You probably noticed how in the last couple of years every technology, every design, every detergent…pretty much everything you could think of is promoted as being “green”. While the big companies try to capitalize the growing fear of world pollution caused by humanity, there is a smaller movement of creatives and adventurers, who try bring more green into their daily urban environment.
Guerrilla gardening has been around since the 1970′s, when Liz Christy and her Green Guerilla group transformed a derelict private lot into a garden in 1973. But even before that Land artists like Alan Sonfist planted a public park representing a replanted pre-colonial section of forest of Manhattan of the 16th century -before settlers- a living monument to the long gone forests of Manhattan.
While the term guerrilla gardening is applied quite loosely by some to describe different forms of radical gardening, it can be defined as “gardening on another person’s land without permission, [...] encompass[ing] a very diverse range of people and motivations, from the enthusiastic gardener who spills over their legal boundaries to the highly political gardener who seeks to provoke change through direct action.” (Wikipedia)
On a much smaller scale our friends Saron Paz, Jose Subero and Kelly de Meyer joined forces to deal with the urban and human nature and the way they interact. Saron Paz and Jose Subero founded Guerrilla Green to experiment with the subtle warfare between the wild and the tamed, and to offer rebellious and fun courses of action.
A couple of months ago they invited Kelly de Meyer to illustrate the journey of Pit for an event in Zaandam, Holland. Pit is a seed that finds the Dutch winter way too cold and wants to be shipped off to warmer areas via balloon or boat. Based on this story, the participants of the event in Zaandam built their own floating devices and balloons to send Pit off into the big world.
Saron Paz explains his vision like this: “Though the connection to the guerrilla gardening movement seems obvious I think we try to have a much more diverse and indirect approach to the subject or urban green. The main idea is not to be too self-righteous and to see it all from a different point of view. At the last event; as much as it was about spreading seeds I think it was about giving urban stressful inhabitants the chance to let loose. It was also about giving young possessive, consumer society driven children the chance to let go of their own creations for the ‘greater good’. I am always scared to be tagged as a ‘sustainable’ project cause I think it makes it all a bit petty and not interesting. I think life is more complex.”
While the event calls for action for more green and is as poetic as it is cute I’m not sure if the spread seeds measure up against the plastic and paper used to send them off. But while this event isn’t necessarily green it sends out the important message that we should be more gentle to mother nature. A message that, in my opinion, renders any critique about the not-so-green-execution of the project irrelevant.