GOLDEN SNAIL OPERA: The More-Than-Human Performance of Friendly Farming on Taiwan’s Lanyang Plain
- Artists: Yen-Ling Tsai, Isabelle Carbonell, Joelle Chevrier, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
- Medium: Film Installation
- Project Type: Shoaling
- Curator: Lillian O’Brien Davis
- Neighbourhood: Etobicoke
A multispecies enactment of experimental natural history between snails, farmers, ghosts, and rice through a special live-show-and-film event.
Humber College Australian Football Field
- Address: 3145 Lake Shore Blvd West
- Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible, uneven surface throughout the viewing area
- Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoors
The “Golden Snail Opera” is a multispecies enactment of experimental natural history, created through collaboration between anthropologists Yen-Ling Tsai and Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, filmmaker Isabelle Carbonell, and farmer and translator Joelle Chevrier. The golden treasure snail was first imported to Taiwan from Argentina in 1979 to start an escargot industry. It is now a major pest for rice agriculture. While pesticides are used for their extermination, a new generation of friendly farmers in Taiwan’s Yilan County hand-pick the snails and integrate them within the ecology of the rice paddy. Yilan is also the home of Taiwanese opera, o-pei-la, a form of entertainment that is grassroots, amateur, and infused with a queer sensibility. Through video and text, various beings of the rice fields, such as snails and birds, offer an enactment of coexistence.
Yen-Ling Tsai, Yilan, Taiwan
- Isabelle Carbonell, Paris, France
Joelle Chevrier, Yilan, Taiwan
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Santa Cruz, California
Created as a collaboration between anthropologists Yen-Ling Tsai and Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, filmmaker-scholar Isabelle Carbonell, and farmer and translator Joelle Chevrier.