Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vandana Shiva on the Politics of Saving Seeds

Vandana Shiva (Photo by Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine)
No matter what problem you look at, every ecological problem comes from this illusion that we are separate from nature. I believe overcoming the separation is a longing much deeper than the recent rise of ecological awareness. The healing is coming from reclaiming our oneness with the web of life, with the universe itself.  
Some people do it through meditation and yoga, but a lot more are doing it by just planting a seed and growing a garden. In planting a seed you are one with the cycles and regenerative capacity of life. We hear the same thing again and again from children we work with sowing gardens of hope with seeds of freedom. When you ask, “So what did you learn?” they always talk about the miracle of life—that a tiny seed bursts into a plant and gives an abundance, and they can harvest a seed from it.  
A seed sown in the soil makes us one with the Earth. It makes us realize that we are the Earth. That this body of ours is the panchabhuta—the five elements that make the universe and make our bodies. The simple act of sowing a seed, saving a seed, planting a seed, harvesting a crop for a seed is bringing back this memory—this timeless memory of our oneness with the Earth and the creative universe.

There’s nothing that gives me deeper joy than the work of protecting the diversity and the freedom of the seed. Every expression of diversity is an expression of freedom, and every expression of monoculture is an expression of coercion.
This excerpt is taken from an interview done by Sarah van Gelder of Yes! Magazine.  Read the entire interview here.
Comment:  Vandana Shiva wrote of the colonization of the stomach and it opened a whole new understanding of colonialism and its persistence for me.

GMOs are the expanding frontier of colonialism.  And yet so very little attention is paid to the intersection between what we eat and the eradication of culture, heritage and traditions.

At stake is our diversity and that of the larger biodiversity.

I want to think more about the implications of this area, particularly the intersection between memory and the preservation of seeds as an anti-colonial struggle.  There is definitely a politics that must be ascertained here.

Some may say that colonialism is over so what is the point.  They would be wrong.


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