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In the absence of the invasive: Can we fi­nally look at the Japanese knotweed as a green fu­ture companion?

Performative Reading

27/04/24 11am

Free – £5.00

RSVP below for this in person event taking place from 11am-12.30pm. By purchasing a ticket with donation, you directly support our programme.

Join Alaa Abu Asad as he shares his research The dog chased its tail to bite it off (2018– ongoing) on invasive species. The performative reading will unfold in three acts, tracing the history of the Japanese knotweed plant (Fallopia japonica) and the language (whether verbal or visual) used when talking about the plant and other invasive species. The reading will reflect on actual policies, national campaigns of combat and control, social / economic / political effects, and the conflation between natural and national history. The work also imagines alternative ways of living with these species and finding a common future. Following the reading, we invite you to continue informal conversations over a brew of Japanese knotweed tea.

Alaa Abu Asad is an artist, researcher, and photographer. Language and plants are central themes through which he develops alternative trajectories where values of (re)presentation, translation, viewing, reading, and understanding can intersect. His work takes the form of writing, film, and interactive installations, in which he visually represents his research and explores the boundaries of languages.


Image 1 (landscape): Alaa Abu Asad, Japanese knotweed in blossom, Ghent, September 2022. Courtesy of the artist
Image 2 (square): Alaa Abu Asad, Japanese knotweed leaves, sticks and tools. ©Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen, 2023. Photo: Thaddeus Photography. Courtesy of the artist.


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