IssueDecember 2023 - January 2024
Pamela Singh, Chipko Tree Huggers of the Himalayas #4, 1994. © Pamela Singh, courtesy of sepiaEYE. Featured in the exhibition Re/Sisters: a lens on gender and ecology.

Erica Smith writes: In the book which accompanies Re/Sisters, Anna Feigenbaum defines three categories of eco-feminist: web weavers, tree huggers and water defenders. Feigenbaum suggests that the term ‘tree hugger’ dates back to 1730 when villagers in Bishoi, Kherjarli in northern India sacrificed their lives to save trees being cut down to build a new palace for the maharaja of Jodhpur. 250 years later, in the early 1970s, women from villages in the Garhwal Himalayas, northern India embraced trees to stop loggers from cutting them down. The Chipko movement turned into a long-running and successful national campaign against logging, and inspired environmental campaigns across the world. ‘Chipko’ means ‘hugging’ in Hindi.

The Re/Sisters exhibition will be reviewed in the next edition of PN.

Re/Sisters: a lens on gender and ecology is on show until Sunday 14 January 2024. Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS. Sat – Wed: 10am – 6pm (last entry 5pm). Thu – Fri: 10am – 8pm (last entry 7pm). £16 / £11.50 (over-65s, students, Universal Credit) / free for under-14s. Pay What You Can (minimum £3) every Friday 5pm – 8pm.