Planting Abolition

Location: Virtual

Time: 1 PM to 2:15 PM

A natural dye workshop for plants commonly found in the kitchen, garden, or with a keen eye in the wild. Over Zoom we will be screening a pre-prepared video walking through the steps of natural dyeing, then facilitating a live discussion. Participants will also receive a pdf with a list of many other local dye plants, instructions for harvest and use. We also hope to incorporate time for discussion about foraging, whiteness, and settler colonialism in this workshop.

Our group is in the process of planning a natural dye garden on UCSC campus in partnership with Tim Young, a wrongfully convicted and death row imprisoned black man. Our garden – the Freedom Garden – sees plants as comrades in abolition. That is, our garden is a place for teaching and learning knowledge of natural dye processes that builds ways of being in relation with land and each other that is both a refusal of the carceral state, and insistence on a vibrant collective Freedom that we propagate and grow ourselves. We see the freedom of land, the freedom of all those imprisoned by the state, and collective liberation as intrinsically linked. We turn to plants as teachers in memorializing those lost to the violent, carceral, genocidal state, and teachers in finding alternate worlds and freedoms embedded within the cracks of the present. Our garden intends to be a space of abolitionist possibility in the homogenizing context of the University. Freedom Garden is a sister project of sorts to the already-planted Solitary Garden, a project by artist jackie sumell in collaboration with Tim Young and UC Santa Cruz’s Institute of Arts and Sciences (IAS). We will hear from a special guest from IAS, who will provide a deeper context and inside look to the implementation of the project and the Institute’s upcoming Visualizing Abolition series. 


Color Study Group

CSG was born from a desire to investigate the materiality of color. We are a group of UC Santa Cruz students at UCSC’s Art Department and we interrogate the cultural, psychological, and metaphysical implications of color. Our interests in color and the world it inhabits are ever-expanding, but as of late this group is most focused on natural dyeing and the planting of a community dye garden. Our latest project, Freedom Garden (working title), is currently being conceptualized in collaboration with Timothy Young, a wrongly convicted and death row imprisoned black man. We see plants as comrades in abolition, and see the freedom of land, the freedom of all those imprisoned by the state, and collective liberation as intrinsically linked.