3rd May 2022
Nature and Us: Botany, traditional knowledge and literature in our environment
Wandering through plants and words, departing from Les Corts-Miquel Llongueras Library and culminating at the Maternity Gardens.
Organised by the University of Barcelona and the Botanical Institute of Barcelona (IBB, CSIC-Barcelona City Council), this interdisciplinary workshop merged literature and botany, promoting, spreading, sharing and disseminating the knowledge of Barcelona's urban flora. Lasting for two hours, the workshop consisted of a route from the Les Corts-Miquel Llongueras Library (our meeting place) to the Barcelona Maternity Gardens. Between cartography and literary research, we identified several plant species and learned about their ethnobotanical uses, shared by the activity's participants. Through a set of poetic and botanical worksheets and the reading of a literary text in relation to each selected species, we engaged with the vegetal environment by writing, reciting, drawing or sharing knowledge multidisciplinarily.
The activity highlighted our connection and coexistence with nearby species through traditional knowledge, becoming aware of sensations (views, sounds, smells, textures, tastes) and feelings (comfort, tranquility, discomfort ...). The walk fostered our integration into the environment in which we live, transcending the exclusionary dichotomy between culture and nature, between humanities and sciences.
The workshop was led by a team of professors and researchers from the Pharmacy and Food Sciences Faculty and the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Barcelona, as well as the director of the Botanical Institute of Barcelona (IBB, CSIC-Barcelona City Council): Eva Figueras (Fine Arts), Teresa Garnatje (IBB), Mar Redondo (Fine Arts) and Joan Vallès (Pharmacy and Food Sciences). The group has been working on projects together since 2019, sharing scientific and artistic perspectives.
Images by Joan Martínez Urango