A reflection on biodiversity and resilience, Wild Relatives charts the astonishing story of seed preservation in the face of war and climate change.
Deep in the earth beneath Arctic permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to provide a backup in the case of disaster. Wild Relatives starts from an event that has sparked media interest worldwide: when, in 2012, an international agricultural research centre was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian civil war, it had to undergo the labourious process of planting its entire seed collection from the Svalbard back-ups.
Wild Relatives follows the path of this transaction of seeds between the Arctic and Lebanon, a matrix of human and non-human lives between these two points: one a large-scale international initiative, the other a local implementation in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, carried out mainly by young migrant women.
Capturing the intertwining of traditional and modern preservation techniques and transnational exchanges, Wild Relatives teases out tensions between the state and the individual, industrial and organic approaches to seed saving, climate change and biodiversity, witnessed through the seeds' journey.
Presented by Wavelength
With thanks to Jumana Manna
dir. JUMANA MANNA
£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)