artist working in the realm of performance-making whose work draws on feminism, sexuality, climate justice, grief and the border crisis. Emma graduated from MLitt Fine Art Practice at GSA in 2022.
Image: 'The gates of paradise are barred to us’, 2nd November 2021, Hussein Mitha, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, photograph taken with Alaya Ang
Audio transcript of the above excerpt of Hussein Mitha's talk [read]
Paradise Now! A Climate Justice Handbook for Young People [read]
The Huntly Youth Warriers manifesto [read]
Experiments in Imagining Otherwise - Lola Olufemi
This Book is a Plant - Wellcome Collection
Scorched Earth - Jonathan Crary