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  • Trans Plantations

    Deniz Sözen

    Chapter from the book: Carabelli, G et al. 2020. Sharpening the Haze: Visual Essays on Imperial History and Memory.


    Building on my practice-based doctoral research, this visual essay traces coffee’s history as the story of a global trans-plant, marked by processes of colonisation, alienation and de-territorialisation. Taking two artworks Kahvehane Kongresspark (2016) and Trans Plantations (2018) as point of departure, the essay explores the global transplantation of coffee in the context of Empire and colonialism through a combination of text and images. The visual components include documentation of the lecture-performance Kahvehane Kongresspark, reflecting coffee’s colonial history and the globalisation of coffee, as well as installation shots of Trans Plantations juxtaposed with haptic images, such as a scan of green coffee beans from Ethiopia. What could we learn from the colonial history of coffee in terms of our understanding of relations between centre and periphery, the local and the global in order to challenge legacies of Empire and re-inscribe the notion of belonging beyond the human? Through an artistic exploration of our intimate relation and “becoming with” (Haraway, 2008) coffee, the essay aims to shift the focus to our interdependence and entanglement with matter, inviting the reader to appreciate that we all belong to the earth, yet the earth does not belong to us.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Sözen, D. 2020. Trans Plantations. In: Carabelli, G et al (eds.), Sharpening the Haze. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/bcd.i

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on Jan. 7, 2020


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