AUDIO—We Are the Forest: Bringing Plants to Life in Lima, Peru

This audio story originally appeared on Swearer Sparks, a social innovation blog from Brown University’s Swearer Center for Public Service.

planton movil

“This movement is not a group of people carrying plants. For that day you are going to be that pine tree. We are the forest.”

It started with walks around the city.

While living in Lima, Peru, Lucia Monge would walk around and notice how poorly people treated the trees. Which prompted the thought: if I were a tree, I would just stand up and leave!

From there, Plantón Móvil was born. The event is part-performance-art, part-public-demonstration, part-parade. Participants march through Lima, carrying and adorning themselves with plants. In doing so, their bodies become vessels—as they move, the plants they carry can “move” through, and claim, the city.

For Monge, the project is an artistic expression, as well as a way of bringing the environmental movement to people in an immediate, tangible way. At the end of each march, the plants are used to create a public green space in Lima.

Monge’s love of both science and art go back to childhood, when she cultivated an appreciation for observation during weekly birdwatching sessions with her grandfather. For the last four years, she taught K-12 science during the day, then left school in the afternoons to go to her studio, where she made art.

Today, as a MFA student at RISD, Monge continues to explore how we can use art and education to transform the way we live in cities, and forge closer relationships between ourselves and all living things.

Links:

Music:

  • “Song for a Pea,” “Netherland,” and “La Di Day,” by Podington Bear (http://podingtonbear.com/)
  • Original songs composed for Planton Movil 2012 by Nicolás Wangeman
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