Living cultural and natural objects, ornamental plants have been reached by the heritage fashion of the 70’s-80’s. Giving value back to old outdated varieties, this heritage fashion is based upon an aesthetic critic of the horticulture supply and of the current commodification trend. Horticulture creation is a hybrid process based on both aesthetic concerns and breeding knowledge. RosesMonde project deals with this creative hybridity and first and foremost with the way it is interwoven with heritage development and commodification trends of the current aesthetic capitalism. Its main focus is the Rose which GVC is at the crossroad of cultural industries and agribusiness.
How does rosicole breeding record the tension between commodification and heritage development which are the backbone of contemporary social and political dynamics?
To address this question, a strong research team has been set up and associates social scientists from four disciplines (geography, history, sociology and economics) with geneticists. This team shall work through three main entries: varieties, actors and places before dealing with heuristic and synthetic cases studies.
Entry by varieties: the genetic diversity will be analyzed on a large sample of 1400 genotypes obtained after 1900. These genotypes will be selected according to their representativeness of the different market sectors and the different date of the rose, were obtained. From the genetic and historical analysis, a sub-ample will be selected (384 individuals) to sequence the genes involved in important esthetical and agronomic traits. These analyses will allow identifying the factors of innovation during the plant breeding, by crossing the data of the genetic basis used by the breeders and their criteria of selection. We will (i) characterize the process of evolution of the genetic diversity used (management of genetic diversity available during the period and the introduction of new progenitors bringing novel traits) and (ii) search if genomic regions have been selected by who and for which use?
We will deal with actors –being they breeders, producers, publishers, French, European or African to understand how they build their specifications and prioritize their creative criteria. Crossing economic and sociologic approaches, we shall understand the aesthetic and even ethic logics of the creative activity and how it participates in the commodification/heritage dialectic, how it is paid for through IP and how it affects the garden and cut roses GVCs. In addition an economic enquiry will analyze three data bases (INRA, OCVV, BDV) to understand the economic diversity of creative enterprises.
Places will be analyzed using different scales. First the global scale will allow us to map the different production enterprises and clusters and their varietal orientations. Then, through Parisian and Aquitanian examples, we shall reflect at the urban scale in order to map the demand and the marketing side of the creation. The aim is to connect varieties, supply and marketing chains with their social urban contexts, to understand how strong and efficient are the heritage elements. Shorts chains and long supply chains will be compared to underline the way environmental concerns are interweaved with aesthetics requirements to build social distinction and segment the demand.
Finally we shall carry out case studies and focus on emblematic varieties, actors and events which embody the heritage dynamics and commodification trends as well as the creation process as co-construction.
To sum up RosesMonde is all about creation and the way Roses express our contemporary world’s paradoxes and socio-political ambiguities in the sense that economic empowerment and democratization allow anybody to access distinctive goods but at the same time social distinction always requires more and more segmented supplies which use heritage and sustainability as their main criteria.