Urban Cultivators

Chris Hellwig

Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam


What is more human than the creation of stories? Stories about how we belong, stories about what is around us, and stories about stories. This film is a story that starts at an urban farm in South London and depicts different relationships that London migrants have with green spaces. From cultivating plants to cultivating words, the viewer is taken on a journey through natural environments and personal stories of nostalgia and belonging. We go from poetry at Loughborough Farm to Waterlow park, allotments in Streatham, and the mountains of Wales. This ethnographic film approaches authorship as a collaboration between subjects, the researcher, and the environment. It tries to let the viewer experience nature as a beholder whilst being reflective of the subjective reality that is composed by the anthropologist. This visual diary helps the viewer reflect on the method of film and beauty of a community’s garden.


Visual Ethnography; Urban Farm; Identity; Poetry

Author contact: chrisjenahellwig [at] gmail.com

Citation: Hellwig, C., 2019. “Urban Cultivators”, Irish Journal of Anthropology, 22(1), 61-62.