Enduring Time: Jackie Sumell’s The Solitary Gardens

  • Thu 16 Jan 20

    13:00 - 14:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Professor Lisa Baraitser

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Sociology, Department of

  • Contact details

    Professor Mike Roper

Join the Department of Sociology for an insightful open seminar with Professor Lisa Baraitser.

Lisa Baraitser is Professor of Psychosocial Theory in the Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of Maternal Encounters: The Ethics of Interruption (Routledge, 2009) and Enduring Time (Bloomsbury, 2017). She is the recipient of a collaborative award from the Wellcome Trust (with Laura Salisbury) for ‘Waiting Times’, a five year interdisciplinary research project on temporality and care in health contexts.

In this event, Professor Baraitser will draw out a notion of care as a practice of ‘knowing’ that attempts to preserve the truth of the endurance of human suffering even as one seeks to alleviate it. Care, understood in this way, has to do with deciding to know, and continuing to know about unbearable ways that time is lived and endured. Solitary confinement is one such time. Professor Baraitser will discuss The Solitary Gardens, an ongoing social art project developed by the artist Jackie Sumell, that extends her earlier 12-year-long collaboration with the political prisoner, Herman Wallace who was kept in solitary confinement in a US prison for 42 years.

The Solitary Gardens aims to abolish prisons ‘one garden at a time’, turning plots the size of solitary confinement cells into garden beds that are designed, planted and tended by prisoners serving their sentences in isolation through ‘proxies’ on the outside. Drawing on work on temporality and care that she develops in her recent monograph Enduring Time, Professor Baraitser suggest that this project proposes that practices of enduring knowing about suffering without end, are the kinds of practices that may have a chance of bringing this form of suffering eventually to an end.

This seminar is part of an open seminar series, hosted by the Department of Sociology.