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WE WILL 'ULU. WE WILL GROW. (2022), two screens (ca. 30' /Loop)


we will 'ulu. we will grow. is a presentation of the research on the breadfruit tree  growing on Kaua'i, Hawai'i. The breadfruit arrived as a so-called kanu-plant on the island with the first people coming from Polynesia searching for new places to settle.

Breadfruit is an important component in traditional agroforestry systems and can be grown besides a wide range of plants. The trees are very long-lived and begin to bear fruit in three to five years after they have been planted. The trees require little attention or care, producing an abundance of food with minimal input of labor or materials, and thrive under a wide range of ecological conditions. In a world with nearly 1 billion hungry people, 80% of whom live in the tropics, the conservation, study and use of breadfruit is extremely relevant.

So, the superfood needs to be brought back into the diet as it kind of got lost on the way. This research explores the meaning that breadfruit could have for us today and in the future.

This project was part of the exhibition „Tiny Unpredictable Objects“ in July 2022 at „Neues Forum Wissen“ in Göttingen, Germany, curated by Susanne Wernsing. The curator chose four specimen from the herbarium that Georg Forster brought from his voyage on Captain Cooks ship Resolution happening between 1772-75. The breadfruit or artocapus is one of them. Forster was a botanist, but can also be seen as an anthropologist, describing this voyage through the southern sea very detailed and also not leaving out culinary descriptions, such as how well the breadfruit tastes on many places they come across, how well it can be served and what nutritious value it contains.

With many thanks to my interview partners Noel Dickinson, Steffen Wild, Kaina Makuna and Brian Yamamoto.

Thanks also go to the National Botanical Tropical Garden on Kaua’i, Carolin Wild, Mariella Mladineo, Susanne Wernsing and Runa Hoffmann, and the team of the Villa Aurora, Los Angeles.

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