Beej [Seed (in Urdu)] (2017) activates a potential for farming in the municipal workforce, largely from Pakistan, who tend to Sharjah’s landscaping. Two gardeners travelled home to bring vegetable and grain seeds from their family farms in Lahore and Punjab back to Sharjah. Along with others in the community of municipal gardeners, they will sow seeds of their choosing in a roundabout in the Al Naba’ah residential neighbourhood. The roundabout, a site of convening and dispersal, will host the cycles of sowing and harvesting. Spanning a few growing seasons, Beej explores the position of the gardeners in relation to the land that they cultivate, both in Pakistan and the UAE. The unregistered seeds highlight the movement, presence and status of those who tend them. The eventual consumption of produce and dispersal of the seeds extend the exploration of presence and sustenance throughout the city.
Seeds sown: Mooli (radish), dhaniya (coriander), tamatar (tomato), baingan (eggplant), shalgam (turnip), makki (corn), mirchi (chili), pyaaz (onion), palak (spinach), aloo (potato), bhindi (okra), mutter (green peas), pudina (mint)