Resistance is fertile

2013-05-07 14:53

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The university town of Potchefstroom in the North West is under siege.

First came the pavement pimpers – working with residents to turn their verges into vegetable gardens for less fortunate passers-by to harvest free food.

Now the town has been bombed. By seeds.

The organisers of the town’s first ever seed bombing, B(l)om, want to remain anonymous, but told City Press that this is just the first of their intended guerilla gardening actions.

On Wednesday last week, 60 students and residents gathered for a celebratory picnic at Bremer Park. They had been recruited on social networks and were armed with dozens of environmentally friendly bombs – mostly eggs hollowed out and filled with indigenous seeds.

They flung them into parks and vacant lots, by hand, by slingshot and from car windows.

Many of the eggs were decorated and had slogans written on them, like: “What you sow you will reap” and “resistance is fertile”.

In a few months’ time, they hope, plants will be blooming where once there was just open veld. They have been asked to map the progress of their bombs and post images online.

Asked why they initiated the country’s latest guerilla gardening movement, the organisers sent City Press a statement: “South African cities are increasingly characterised by the architecture of fear. South Africans travel from fortified homes to policed private workplaces and entertainment centres. Public space is often treated as a no man’s land. We want to break down the boundaries and claim back public space.”

Seed bombing, say the green activists, is a way to make urban spaces democratic again. Inspired by the international action to plant pink pansies in public to counteract homophobia, they are planning more attacks.

“We intend to be far more targeted in future. We are looking at sites in Potch that have witnessed violence and discrimination,” said one seed bomber.

“Places where there was a homophobic attack, a site of racism, of violence against a woman … Then we want to seed bomb it as a call for tolerance.”

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