Amy Romer

Visual journalist
    
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Nationality: British
Biography: With a background in photography and journalism , I live to tell compelling stories that elevate issues around human rights, social justice and the environment. Originally from the UK, I live in North Vancouver on the unceded territories of the... read on
Public Story
'We Are Not Responsible'
Copyright Amy Romer 2022
Updated Nov 2020
Location Topsham, UK
I’ve made a short experimental video as part of a 9 week photo workshop I’m currently involved in with The Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver. The 2 minute video explores the workshop theme—"land narratives", through botany and colonial histories.

To read more on this story, visit my Storymaps blog.

Synopsis:
From the 1750s to late 1800s, the Veitch family were very influential in British gardening. They were responsible for commissioning “plant hunters” who scoured the world for rare and exotic plants for Victorian gardens and conservatories.

When the 19th century plant hunters returned to Britain, many of the plants, cuttings and seeds were unloaded at Topsham quay before being transported to gardens across England. The Topsham Museum Garden is home to a number of these gathered plants.

I’m interested in the idea that European settlers have not only occupied traditional lands, but have stolen land materials, to occupy British gardens for the benefit and privilege of Europeans, who are mostly unaware or misinformed about their own colonial history.

I’ve used the Topsham Museum garden along with a powerful poem by Harryette Mullen titled ‘We Are Not Responsible’, to explore this idea.

Video: © Amy Romer
Voiceover: Patrick Romer
Poem: © Harryette Mullen

We Are Not Responsible
Exploring land narratives through botany and colonial histories. 
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