Growing stories for different climates

News | Posted on Tuesday 11 June 2024

Julia Schauerman and Theo Tomking recently exhibited their final piece of work as part of the LCAB Artist in Residence scheme.

Growing Stories for Different Climates is an hour-long audio composition that uses acousmatic storytelling techniques to explore synergies between food growing, climate and diasporic connections amongst black and minority ethnic peoples in the UK and beyond.

Acousmatic storytelling involves the setting of recorded spoken word within composed sound scenes and the project has involved contributions from practitioners, scientists, anthropologists, gardeners and more.

Special thanks to those whose voices featured within the work:

  • Christopher Voss is a soil scientist at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad. His research concerns the impact of industrial pollution on soils. He is also a farmer.
  • Emmanuel Tomking is a London-based teacher with a background in agronomy (the study of agricultural production) which he studied in Cuba. He is also a gardener.
  • Grafton Dick is a soil scientist based at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad. His research looks at methods for reclaiming 'Vertisols' (sticky soils with a high clay content) for cultivation. He has a philosophical take on people's engagement with food production.
  • Ethel Maqeda is a Sheffield-based Zimbabwean British writer and theatre and creative writing facilitator. Her work draws inspiration from African women’s experiences, at home and in the diaspora. Her writing explores issues of home, black womanhood, African women’s struggles, and triumphs over experiences of racism, colonialism and global exploitation.
  • Morgan Joseph is a London- and St Lucia-based community leader, conservationist and gardener. He has setup numerous environmental regeneration projects in St Lucia.
  • Janine Nelson is Head of Learning at the Garden Museum, London. She is also an artist and gardener.
  • JC Niala is an Oxford-based anthropologist of the imagination and of museums. Her interdisciplinary work includes two distinct yet interconnected areas: the study of human-nature interactions and the transformative potential of community participatory research in museum settings. She is also an allotment-grower.
  • Julia Schauerman is an electroacoustic composer based in Sheffield. She is studying at the University of Arts, London. She describes herself as a novice gardener.
  • Tabitha Kabora is an archaeologist and environmental scientist based at the University of York whose interdisciplinary research explores historical agricultural land-use in Africa in order to understand long-term biodiversity change, community resilience and sustainability.
  • Theo Tomking is a PhD researcher at the University of York. His research explores the relationship between soil science and development during the twentieth century.
  • Vicky Hobart is a London-based public health consultant. She is also a gardener.
  • Archive interviews drawn from the project ‘Sowing Roots: Caribbean Garden Heritage’ at the Garden Museum in London. This archive includes remembrances of Esiah Levy, founder of SeedsShare in 2016, for which he grew vegetables in his back garden, saved the seeds and then sent them around the world for the cost of packing and posting.