The Young Women’s Group in Manchester is a ‘young women’s peer health project, run by and for young lesbian and bisexual women’, which runs an allotment as one of its activities. At a time when interest in allotments and gardening appears to be on the increase, the existence of yet another community allotment may seem unremarkable. Yet we suggest that this queer allotment poses challenges for conventional theorisations of allotments, as well as for understandings of public and private. In this article we explore how the allotment project might be understood to be intensely engaged in ‘growing intimate publics’, or what we term ‘privatepublics’. These are paradoxical intimacies, privatepublic spaces which are not necessarily made possible in the usual private sphere of domestic homes. Here we focus on the work involved in materialising the allotment, which we understand as a queer privatepublic ‘natureculture’ (Haraway, 2008) which appears as an ‘everyday utopia’ (Cooper, 2014).
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- everyday utopia
- young women