Change Agent Series (Ep. 3) – Two guerrilla gardeners (Wayword Sun and Liliana Transplanter) in a network of city greeners representing AMbush Guerilla Gardening Collective talk to us about the evolution of their art-form. They are using planting as a act of inspiration and rebellion against the stark and rubbish fueled environment of the big city Johannesburg, South Africa. They explain about some of the projects they’ve been involved with, from the Climate Train, a roving greening initiative supported by the national government, which happened around the COP17 events, to their independent concepts and continual initiatives, such as AMBush, Pollination, the current Bez Valley city strip revitalizing, and their network gatherings under the umbrella of Permafunk & Social Fermentation.
Grass root social initiatives of this type are critical both in terms of urban greening and developing an urbanised food supply that is not reliant upon mainstream commerce. Important here are the health benefits obtained from growing your own food, using less space for food cultivation and the concept of urban gardens to feed low economic communities.
Projects like this should receive wider support in emerging economies with large income inequalities, since nutrition and food security impact sub bread line communities without access to the mainstream economy, employment and adequate nutrition. This interview highlights not only the work being done but also the potential that is available for these communities.
What is the definition of Guerilla Gardening?
Guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to utilize, such as an abandoned site, an area that is not being cared for, or private property. It encompasses a diverse range of people and motivations, ranging from gardeners who spill over their legal boundaries to gardeners with political influences who seek to provoke change by using guerrilla gardening as a form of protest or direct action. This practice has implications for land use and land reform; aiming to promote re-consideration of land ownership in order to assign a new purpose or reclaim land that is perceived to be in neglect or misused.
Wikipedia – Summary Version
Additional information related to their projects can be found here:
AMbush Gardening Collective Blog Spot
Some existing news coverage on the AMBush collective: