Surviving the jungle: a photographic project

Everything we see is seen through a filter. That is human nature and the nature of the human brain. We need to select our perceptions to not be overwhelmed by too much knowledge.

To me one of the most fascinating aspects of art is that it shows us an unusual and different perspective of the world and, by doing this, it forces us to reflect and challenge our viewpoints and assumptions. It changes the filter through which we see the world.

I think that the ability to see the same object from different perspectives is empowering because it allows us to choose the more beneficial perspective among the many potentially possible.

A photographic project about urban edible weeds

Here I present a photographic project on edible plants that grow on the streets of Berlin and Rome. My aim is to show a different perspective on the 'weeds' that we see everyday on the streets. We usually see these plants as weeds: unwanted, useless and invasive plants. They suddenly become a resource, a symbol of resistance and survival once we know that these plants, growing between the cracks in the concrete, are edible. The plants are the same but the filter through which we see them has changed.

Who inspired this project?

This photographic project was inspired by an art project carried out by Belgian contemporary artist Jef Geys and ethnobotanist Ina Vandebroek that displayed at La Biennale di Venezia photos of medicinal plants growing on urban spaces.

Weeds as food and medicine.

Many weeds have medicinal properties and some authors have emphasized their importance in ethnopharmacology (Stepp and Moerman, 2001).

People around the world, consumed and still consume weeds as part of their diet (Bye, 2000) and some authors claim that we should consider them as a future resource (Diaz-Betancourt et al., 2001).

Disclaimer:

Please note that the author of this webpages and photos does not recommend collecting and consuming wild plants from an urban environment as these can be contaminated by several types of pollutants. Moreover, before collecting plants from any environment one must be 100% sure of the identification of the plant species as there exist many poisonous plants. One must also know how to prepare and process plants before consumption.