Botanical deperialism | Floral Fables : Cultivating Spatial Imaginaries

Botanical deperialism | Floral Fables : Cultivating Spatial Imaginaries - Self-published - 66 pages - 2023

Botanical deperialism | Floral Fables : Cultivating Spatial Imaginaries (2023) is a project questing on the tight relationship that lies between botany and imperialism in the Groote Schuur Zoo, an abandoned zoo built in Cape Town (S-A) in the early 20th century by Cecil B. Rhodes —a renowned British imperialist and expansionist who left an indelible mark on history, to the extent that two countries were named in his honor.

The papers argues that animals alongside introduced alien vegetation to the mountain were not only the stages upon which history occurred but were in fact the very actors by which power was asserted and colonial utopias alongside spatial imaginaries enhanced for the white middle-class public.

As botany served as a tool to legitimize early exploratory voyages alongside quests for spices and gold, the establishment of botanical gardens played a crucial role in displaying the wealth of empires in the colony. It is through the canon of botany that the book explores the ways in which invasive ecologies rewrite colonial narratives and form novel urban ecosystems.