Soil City Field Notes

April was an intense, inspiring and rewarding month. The launch of Soil City was really successful and we couldn’t have anticipated how much people wanted to talk about soil.

We’ve documented the journey so far in the field notes section of the Soil City website. Please have a read of the wealth of activity, responses and reflection that came out of the Soil City programme during Glasgow International.

Thank you to all the people who contributed and made it possible.

We will we sending out an update soon about future plans for Soil City.

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Soil City

“We know more about the stars in the sky than the soil under our feet”  Dr Elaine Ingham

Launching at Glasgow International, Soil City is a long term project initiated by Open Jar Collective, engaging with the citizens of Glasgow and a wider community of scientists, artists and activists, to re-imagine the city as if soil mattered.

SoilCity2_ByClementineSandison

Soil City will be a space for conversation, participatory research and knowledge exchange. We will seek to understand the relationship between healthy soil and healthy people – reflecting on how economic inequalities are reflected in the way land is used or remains ‘vacant’ in Glasgow. We propose that reframing soil as a valuable collective resource will play a role in challenging economic, environmental, and health inequalities. Hospitality and eating together are at the core of Open Jar Collective’s approach, and soil is what supports our nourishment. You can expect to find explorations of soil through the alchemy of cooking and sharing meals as part of many of our activities.

During Glasgow International (8th – 25th April, 2016) we’ll undertake a period of field research with a Mobile Research Unit that will be found roving around the city throughout the festival.  The Research Unit has a practical function of testing soil and recording data, and a social function of providing pop-up discussion space in unlikely places.  This will feed into the Soil City Laboratory, temporarily housed in a railway arch on Osborne Street, that will act as a central space for sharing and discussing the information and stories gathered. The Laboratory will also host a programme of talks, walks, screenings and workshops.   At the end of the period we aim to identify strategies for ongoing collaboration, research and community action to address issues of soil stewardship and land rights.

We are looking for communities in Glasgow who would like to host the Mobile Research Unit over the festival period in locations around the city, and people who would like to contribute to the programme: artists, researchers, gardeners, land managers or anyone with a perspective on or passion for soil.  For more information or to register your interest email us on: contact@openjarcollective.co.uk