Following in Plantain's Footsteps
Participatory performative inquiry
This performative walk and meditation takes up Potawatomi botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer's call for settler societies to unlearn the mindset of colonization through learning from 'naturalized' plants.
Participants attempted a dialogue with the 'naturalized' plant known to many Indigenous people on Turtle Island as 'White Man's Footprint' (Plantago major or common Plantain). Through attention, drawing and mapping our sensory experience, we engaged in this dialogue as a way to explore pathways to being HERE in a time/place of ecological crisis and unresolved settler colonialism. We also respectfully harvested plantain leaves with plant lover Danielle Gehl and made a medicinal Plantain oil.
I performed Following in Plantain's Footsteps with participants along the Eramosa River in Guelph in July 2017 as part of Musagetes' Mashkiki Gitigaan.
The creation of this work is generously supported by Musagetes.
Photos: Chelsea Brant