Deep in the earth beneath the Arctic permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to provide a backup should disaster strike. "Wild Relatives" starts in 2012 as an international agricultural research center was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian Revolution turned war, and began a laborious process of planting their seed collection from the Svalbard back-ups. It captures the articulation between this large-scale international initiative and its local implementation in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, carried out primarily by young migrant women, teasing out tensions between state and individual, industrial and organic approaches to seed saving, climate change and biodiversity, witnessed through the journey of these seeds.
Rachel Bezner Kerr, Professor in Global Development at Cornell University.
Johanna Sellman, Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at The Ohio State University.
Amr Leheta, PhD student in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University
Eleanor Paynter, postdoctoral associate in Migrations with the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies