Paradise Reconfigured: Abscissing Everyday Garden Politics
Thiresh Govender, Jiaxin Yan Gong,
14 - Rogue Economies: Producing Leisure
"Paradise" originates from the Old Avastana word meaning "an enclosure", which has become the understanding of the garden, woven into carpets of the Safavid period. These carpets allowed the Owner to roll up their Paradise for it to be laid in a new context, still maintaining the exclusionary conditions.
The Natives Land Act of 1913 laid the foundation for a political paradise to some, to the exclusion of many. The work explores the issue within the urban setting. It reveals how remnants of the Natives Land Act reinforce domestic displacement by maintaining monopolies of both territories and authorship of the making of our urban, suburban, and intimate environments.
Paradise Reconfigured stitches together different scales of Paradise: from the making of the urban landscape as the metaphorical "backyard", to the tactics of control of private gardens, to the picnic blanket as a device that reduces and inhabits Paradise. It proposes methods of performance as ways to protest and alter the built and legislative structures that seek to maintain these monopolies. Finally, the work shows how these structures may be altered and layered like a palimpsest through the intimate process of acceptance and welcoming of the "other" in our spatial arrangements.