Occupy The Land! UnConference (Expanded)
[The following is a Arts & Labor Alternative Economies report back on the NYC Community Garden Coalition Occupy The Land! Unconference 2012. Expanded here with more photos and reviewed in "Gardening Art Grows into Activism In The Age of Occupy" by Martha Schwendener, Village Voice, Jun 13 2012]
This year the NYC Community Garden Coalition invited the working groups of Occupy Wall Street to help organize their first city-wde Community Garden Unconference. A member of Arts & Labor Alternative Economies / Making Worlds Commons Coalition stepped up to organize a schedule of events for the Occupy the Land! Unconference, June 1-3.
Beginning at noon on Saturday, the schedule worked it’s way through two community gardens in South Williamsburg. Berry Street Garden, the first stop, was started by the local community over 35 years ago while The Southside Community Garden, the second garden on the schedule, was only a few years old. The first discussion concerned community gardens as a commons and was co-organized by Making World Commons Coalition and Occupy Williamsburg members. While the second garden was host to a workshop by 596 Acres, a group dedicated to helping people acquire and develop green community spaces.
The schedule then moved over the East River and into the East Village, known to have the highest concentration of community gardens. A childrens’ art making workshop at the Children’s Garden was held in tandem with a swarming for activist workshop at Green Oasis Garden by a member of The Nsumi Collective. The swarming workshop was closely followed by a lip balm making workshop with honey treats also at Green Oasis Garden.
The last workshop of the day was held at El Jardin De Paraiso and was about squatting vacant lots with a brief history of green space squatting in the village by members of C (See) Squats’ Museum of Reclaimed Urban Land.
As the sunset, the community was invited to join a group of spatial & social practice concerned artist for a night of food, video, live music and conviviality at La Petit Versailles Garden, organize by vizkult.
photo sets, top to bottom: Southside Community Garden (3), Berry Street Garden (5), East Village Childrens Garden, Green Oasis Garden (3), El Jardin Del Paraiso (2), La Petit Versaille (3) // all photos CC-BY-NC 3.0 vizKult
(For more info on participants and exact locations please see the Occupy The Land June 2nd schedule by vizkult, et al.)