Performing Farmscapes on Urban Streets

Susan Chandler Haedicke


In The Principle of Hope, Ernst Bloch introduces the idea of the “Not-Yet”, a ubiquitous utopian impulse that stimulates future-oriented thinking about “something … that has never been conscious before.” These imaginings of a better future, Bloch argues, are really only ways to understand the obscurities of the present. Street theatre companies, like Le Phun, Opéra Pagaï, Friches Théâtre Urbain and Fallen Fruit, seek to envisage a “not-yet” of future urban farmscapes in familiar present-day city locations. Their performance-based projects highlight contemporary social issues around alternative agricultural practices and suggest imaginative solutions—or, if not solutions then provocations—to world-wide concerns around food security by proposing ephemeral urban farms in unexpected city sites and restoring the efficacy of an agricultural “commons” where resources and tasks are shared. Each project thus metaphorically marks the urban landscape with creative possibilities for a more secure food future.

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