Migrant Tree: A Community Project


On June 22nd, 2010 the Migrant Tree project was held at the community harden El Jardin Del Paraiso in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The event involved the presentation of ongoing research on the garden’s migration stories, the planting of a pomegranate tree, and the harvesting of new stories. The project was conducted by Jilly Traganou, Lydia Matthews and Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani (within the framework of the “Routes & Homes: Prototyping socio-spatial micro-structures in conditions of migration and multiple belonging” supported by the Design and Social Science fund of the New School), with Natalia Roumelioti, Holly Wolf, Eleni Tzirtzilaki and members of the community garden.

As Dr. Eleni Tzirtzilaki, an architect-activist from Greece who was invited to participate in the event, explained: the Migrant Tree’s goal was to emphasize the interdependent connection between “communities, people, gardens, [and] cities.” Through the symbolic planting of the pomegranate tree, “we want[ed] to bring out [the web of connection] in the process [and] draw attention to the social importance of ecology and partnership in place of hierarchical domination.”

The event held at El Jardín del Paraíso retraced these urgent questions about migration, the earth and its current condition in an open dialogue.



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