Making the most of the Bath City Farm site, this event features readings from Bessie Head’s work and reflection on the pleasures and politics of farming. Born under South Africa’s oppressive apartheid regime, the writer Bessie sought refuge in rural Botswana in the 1960s. It was here she become involved in cooperative farming. In her essays and fiction, she writes about the challenge of conserving water, restoring tired soil, and growing crops that would sustain the community in a challenging desert environment.
Growing food, for Bessie, was an act of resistance against racism and a way of gaining independence for the whole community. It was also intimately connected with recovery from trauma and her lifelong struggle with mental illness. As more people are exploring links between nature and wellbeing, this event turns to Bessie’s writing to consider the farm as a place of refuge where, as she puts it, one discovers the ‘oneness of the soul with all living things’.