(de)composition I, II, II
Tag Location: Conondale, Yugarapul and Yimbun Parks
Tag Score: imagine a future public
Sugarcane arrived in Australia with the First Fleet in 1788. A double invasion. The first commercial plantation was established in Meanjin/Brisbane in 1862. By then the first white squatters had settled in northern Queensland to support the Sugar Industry. Cheap and compliant workforce. Things progressed. An estimated 62,500 Pacific Islanders were brought to Queensland between 1863 and 1904. Cheap, even free, black labour. Laws changed. Italian and other European migrants arrived to seek employment in the sugarcane fields. (Source, Australia Sugar Heritage Centre)
Since we garden in Meanjin, we have been mulching with organic sugarcane grown on Indigenous land. How do we relate to its complex and distressing stories? Over one year living in Eight Mile Plains, we walked the parks close to our hosting home. Gardening and walking are essential for our mental wellbeing. They show us how to collaboratively participate in the performance of life. By walking nine sugarcane bales, placing three under native trees in three places across the parks’ walking paths, we invited humans and nonhumans to their (de)composition. How will it happen? The openness and unpredictability of the process reflect the more-than-human scales on which life performs.