Botanizing – The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Reading with Frank Seppeler

date 12. August 2017, 14:00
tickets IGA ticket

Jean-Jacques Rousseau knew a thing or two about plants, for in addition to being a writer, philosopher, educationalist and composer, he was also a great botanist. Fascinated by the world of flora, he was interested in finding new ways of presenting botanical knowledge in a comprehensible manner. His Letters on the Elements of Botany, containing remarkably sensual descriptions of the structure and function of assorted plants, made him a pioneer of popular science writing. Rousseau’s passion for botany comes across clearly in these stirring extracts from the Letters and his world-famous autobiography Confessions.

Frank Seppeler

VIEWS ON NATURE – The Humboldt Forum at the IGA Berlin 2017

Nature has inspired countless artists to create wonderful paintings, literature and music. The fictions they present have largely shaped our current perceptions of nature. The viewpoints of people who work directly with and in nature are no less significant: botanists, naturalists, gardeners, landscape architects and urban gardening activists. Captured in self-experimentation, manifestos, diary entries, work reports and correspondence, they give us their personal and professional insights into a hands-on approach to plants, stone and weather, describing the influence of garden design and landscaping on spaces and social networks.

All the readings focus on a highly individualized observation of nature as an object of work. Some authors report back in their capacity as active gardeners, while others consider various projects by urban gardening activists. An array of well-known actors present texts by Hildegard von Bingen, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Alexander von Humboldt, Fürst Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, Henry David Thoreau, Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, set entrancingly against the backdrop of pioneering twenty-first-century landscaping and garden design projects.

All readings are held in German only.

Tickets & Venue

Tickets for the IGA: e.g. day ticket 20 €, reduced 18 €
IGA main entrance „Kienbergpark“, Hellersdorfer Straße, eastern entrance: Hellersdorfer Straße 159
IGA main entrance „Gärten der Welt“, Blumberger Damm, western entrance: Blumberger Damm 44


"Views on Nature" is a series of readings by the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss at the IGA (international horticultural exhibition) Berlin 2017.