Back to A[r]bor[e]tum

The collection is built and developed through my travels, readings, meetings or internet explorations.

The majority of civilizations have always used plants to control fertility. Women played a central role in this pharmacopoeia, as holders of knowledge and practitioners. This knowledge was mainly transmitted orally, from grandmother to granddaughter, from neighbor to neighbor. Then from 1300 and until 1800, possessing this culture became dangerous and it was gradually lost. This silence was accompanied by a confiscation of knowledge and know-how. Only the names of the plants have survived in certain medical treatises, but little detail on how to harvest and prepare them, the dosages, the recommended methods of administration and the effective combinations of plants.

I would like to meet and question the memory around the world, of elders, shepherdesses, farmers, midwives, wild plant gatherers, practitioners, healers, doulas, residents in retirement homes or in nursing homes, ethnobotanists, residents who hold popular knowledge on the uses of contraceptive and abortifacient medicinal plants.
Collect recipes, record via sound recordings this oral heritage around practices linked to contraceptive plants.
Then cross-reference them via a research process pooling empirical knowledge of residents and phytochemical skills. Rather than opposing each other, knowledge and experience are intrinsically linked here: popular and scientific medicine enrich each other, grow together.

The information collected will be recorded in a digital and open-source database, on the A[r]bor[e]tum page, to transmit this global collective memory and share it with as many people as possible, even with pass on to future generations. Make this age-old knowledge accessible to as many people as possible thanks to new technologies.

The collection of this knowledge will continue around the world, meeting practitioners from different cultures, to exchange our experiences and enrich our knowledge thanks to each person’s ways of doing things. This knowledge, most often transmitted orally, will be recorded in an open-source database, accessible to everyone from the internet. Digital technology makes it possible to pool and memorize this global knowledge, to share it with as many people as possible, or even transmit it to future generations.

Work on the collective production of knowledge: without making a difference between theory and practice; as well as to adopt, protect and advance in free culture. Create communities where people meet, exchange, experiment and share their knowledge. Engage in human and non-human alliances and solidarity.