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‘Common Salt’ with Bites, Beverages and Botany
Thu 24 May, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm BST£10
The SLBI is combining an Open Garden Evening with a theatrical event and delicious refreshments. The Open Garden is free, whilst there is an admission for ‘Common Salt’ – Booking essential – here.
‘Common Salt is a performance around a table – a ‘show and tell’ by artists Sheila Ghelani and Sue Palmer – see here. It explores the colonial, geographical history of England and India taking an expansive and emotional time-travel, from the first Enclosure Act and the start of the East India Company in the 1600s, to 21st century narratives of trade, race and culture. Sue and Sheila activate insights into our shared past, laying out a ‘home museum’ of objects and stories; of the Great Hedge of India, of borders, and collections – all accompanied by original Shruti box laments. Common Salt is a reckoning; the interconnectedness between history and global power, artefact and trade, race and memory is hidden in plain sight’.
This prickly hedge has direct links to the South London Botanical Institute. In the 1840s, our founder, A O Hume, who also co-founded the Indian National Congress, was directed by the East India Company to try and stop salt smugglers in India. After noticing the existing prickly plants he decided to turn this into a green wall, an impenetrable perfect thorny hedge 2,500 miles long. So it was born.
The performance, laid out on a table, follows a loop of forgotten weaponry, covert colonialism and contemporary finance, rich with interdependence. Focusing on hedges as habitats of diversity, barriers and borders, and salt and the connection with shipwrecks, taxation, and famine.
There will be two performances of one hour each in the late afternoon and early evening. Our garden will be open to the public from 6 – 8 pm, where we will be serving a collection of food and botanical cocktails – no booking necessary for this part of the evening.
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