• An evening with stories about the land we live on 

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    An evening with stories about the land we live on, ways to restore our connection with (the) earth and new ways of working with soil. Baltan Laboratories organizes this event to talk about these topics with designers and researchers who share their ways of engaging with the ‘earth’ element. When thinking about a sustainable future, shouldn't we take the past with us? How can we re-connect with the history of the land we live on?

    During this evening at the Philips de Jongh park in Eindhoven, we are discussing the relationship between human and earth – not the planet, but the soil we stand on. Whether clay, sand, or dirt (or something else), we have always interacted with and relied on earth – to grow our crops, to support our feet and as a resource for our building materials. How could a different engagement with earth inform new ways of being? How to feel connected to the environment we live in? How to feel connected to the land we live on?

    Baltan invites designers and artists who have researched and developed new, respectful and sustainable ways of using soil to share their story and talk about their practice. From community projects in Indonesia to river clay from the Waal. From edible soil to medicinal plants. Accompanied by mythical stories about the history of our land and the ground on which we stand, they will form the program of this evening. Together we will eat a healing soup and ground ourselves in time.

    This event is organized in collaboration with the 'Everything worthwhile is done with other people' exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum.

    Background artwork by Steffie Gaetano

    About the speakers:

    Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF)
    JaF is a community-based organisation, working in Jatiwangi (ID) which brings contemporary art and artistic practices to the rural. Since its establishment in 2005, it has set up independent radio and television, and created and/or organised multiple music events, art exhibitions and social ceremonies. Their work such as the long-term project Terracotta City (2019) or music performance Ceramic Music Festival (2013) addressed the land's history of the clay roof tile industry. It explored different ways of engaging with clay to spark the collective identity and encourage the people of Jatiwangi to take an active part in shaping the future of their community.

    JaF will refer to Soil, Earth, Land, Ground using one single word that encloses all these terms and meanings: Tanah.

    Jatiwangi Art Factory is exhibiting in the Everything worthwhile is done with other people exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum from 13 May 2023 – 24 Sep 2023.

    masharu - Museum of Edible Earth
    The collection of the Museum of Edible Earth (MEE) has more than 500 edible earth samples, which are eaten by humxns across the globe. Mostly the samples are clays, such as kaolin and bentonite, as well as chalks, limestone, volcanic rocks, diatomaceous earth, topsoil, salt. The materials originate from 44 countries. A vast majority of the samples were gathered during the field trips, as well as purchased from abroad online and received as presents. Within MEE collaborations with various scientific domains took place, such as soil science, chemistry, anthropology and archeology.

    MEE has been developed as a travelling material collection, where the act of eating earth is centralised. From 2016 to 2022 MEE has travelled and was presented across seventeen different countries within about a hundred exhibitions and public programme events. The travelling nature of MEE with ‘nomadic’ presentations, field trips and collaboration with local partners has been an important component of the project. During the trips the collection was constantly enriched with new materials, stories and taste impressions.

    New stories from the land we live on.
    Through centuries de river Waal has defined the landscape and culture of Nijmegen. This area has a rich cultural heritage based on clay; from the Iron Age up until the brick industry. With TERRA_TORY Fabrikaat sheds a new light on the river clay that, due to the current and radical urbanization of Nijmegen-North, is becoming decreasingly visible. Fabrikaat organizes placemaking through art and design: they explore new possibilities that contribute to the local identity and living environment.

    Meredith Degyansky
    Meredith is a writer, activist, an artist inside her brain/body, and an anthropologist. Her ideas and practice seek to embody other ways of being, knowing, doing, relating, and imagining. She uses insights from the ways communities have lived across time and space to inform how we might co-imagine and co-embody other possibilities, other realities, and other worlds outside of the heteronormative capitalist modernity most of us have been captured by, or are attempting to evade.

    Jörgen Gario UNOM

    Jörgen “UNOM” Gario (St. Maarten/Curaçao/The Netherlands) is a performance poet, singer-songwriter, electronic music producer and workshop facilitator. Combining spoken word and music he explores the energy of melody and poetry as one. He is a founding member of Poetry Circle Nowhere, the first performance poetry collective of the Netherlands. Jörgen will musically guide us into the stories about our relationship with earth and humankind and he’ll poetically close the evening with the ingredients and findings he unearthed of this evening.

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