the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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Agrarian Trust Symposium speaker Kim Stringfellow’s cool ass project!

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The Mojave Project is really just kind of the bomb-diggety. But don’t take our word for it: to learn more, we recommend this absolutely gorgeous video. The project is an “experimental transmedia documentary led by Kim Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert.” Browse the current projects here.

And while we’re talking about the Mojave Project, they’re asking you to
SAVE THE DATE!
WHAT: We pleased to send you this SAVE THE DATE announcement about our autumn program OUR LAND 2: Tracing the Acequia Commons, a series of talks, exhibits and happenings to advance the broadening discourse on land commons and farmland futures.

WHERE: New Mexico! Most events Free and open to the public.

WHEN: November 9-17th in close association with the Quivira Coalition and Biodynamic Association annual conferences, Agrarian Trust invites you to join us in fine company  to approach topics of Public Trust, Acequia traditions and commons culture, emergent urban commons, water enclosures and new topographics; through lectures, documentary films, open archive exhibits and an walk along an Acequia irrigation ditch, flowing continuously for four centuries.

WHO: Mary Wood, Rick Prelinger, Kim Stringfellow, Tezozomoc, Devon Pena, Ruth Breach, Stanley Crawford, Wes Jackson, Emily Vogler, Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, Eric Holt Gimenez, Kate Levy… and more

 


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acequia

https://www.hcn.org/articles/photographer-sharon-stewart-on-the-acequia-tradition/Walking-the-Ditch-1.jpg/image

This April, as the communal irrigation ditches known as acequias run with spring melt and farmers carve new furrows into their fields, many northern New Mexico villages will celebrate their annual homecoming. This is the time of the limpia –– the cleaning of the acequia, when water-rights holders and their families gather to haul rocks, dig mud and clear brush, honoring a tradition so old that its followers can only guess at its roots. In some villages, the tradition has died out as young people move to cities in search of employment and the elderly pass on. But in El Cerrito, a small agrarian community on the Pecos River 60 miles southeast of Santa Fe, more people come home to attend the limpia every year.

El Cerrito has been photographer Sharon Stewart’s creative ground for two decades. Now based in Chacon, N.M., Stewart grew up among canals and pump houses in southern Texas. Her great-grandfather was a photographer, and her father a water district attorney. She earned a degree in economics at the University of Texas, and after an uninspired fling with business school, helped found the Houston Center for Photography. Her work has been featured in galleries across the United States and in Europe. To read more about the Acequia tradition in the high country news, click here!


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“this soil is fertile.”

Artists from South Sudan, a new country fraught with internal conflict, make a case for the power of community agriculture in their music video. As they sing, rap, and comb through fields of corn, okra, and sorghum, their message is clear: There’s rich soil in Sudan, and it will improve the lives of people if they decide to use it–but it’s up to them to start digging.

Check out the behind-the-scenes interviews, too, for words from The Jay Family about why they feel farming can help the people of Sudan. Yuppie Jay says, “People blame the governor when something goes wrong. But at our homes we need to put things right. We need to go, to present to the government that we have made this, we have crops, we have farms. Then the government can support with money for roads, for tractors. But we can’t wait for the government to fix all our problems. We need to arrange ourselves and be where we are.”


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hawaii to ny in a double hulled sailing canoe

Hōkūleʻa, our Star of Gladness, began as a dream of reviving the legacy of exploration, courage, and ingenuity that brought the first Polynesians to the archipelago of Hawaiʻi. The canoes that brought the first Hawaiians to their island home had disappeared from earth. Cultural extinction felt dangerously close to many Hawaiians when artist Herb Kane dreamed of rebuilding a double-hulled sailing canoe similar to the ones that his ancestors sailed. Though more than 600 years had passed since the last of these canoes had been seen, this dream brought together people of diverse backgrounds and professions. Since she was first built and launched in the 1970s, Hōkūle’a continues to bring people together from all walks of life. She is more than a voyaging canoe—she represents the common desire shared by the people of Hawaii, the Pacific, and the World to protect our most cherished values and places from disappearing.

To learn more, click HERE!


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greenhorns releases: MANIFESTA!

We are so proud of this awesome collaboration. If you’ve been wondering how a maritime art stunt fits into the mission of an organization that supports farmers (I mean, talk about your landlubbers!), this publication is for you! Manifesta lays out the story, history, discourse, and activism behind the Maine Sail Freight project last summer! The un-monograph is a fun and galvanizing read, and we think it is going to make a real believer out of you!

This is a story about a group of young farmers staging a pageant-like protest about the terms of trade in our agricultural economy, and the nature of transportation and exchange within that model.

It’s an elaborate stunt, invoking colonial history and the maritime ex- traction economy of coastal Maine as a platform for discourse on a more regional, more prosperous, and more diverse food economy for the future.

We claim the ocean as an ally and a commons—a venue to imagine what a world where 60% of the retail price goes to the farmer, and view- point from which to watch the farmers of the region operate, and co-oper- ate to circulate wealth and add value. We raise a flag for food sovereignty on the mast of our sail boat.

We are not content to labor where 70% of the agricultural work is performed by those without citizenship. We are not content to operate
in a high-volume, low-value commodity extraction economy. We are not content to be silent while our nation negotiates yet more free trade agree- ments freeing only those at the top of the capitalist slag heap and chaining the rest of us to their terms.

This project is our retort!


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what is commitment? what is art? what is agrarianism…

Grizedale Arts is an arts organisation based on the historic site of Lawson Park farm, above the Coniston valley in the Lake District.

The organisation is a curatorial project in a continuous state of development. Our current site, Lawson Park, is run as a productive small holding and working farm house, with a multifaceted programme of events, projects, residencies and community activity. Central to our ethos is the aim of implementing a more valuable function for art through a unique, cross-disciplinary education programme with a range of activities – all of which function to develop contemporary art in new directions; working beyond the Romantic and Individualist frameworks that have dominated thinking of the past 200 years of art history. Underpinning this programme therefore, is a philosophy that emphasises a use value for art; promoting the potential for art and artists to experiment and affect change in practical and effective roles, as a central tenet of wider culture and society.

The Grizedale Arts programme actively engages with the complexities of the rural environment. Rather than focusing on creating a finished art product we concentrate on the process, and the dissemination of ideas to a wider audience. In doing so, we typically work alongside the local community of a project to develop and realise work with artists – consequently the projects often challenge the artists as much as the local (participatory) audience. The activities are often fed into a major annual project or event that allows public access to the Grizedale’s process; as something that introduces artists’ thinking into everyday life, situating active contemporary arts alongside the culture of the rural environment.

To read more, click HERE!

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