A digital artistic research platform for rural biographies, transgenerational and cross-continental storytelling, funded 2020 by Sascia Bailer, Andreas Doepke, hn. lyonga, and Lene Markusen.
Fields as contested territories shape many biographies, of how individuals leave their rural associations behind due to ecological destruction, dispossession of communities or the promise of emancipation. How can stories of rural biographies inspire new perspectives on the present with its colonial continuities and gendered and social divisions? The multi-disciplinary and transgenerational project Field Narratives aims to collect and share stories, which originate from or reflect on rural spaces.
Departing from personal memories, we propose our method of “agro-centric thinking” that challenges ”fixity” of land as infrastructure while exploring how agriculture is related to caring and how agriculture maintains its presence across personal biographies even after its practices have been abandoned.
Through the participation of rural actors from Denmark, Cameroon, Italy, Germany and Hungary, “agro-centric” narratives are captured in the form of documentary and fictional video collages, drawings, poems and essays that are hosted on the online platform. The project entails a discursive on-site program at an urban agriculture site in Berlin, that enables conversations on questions of belonging and pedagogies of situatedness, while fostering hands-on agricultural practices.