BARBA-T – Art, science and participation in the Barbate River Basin. A commitment to collective intelligence.
Expo-Citizen Lab · Vejer/Barbate September 2020 to May 2021
Since 2015, we have been carrying out various training programmes in natural beekeeping and raising awareness for bee centred beekeeping through our art and research residencies called Bee Time. Seeing the great demise in colony numbers, we have turned our attention to understanding forage patterns and have been in touch with local beekeepers and farmers in the La Janda area. In this region, the advent of extensive agriculture in the last few decades, among other factors, have caused severe degradation of the environment. Changes of “use” of the land, the arrival of the great extensions of monoculture, indiscriminate use of pesticides, and the redistribution of wetlands and rivers for mechanized production, have drastically modified the ecosystem, as well as the loss of cultural memory related to traditional uses of the land connecting them with natural processes. We have highlighted the need for participation in finding practical solutions for local ecological problems (loss of biodiversity, warming temperatures, desertification…). Seeing these drastic changes, and shifting our gaze towards the future we ask ourselves: What can we, as a local municipality, relinquish in order to create a more sustainable future? What do we have to do collectively to build a local resilience to climate change? and how can we restore damaged ecosystems? (1)
What we have learned from the honeybee is to see the world as a fabric of processes and relationships, to understand the complexity of ecosystems by giving our attention to what we perceive through our five senses as well as using the imagination. Aristotle spoke to us about the notion of common sense (koiné aísthesis), which he defined as our ability to process sensory perceptions, memories and imagination in order to form a basic judgment. In ancient times, the seat of common sense was in the heart, and its role was to perceive through images (2). This project, which we are happy to be developing with the help of the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation, is a call to revive our common sense, asking us to develop another type of relationship and sensitivity towards our land in order to create a regenerative, sustainable and beautiful culture.
Sustainable Municipalities / BARBA-T project will collaborate with a research group from the University of Cadiz, including the teachers, students and ex-students of the MA program in Environmental studies, who have been studying the ecology of the Barbate river basin, with a special focus on biodiversity. This investigation will form the basis of collaboration with artists to create an itinerant educational exhibition. The exhibition will include an educational program for four local schools, developed and guided by Ecoherencia, a team of specialists in ecological restoration and environmental education.
The project will will work with the municipalities around the Barbate river basin. The first phase will take place in Vejer de la Frontera. Sustainable Vejer: Facing climate change in daily life opens in April 2020 and will stay open till June, at which time the second phase of this project will begin in the next locality.
We imagine the exhibition as a pulsing heart, connecting diverse actions directly linked to social mobility, round table meetings, walks, recuperation of traditional knowledge and participatory art. Our objective is to impulse a living link between ancestral and contemporary knowledge, between local and global action, weaving diverse points of view which can, together, create a more sustainable future in our area.
With the support and collaboration of:
Fundación Daniel y Nina Carasso, afiliada a la Fondation de France & the program Santander Emplea Cultura of Fundación Banco Santander. / Collaborators: Ecoherencia, Centro de participación activa Los Remedios – Junta de Andalucía, Vejer; Máster Universitario en Conservación y Gestión del Medio Natural de la Universidad de Cádiz, A.V. Pedro Esquivel – Santa Lucía, Apijanda, Ayuntamiento de Vejer de la Frontera, Maria Ptqk and many more institutions, projects and artists that we will communicate to you soon.
- The three R’s in the deep adaptation model as developed by Jem Bendell.
Bendell, Jem (2018) Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.
- Hillman, James (1992) The thought of the heart and the soul of the world, Spring publication.