Soil Memory residency

Open Jar Collective spent two weeks in Madrid this summer investigating the soil ecosystems around the river in collaboration with INLAND and Huerta Matadero.  We hosted walks, talks, printing, paper-making, book binding activities and conversations.



The residency was structured in four parts


Local residents, students, ecologists, botanists, landscape architects, gardeners and wildlife enthusiasts joined us for a walk to study the river ecology. The walk created a space for learning and sharing memories, and we gathered a collection of plant specimens, soil samples and words.

Walk&Workshops59Walk&Workshops67Walk&Workshops37Walk&Workshops102. PROCESSING / TRACING / ANALYZING

Participants were invited to work with plant specimens and soil samples collected along El Rio Manzanares to create a series of prints and hand-made papers.



Participants were invited to make a set of handmade books which act as an archive of the flora and fauna of the river and people’s relationship to it, at this moment in time.

MadridFinalEvents5 1MadridFinalEvents9MadridFinalEvents4


Our final event gathered people together for a meal at Huerta Matadero (the site of a future community garden) to see samples of the work created, share research findings, and explore actions that can be taken for the future of the soil and river ecosystem in Madrid. We posed three questions:

  • What memories does the soil hold?
  • What are your dreams for the soil of Madrid?
  • What actions can be taken to protect our soils?

We’ll be talking about our work during the Soil Memory residency at the CCA on Wednesday 16th August, 6pm.  We are also working on a zine which will be published in September.


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