Living Justice

Art Of Collaboration

October 2023


Artful re-search to enliven our thinking, feeling and acting with each other and animate Earth

Since its foundation in 2013, we have been Honourary Research Associates with the pioneering Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) at Coventry University. Our on-going residency Art of Collaboration explores how artful practices enliven embodied exchanges between ourselves, each other, and the matter and habitats of the animate Earth. Our international research partners include the Centre for Sustainable Transitions  at Stellenbosch University, the Sustainability Institute and Spier Farm, South Africa. Our forthcoming Tasting Ubuntu residency at Stellenbosch University will explore how food as a different modality of intervention and healing can contribute to the work of the Centre for the Study of the Afterlife of Violence and the Reparative Quest (AVReQ)

Pulse co-evolved with the University of Stellenbosch, the Green Road Hub, the Sustainability Institute and GUS Gallery as a convivial week-long exhibition and programme of forums around the theme of food, land and living justice. 

What Pulse brings to the table is the culture within agriculture the celebration and connection of food to art. These events have brought diverse communities together in a SA which is still largely segregated along racial and economic lines.

Mikal Lambert, Swellendam Food Security Initiative.

Art of Collaboration is so powerful because it gives you space: space to create, space to reflect, space to connect, to be, together, united. The work has a liberating potential that can critically help building a safe space to support researchers. If we are to make the world a better place, where people and nature can flourish and thrive, then we need one another, we need the arts.

Gloria Giambartolomei, Ph.D. Researcher, CAWR.

Artful Science and Scienceful Art forum with CIWEM at CAWR as part of Planet Possibility. The day explores the touchpoints of art, science, and human agency as integral to living justice. This arts-science dialogue draws on the concept of sympoiethics, which calls for humankind to interact in a co-creative making with the regenerative processes of nature.

Art of Collaboration embraces the exploration of visual interpretations to enhance the breadth and validity of our individual and collective inquiry, helping to manifest the tacit and often unconscious dimensions within knowledge-making. This drawing by Flora Gathorne-Hardy responds to Miche Fabre Lewin’s food ritual praxis at the Sustainability Institute.

The rituals served as refugia, as ‘safe habitats’ and bounded performative encounters wherein the bodymind experiences being-with oneself, other people, matter and place as a conscious process of regenerative worldmaking.

Reflections on ritual praxis in Patricia Gaya’s chapter ‘Towards ever more extended epistemologies: pluriversality and decolonisation of knowledges in participatory inquiry.'

FieldTable took place in collaboration at Spier Farm, Lynedoch, South Africa. The thanks-giving ritual brought together students and educators, gardeners and farmers, organisational leaders and activists, bakers and chefs, scientists and ecologists, journalists and researchers and artisan food producers to explore new agroecological futures for South Africa’s food and farming. The ritual invited time to be-with and listen to the food and land, to share conversation, and to hear the experiences and aspirations of all those breaking bread together. 

For me, you are re-igniting culture, coming back to what it means to be community along the lines of land and food. Under culture you get ritual and agriculture, you discover what it means to be going back to being human.

Mariota Enthoven, Spier Farm, South Africa.

First Know Food opened a quiet yet fertile space for artists and scientists to slow down and experience food as connection to life: to soil and microbes, atoms and air, water and the bees, the tissues of our own organs, and each other.

Megan Lindow, writer and participant in First Know Food

First Know Food was an experiential encounter devised for 2016 ARThropocene – Art-Science-Humanities Dialogue hosted by Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST), Stellenbosch University. All the food shared was grown in the Sustainability Institute Food Garden, where the ritual took place.