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Growing Abolition: A Tea Party

July 23, 2022
Destiny Mata

This “abolitionist tea party” accompanies Growing Abolition, an ongoing collaboration between artist jackie sumell and The Lower Eastside Girls Club unfolding around a greenhouse installed in the side Courtyard of PS1. For this event, mobile “apothecarts” designed by sumell—housing various herbs, teas, and plants—will occupy the public plaza outside of PS1’s main entrance. In conversation with sumell and girls from the Lower East Side Girls Club, visitors are invited to circle up, taste, feel, and smell different plants, many of which are considered “weeds.” Plants, as healers and storytellers, have historically been key to forms of resistance—used, for example, to map significant places along the underground railroad. An abolitionist’s tea party will ask: how does the natural world endorse abolition as a strategy for liberation?