Putting Down Roots: Festival to celebrate the immigrant plants of Scotland as almost 80% of city plants hail from overseas

People | Friday 8 July 2022
Various people relaxing under a canopy of synthetic trees in the centre of Birmingham
Our Creative Director Angie Bual and Professor Jane Memmott discuss the inspiration behind PoliNations and how the themes of botany and seed dispersal connect with Scottish history.

“PoliNations was inspired by the toppling of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol during the Black Lives Matter movement. It made us think about how and why we are such a multicultural nation and ways to tell this story better. Obviously it made us think about slavery, which has links to Edinburgh and Glasgow in particular, then empire and colonialism and migration, but we wanted to look at it in a more positive and accessible way. So we decided to use plants as a metaphor for the multicultural vibrancy that has been brought to the UK and invite us to reimagine our societies as more diverse, greener and wilder places to be.”

“…while the festival brings all of this imperial history to light, it’s not about making people feel guilty or bad. It’s about educating and highlighting things many of us know nothing about but that actually directly affect us in our daily lives so we can be more informed.” Angie Bual

Professor jane Memmott also explains the history behind some of the everyday plants you may not have realised aren’t native to Scotland and the UK, such as apple trees, potatoes, roses, Douglas fir trees and more.

Read the full article.

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PoliNations and Trigger
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Unboxed, Creativity in the UKCommissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK and also presented as part of Birmingham 2022 Festival
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HM Government
Northern Ireland Executive
Scottish Government Riaghaltas na h-Alba
Llywodraeth Cymru Welsh Government
Belfast City Council
EventScotland
Cymru Greadigol Creative Wales
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