My Project Resistant Herbarium / Rosa Luxemburg emerges after the impact produced in me when I found out, just before the confinement, at a conference by Didier Huberman1on Rosa Luxemburg’s involvement between life and politics, that the latter had a herbarium. From that moment on I started investigating about her interest in botany and the animal world.
This herbarium, to which she dedicated her free time and above all her periods of imprisonment, consisted mainly of the leaves and flowers that grew in her cell or outside of it, all details of which she carefully catalogued and classified: look, family, name in Latin and in German, as well as the fragrance and blossoming period.
During the first Covid-19 confinement in Paris, where I currently live, I started paying attention to my vegetal surroundings, undoubtedly due to my interest in the life and work of Rosa Luxemburg. I was surprised to observe how, because of the situation, numerous wild plants emerged that spring throughout the city and in an exuberant way. I saw themand studied them each time I left the house for basic needs, and started to work intuitively, cataloguing them and drawing them in detail.
During this period, although obviously the confinement had a different nature from that of Rosa Luxemburg’s imprisonment, both her herbarium and the correspondence about her intimate relationship with nature accompanied me. Perhaps I could even say they guided my research process, since I decided to carry out a continuation of her herbarium in my own way, thus updating the interest she granted to all living creatures. The resistance of these wild plants attracted me basically, since also I had to resist, and I wondered to what extent this relationship of hers with nature sustained her mentally, to what extent it had been that relationship that helped her continue ahead with her struggle and alleviate the consequences of her political involvement.
The project has been thought from an eco-feminist perspective, and focuses on three main themes:
1-To acknowledge juridical existence to all living creatures; to consider nature and the biosphere as a crucial political agent in a Realpolitik2.
2-To re-update the legacy of a genealogy of well-known and anonymous women who give us examples at international level of valuation and protection of the bio-diversity and of their constant resistance to any form of oppression.
3-To consider the feminist power3as a life force and therefore as a political force in its transversal nature, loaded with an urgency and a wish that already today generates coalition forms capable of confronting the destructive capacity of neoliberal violence.
The resistant herbarium is an artistic project made up by diverse interventions, which nourishes from the research and the action of multiple collaborators: activists, botanists, artists and other agents associated to the project in a regular/eventual way, and with whom I will display the Herbarium project in different cities.
L’Herbier Résistant Rosa Luxembourg est un projet artistique de Paula Valero conçu comme une continuation de celui que Rosa a réalisé tout au long de sa vie.
L’herbier Résistant propose d’élaborer une généalogie en établissant des correspondances entre la capacité de résilience des plantes urbaines et la contribution fondamentale des femmes en ce qui concerne la protection de toutes les manifestations de la biodiversité.
Les plantes les plus résistantes sont les « mauvaises herbes », celles qui poussent sans demander la permission, celles qui persistent et reviennent même si elles sont détruites. Elles sont les pionnières car elles préparent le terrain en le minéralisant, pour aider les suivantes à pousser. Leur but ultime est de créer la forêt. Comme le
mouvement féministe: préparer le terrain pour d’autres femmes dans l’avenir.
J'ai commencé ce projet polymorphe en 2020 et l’ai mis en
œuvre dans les différentes (Auverbilliers, Palerme, Buenos Aires, Bilbao, Valencia, La Havane). Afin d’intégrer l’Herbier Résistant au lieu où le projet est activé, le point de départ est toujours l’étude des plantes et des historiographies de femmes associées au contexte. Ce projet se construit avec la collaboration de spécialistes locaux, botaniques, artistes, théoricien.ne.s du féminisme qui apportent leur savoir et leur expérience et contribuent à enrichir le projet.