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Vital gardens

Pruned: Defiant Gardens

“Defiant gardens are gardens created during times of extreme crisis, built behind the trenches of World War I, on both sides of the Western Front; in Jewish ghettos and Nazi concentration camps during World War II; in POW and civilian internment camps of both wars, tended to by prisoners and their captors; in internment camps for Japanese Americans in the United States during World War II; in garrisons, depots and battalion headquarters; in refugee camps; on the hollowed out concavities left behind by the Blitz. They are ‘short-lived, their marks on the land quickly obliterated’.”

“Photo by Simon Norfolk which appeared in David Rieff, ‘Displaced Places,’ New York Times Sunday Magazine, 21 September 2003. At a camp in Ingushetia, Russia housing thousands of refugees from Chechnya, Mailia Huseeinova ‘built a makeshift garden with white stones and two summers ago she planted sunflowers that grew to drape over the roof of the tent. She says that though others in the camp think she’s odd for doing so, she likes to surround herself with beautiful things’.”