Queerness was and sometimes still is considered “un-natural”. Queer horticultures challenge this “un-naturalness” and the heterosexim transported in ecology and create queer-feminist ecologies.
The film shows what these queer horticultures can look like when binaries of nature and culture, human and more-than-human and of body and environment are getting deconstructed in creative ways and new worlds are being shaped.
In 18 interviews Ella von der Haide gathered impressions of queer gardens and their gardeners. We hear how the gardeners use their spaces and what kind of plant-relationships they are engaging in. The very intimate (and trusting) atmosphere of the interviews allows the viewers to get glimpses of the importance horticulture can play in the worldmaking of queer people.
Gardens are places of resourcing for resistance and for transforming of the marks of oppression and they are places that allow the questioning the heteronormative lifestyle and the creation of new visions, stories and concrete physical alternatives … that are eatable and taste well.
We see how queer horticultural experiences are being “composted” into songs, poems, dances, rituals and literature. These artistic sequences and an exploration of plant-tattoos make the film not only entertaining but also are building bridges to serious subjects like: how to morn for dead friends in a queer way and how to eradicate racism in gardening communities and the environmental movements.
The film also reflects on the fact that gardens are places of ambiguity and with this a form of queerness in themselves; they blur the line of culture and nature, of paradise and conflict zone. They are at the same time nature and culture – paradise and conflict zone. Land use is never innocent; it is connected to colonial histories of agriculture and the extinction of plants, insects and animals. The web of intersectional oppressions surfaces here. Questions of how to decolonize horticulture and organize alternative forms of access and the re-appropriation of spiritualties are being discussed in the film.
With her documentary Ella von der Haide adds to the emerging discussion of queer ecologies. And raises new questions. The film is an unfinished puzzle with the invitation to continue to play with it.