Wild Relatives

Wednesday, November 13
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society
5701 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Jumana Manna will discuss her feature length film, Wild Relatives (2018), which looks at the politics of seed preservation and the war in Syria. The film starts from an event that sparked media interest worldwide: in 2012 an international agricultural research center gradually relocated from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian war, and began a laborious process of planting their seed collection from back-ups stored in a vault in the Arctic island of Svalbard.

Wild Relatives draws attention to the geopolitics of seed-saving and modes of nurturing, storing and capitalising upon the natural world around us, through the lens of two landscapes and two revolutions: the Syrian revolution and the so-called Green Revolution of industrial agriculture. Manna will briefly discuss the history of seed banking, and how it relates to other archival practices of modernity that carry the paradox of preserving the very same thing being erased. The event is sponsored by the Engineered Worlds III project at the Neubauer Collegium.