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Scattered Seeds

Scattered Seeds

Community Seed Savers in the Diaspora

For two decades, I've been making pictures of some of the worst expressions of human dominion over—and despoliation of—land, water, animals, plants and people. I'm not delusional. I haven't undertaken any of this work with the intent of stemming the tide of wreckage, a responsibility that feels increasingly beyond the reach of documentary photography. Sometimes the best you can hope for is to bear witness to, and make a record of, the end of the world as you know it.

When a friend of mine asked if I might like to document the creation of a new community-engaged seed farm she was leading, one focused on restorative justice for people dispossessed over centuries of seeds that are culturally meaningful to them, I demured. "You know I don't really do redemption," I thought. But as I sat with the idea, and the more I learned about the importance of seeds—as human sustenance, living expressions of culture and arks of biodiversity—the moral heft of the opportunity accumulated. I've since come to understand my friend's invitation as a gift I simply wasn't prepared to grasp the meaning of at the time it was offered.

Scattered Seeds is a new work-in-progress.