Storytelling in the Language of Flowers is a multi-genre project which brings together a unique interdisciplinary ensemble to develop new forms of storytelling in response to the multiple political and ecological crises of our time. Focusing on plants and their people in Cape Town, it brings forth stories about place, history and belonging; stories which root us in the past and prepare the soil from which more just futures can grow. Inspired by communicative practices with flowers of both plants and people, it mixes methods and forms developed in the arts, natural sciences and humanities to not only showcase the beauty of plants, but to further explore the complex entanglements of human and more-than-human life worlds, research hopeful emerging ecologies and add critical layers to current discussions of the Anthropocene.
The starting point for the Storytelling in the Language of Flowers project is the ICA Live Art Festival in Cape Town on 12th September 2018. For the festival, a playful flower show is staged at the flower market in Adderley Street and Trafalgar Place. An interdisciplinary group of people is invited to experiment with new forms of storytelling, bringing together floristry and established methods from the arts, natural sciences and the humanities. Through interdisciplinary exchange, the project works towards a practice which breaks down lasting disciplinary divisions and instead gives way to a new mix-and-match methodology which allows us to document emerging ecologies in the African Anthropocene.
The conversations, exchange and work started during the festival will be continued over the following months. The participants are invited to generate art works or texts to be included in a publication on multi-species storytelling about Cape Town.
Images: Melanie Boehi