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The themes we explored for the second issue of Where the Leaves Fall focused on death, journey and seeds, alongside a number of essays in the dialogues section.
In this section we look at how Ana Mendieta celebrated her own mortality in her work, exploring the cycle of life and death and our connection with nature. Transcending the spiritual and philosophical to the actual, Antonina Savytska’s visceral images of the last months of her aunt’s life paints a stark and honest portrait of our relationship not just with death, but the life that leads us there and the patterns and behaviours of the ancestors that live through us. And we look at how societal conventions around death, developed to make the process as comfortable and acceptable as possible, are being challenged by environmentalists with the aim of ‘greening’ the system.
We begin our exploration of journey (as well as the cover image) with The Flower Laboratory’s reuse of heather flowers leftover from a fashion shoot as art, as communion, as rehabilitation. Then we explore the Russian cultural phenomenon of the dacha, the plot of land and residence beyond the city boundaries where people can escape to nature. With ayahuasca, another way to commune with nature, we question the impact of yagé tourism on Indigenous communities.
Seeds are a ubiquitous part of our daily lives and in this section we explore different seed interactions – whether it’s searching for endangered flora in Kyrgyzstan, understanding how seeds are used to communicate with ancestors in Zimbabwe, discovering the world’s largest seed in the Seychelles, or exploring the structure and ways seeds disperse through the camera’s lens.
Our dialogues offer a range of ideas and different perspectives, including climate change activism in Africa, how death should be celebrated as a part of the food cycle, the water element, bringing climate change to our doorstep, the ecosystems that thrive above our heads, and drawing a garden in motion.
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