SEED :: disperse | Haiti
2017 Ghetto Biennial
Two years after installing pocket gardens in the previous biennial, we were able to examine the gardens of the Grand Rue to assess what plants thrived. We used what we learned in growing plants in a heavily populated area of the city to apply what worked to the areas that did not fare as well. In response to an aggressive program to hybridize Haitian heirloom seeds, we started weaving a network of SEED Stewards across the urban areas of Port Au Prince in order to preserve open source access to traditional seed stock while providing a continued connection to the natural world for urban youth. The Biennial installation included the development of a SEED Sensorium created in collaboration with local youth as well as a collaborative installation with Jean Claude Santillus curated from seed related art works created by members of the Atis Rezistans collective.
Jean Claude Santillus plants a coco seed in his Lakou along the Grand Rue of Port-Au-Prince. Photo by Rossi Jacques Casimir
Gardens of the Grand Rue
2015 Ghetto Biennial
Initiated during the 4th Ghetto Biennial, members of the Atis Rezistans artist collective worked with Lee Lee to establish a seed library, plant the foundation for the canopy of an edible urban food forest and build pocket sized permaculture gardens scaled to fit the small, tangled footpaths that meander through the Redzone along the Grand Rue in downtown Port-Au-Prince. The project won first place for foreign artists in the People’s Choice Awards, and the gardens continue to thrive.
Moringa trees, which provide a nutrient dense green are sourced from Sakala, the urban community garden in Cite Soleil.
Chocogout, or Maya Nut trees are being reintroduced to the island as a reforestation project in the severely desertified southeast region by Sadhana Forest. They contributed a set of trees to plant in the Grand Rue neighborhood during a visit to their program.
Compost is sourced through SOIL
The Grow Haiti Seed Collection promoted through Baker Creek Heirloom seeds supports heirloom preservation and seed sovereignty efforts by the Lambi Fund. As part of the next phase of this project, we are collaborating with growers in the US to establish a seed library, which will allow us to return heirloom seeds to collaborators in Haiti. Contact Lee Lee to participate.
Grand Dames de le Grand Rue | Grandmother Recipes
2013 Ghetto Biennial
During the 3rd Ghetto Biennial, Lee Lee gathered recipes from the Grandmothers of the Grand Rue as they prepared a series of pop up dinners shared by the visiting artists and local Atis Rezistans community. As an initiation for the Gardens of the Grand Rue project in 2015, we prepared Tchaka to honor the patron of agriculture, Azaka. This particular recipe was also used as a framework for a narrative to explore the complexities of the relationships between Haiti and US food policy.