Pollinating Relationships

The Collaborative Methodology of the Legacies Project

Listen! Listen for the buzz. No. Listen to the silence. Wild bees are dying off at alarming rates. One in three bites of food we eat depends on being pollinated by those bees, so our survival is intimately connected to theirs. Like them, we are threatened with extinction.

Seeing like a bee or like a plant or like soil challenges our human-centric view of the world, a view which, in fact, contributes to the global environmental crisis. While the conversations in this book privilege human voices, we try to get inside the more-than-human forms of life in the images and stories in our videos and photo essays.

Pollination is a process that honours interspecies relations, and describes the Legacies exchange well, a cross-pollination of people, knowledges and practices. Since 2015, the Earth to Tables Legacies exchange has been pollinating relationships: across species, across generations, across borders, across ecologies, across cultures, across historical moments.1

  1. As the initiator and coordinator of this exchange, I have written this reflection on our methodology. So while I have shared it with production team members and other collaborators for comments, it represents primarily my perspective on our process. There are some points where I use the personal pronoun, “I”, when it makes sense.