Growing intimate privatepublics: everyday utopia in the naturecultures of a young lesbian and bisexual women’s allotment

Andrew Church, Jacqui Gabb, Claire Holmes, Niamh Moore, Amelia Lee, Neil Ravenscroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-343
Number of pages17
JournalFeminist Theory
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).

Keywords

  • Allotments
  • bisexual
  • everyday utopia
  • gardening
  • lesbian
  • naturecultures
  • privatepublics
  • queer
  • young women

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