Student Work: Amy D’Agorne Craighill

Peeling the Paris Green by Amy D’Agorne Craighill

"...beyond the elemental act of day to day nourishment, food, like gold, functions as currency."Ackerman, 1990, p.129

In Peeling The Paris Green, the value placed on different knowledge systems is investigated in relation to the growing issues surrounding global food security in the face of the ever-increasing climate crisis. The contentious debate between the more industrial-based science of gene editing vs. the more holistic-based movement of agroecology and the importance and rights of indigenous knowledge is expressed through an in-depth, rhizomatic, research-based photographic investigation of the humble potato. The project traces the politics surrounding this complex issue, through genetic engineering laboratories in the UK, the indigenous-led communities of Parque de la Papa (The Potato Park) in the Peruvian Andes, seen widely as the guardians of potato diversity and advocates against biopiracy, to the cryopreservation of potatoes at The International Potato Centre in Lima, a step deemed necessary as plant varieties rapidly become extinct.

Interspersed with constructed still lives, research and data, the project mixes discernibly disparate visuals that disrupt and ultimately seek to confront the limitations of documentary photography, while shedding light on the complex secrets hidden beneath the food on our plates.