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Xenialogia

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Auteurs / Authors : Natasha Christopher

Description : Xeniologies

Axes de recherche / Research axes (Play/Urban):

Green spaces of the city

The word joins three ideas – xeni, for foreigner, xenia, which relates to plant ecologies, and ‘logy’, derived from ecology.

Xeni is the Greek word for host or hospitality. In colloquial terminology it is used to refer to a stranger or foreigner.

‘Xenia’ – also from the Greek, relates to plant and human ecologies. In botany, it refers to the effect of genes introduced by pollen and results in hybrid forms.

(Eco)logy is self explanatory.

Johannesburg has six million trees. A century’s worth of planting on this Highveld plateau has resulted in the world’s largest urban forest in what was a dry savannah grassland biome.

Planting began in the 1880s.

Acorn, oak and walnut trees were imported from the Cape.

Blue gums were planted for mine props.

Exotic trees were given to [some] residents for their gardens. This nonetheless left many people without any access to greenery whatsoever.

In the 1990s, and then again in the 2000s programs were/are being developed centered around planting trees in treeless areas. But there are areas and areas, and some spots remain woefully undergreened. Put another way, it is possible to read the social biography of a place by looking at its plantings.

Exhibit

Title: Xeniology

Ville / City : Johannesburg

Medium: Digital Colour prints

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by Natasha Christopher • 21 September 2012

“Green spaces of the city

‘Xenia’ relates to human and plant ecologies.

In botany, it refers to the effect of genes introduced by pollen and results in hybrid forms.

Xeni is the Greek word for host or hospitality, but in (Greek) colloquial terminology it is used to refer to a stranger or foreigner.
Johannesburg has six million trees

Planting began in the 1880s
Before that, the area was savannah/grassland system.
Acorn, oak and walnut trees were imported from the Cape.
Blue gums were planted for mine props
Exotic trees were given to [some] residents for their gardens

In the 1990s, a program was developed centered around planting trees in treeless suburbs.”

P1030852 P1030854



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