Accepted paper:

The plantation as a space of hope: tea and the travel of seeds, science and clones

Authors:

Bengt G. Karlsson (Stockholm University)

Paper short abstract:

In the paper I probe the plantation as a site of multispecies entanglements as well as a space of hope in troubling times of ecological crisis.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I discuss the making of tea plantations in Kenya with focus on the tea bush itself; looking at how the tea plant was domesticated in India, brought to Africa and engineered into new clones better suited to the local conditions and the requirements of the tea industry. Plantations are monocultures that commonly replace diverse indigenous forests. While this implies loss of biodiversity - plants, insects and animals that are being displaced or eradicated - the plantation itself enables new forms of life to thrive. In the paper I thus probe the plantation as a site of multispecies entanglements as well as a space of hope in troubling times of ecological crisis.

panel P019
Liveability in a time of ecological destruction [Humans and Other Living Beings Network]