UCA anthropologist to screen, discuss "Seed Swap" documentary April 5

Release Date: 3/18/2013

Dr. Brian C. Campbell, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Central Arkansas and a leading expert on agrobiodiversity conservation in Arkansas, will show his documentary "Seed Swap" during a presentation at the University of the Ozarks at 7 p.m., Friday, April 5.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Baldor Auditorium, located in the Boreham Business Building. The presentation is part of the university's 2012-2013 Walton Arts & Ideas Series.

Dr. Brian C. Campbell

Dr. Brian C. Campbell, an anthropology professor at the University of Central Arkansas and one of the leading experts in agrobiodiversity conservation in the state, will present his documentary “Seed Swap” and talk about seed saving in the region during a presentation at Ozarks on April 5.

Campbell, who is the director of the Conserving Arkansas' Agricultural Heritage (CAAH!), will discuss the agrobiodiversity conservation movement in Arkansas as well as the history and basics of seed saving in the region during his visit to Ozarks. There will also be a screening of his 2010 documentary "Seed Swap."  

CAAH! focuses on agrobiodiversity conservation in Arkansas and in the Missouri Ozarks through seed banks, campus and community gardens, and the establishment of seed swaps to distribute and conserve open-pollinated crop species and reawaken the public to their agrarian roots.  His film production venture, Ozarkadia Films, allows Campbell to collaborate with independent film-makers, many of whom are former students, in the production of ethnographic films related to environmental anthropology, primarily in his Ozark Highlands research sites.  Campbell has produced two independent documentary films; both have screened in film festivals. "Seed Swap" has also screened on public television (AETN) and "The Natural State of America" (2011) won the 2011 Society for Applied Anthropology Film Award.

"Seed Swap" follows Campbell as he helps to organize a seed swap in 2008 in Mountain View, Ark. Prior to this seed swap the viewer takes a journey through the four seasons of growing and saving seeds with CAAH!, the organization based out of UCA that Campbell formed to grow out seed to share at the swaps.

The 56-minute film chronicles the intensive work involved to save seed. The viewer also gets to know Campbell's motivations and meet several CAAH! interns and volunteers and learn why they feel saving and sharing open-pollinated seed is so important. Hundreds of people and seed varieties attend the Inaugural Ozark Seed Swap. Folks traveled from out of state to bring seed and to share. From the get-go the seed swap is not just a place to trade seed, but also to share heritage, stories, music and bring different generations and backgrounds of people together under the common theme of a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Over a period of three years the viewer watches as that first seed swap in 2008 sprouts seven new swaps by 2010: six in the Ozarks and one in the Arkansas Delta.

Campbell developed and directs an anthropology minor and applied research program at UCA.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia's Department of Anthropology, Environmental and Ecological Anthropology Program.