Workshop: The 15th Garden- between self-determination and political crackdown

The violence in Syria continues and counter-revolutionary forces continue to strive to destroy the accomplishments of self-organized civil structures in all over Syria. To gain a better understanding on how to better assess the current developments in Syria, Ansar will give a brief background on developments of the last year until today.

Ansar Hevi will give an input on the 15th Garden, a bottom-up network of urban gardens in cities that have been bombed or are besieged in Syria and agricultural projects. The network includes family gardens, farmers in rural areas, and agriculture initiatives in refugee camps in neighbouring states. Through the 15th Garden open pollinated seeds are swapped and reproduced in and around Syria, skills for sustainable agriculture and gardening are exchanged in workshops and courses, and knowledge is shared about the dangers related to the promises made by agribusiness actors. On a non-sectarian basis a network for food sovereignty developed. The 15th Garden is an integral part of the young Syrian civil society mushrooming ever since 2011 in many parts of Syria that are outside the control of the official government. In Europe information events are organised to tell a different story about Syria – not one of terror, bombs and escape – but one of seeds, self-determination, and freedom, and the belief in social justice and peace and through this a better future for Syria. The 15th Garden soon received solidarity and support, both within the region and from initiatives in Europe. European groups in Germany, France, Greece, Italy and Sweden began to collect organic non-hybrid seeds and send it to people in besieged cities.

At the end of the presentation at Reclaim the Seeds we will explore how we can support the 15th Garden in the Netherlands. [This workshop will be in English.]