Hilal Alkan – Environment and Justice

In the Company of Plants: Multispecies Care and Migrant Home-making in Germany

Dr. Hilal Alkan

This project looks into the relationships different waves and generations of Turkish migrants develop with the plants they grow and care for in Germany, in order to shed light onto the significance of multispecies networks in the processes of home-making and integration. It starts with the understanding that social processes always necessitate the collaboration of nonhuman actors. Plants accompany people in their struggles of home-making in new environments and they share their challenges of acclimatization and adaptation. They are also carriers of meanings and memories related to belonging. While caring for their plants, migrants invest in rooting and turning a foreign place into home. Understanding how this happens requires being attentive to the intimate relationship between the migrants and their plants, as well to the ethics of care that shapes these relationships.