Yams, hormones and bioprospecting’ – A drop in workshop at the Wellcome Collection.

Thursday 21 March, 3-5 pm
Join Rebecca Beinart for a drop-in workshop to sift through images and get intimate with the Elephant’s Foot Yam. We will make drawings of the plant from dried samples, herbarium copies and a rich array of archival material. Whilst we draw we will piece together the story of the wild yam, indigenous uses and knowledge, colonial plant-hunting and taxonomy, its use in pharmaceutical drug manufacture, and issues around contemporary conservation.

This series of workshops are part of Rebecca’s ‘Urban Antibodies’ project. Each session takes the story of specific plants as a starting point to delve into histories of material and knowledge transfer, bioprospecting, exploitation, medical innovation, gender, bodies, power, control, patents and profit. Through a practical activity, participants are invited to work directly with material from the archives – bringing these histories into dialogue with contemporary experiences of hormones and health. The research for Urban Antibodies was supported through a Wellcome Research Bursary.

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