The starting point for Yto Barrada’s project is the unique and tragic figure of Thérèse Rivière. In the 1930s, the French ethnologist traveled to Algeria, to the Aurès mountains, to study the Berber Chaouis people.
Throughout history, populations have always surrounded themselves with their favourite plants, due to their usefulness or beauty. If not in the garden, inside the house, living or represented through different supports, objects of admiration and decoration. But looking beyond the carpet, where do these botanic species actually come from, what is their habitat and ecological behaviour? I offer a biological approach to the challenges of plant acclimatisation and details of their natural history, as well as stories of success and defeats related to the great undertaking of humankind that was, and still is, the interweaving of our planet’s flora.
This lecture by António Carmo Gouveia is part of the additional activities of the exhibition The Emperor’s Flowers. From the Bulb to the Carpet.
António Carmo Gouveia is director of the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra. He has a PhD specialising in the ecology of the montadofrom the University of Coimbra. More recently, he divides his research between invasive plant ecology and the history of science as a researcher at the Centre for Functional Ecology at the University of Coimbra. He was a visiting researcher at Stanford University and CSIC-Doñana in Seville. He was also the coordinator of the project No trilho dos Naturalistas(On the trail of Naturalists).