Studium Generale - The Wild Seed in your Belly

Programme of EarthCraft's Kindred Soils session #2

Location: Auditorium, KABK, The Hague

17:00 - 19:00 CET
~ Screenings of Jumana Manna’s ‘Wild Relatives’ and ‘Foragers’, and short clips of Vivien Sansour’s work

17:00 - 19:00 CET
~ Food hosted by KABK students, under the guidance of Samah Hijawi

19:00 - 20:30 CET
~ Samah Hijawi in conversation with Jumana Manna and Vivien Sansour (both on Zoom)

Samah Hijawi in conversation with Jumana Manna and Vivien Sansour

This conversation begins with the plant common in the lives and practices of the three artists, Za’tar (oregano), an essential herb in the Palestinian kitchen. The talk builds analogies on how we learn from the smallest encounters with plants and their tiny offspring, the seeds that carry memories of our collective wild relatives, and at the same time contemporary plant enclosures.

Taking the colonized Palestinian landscape as a starting point, together they will reflect on the daily forms of resistance we learn from the plants, the people and the landscapes that are systematically being erased by the many colonialities that overrule our lives around the world.

Watch below a recording of the lecture of 6 April 2023

Playlist material

Bio Vivien Sansour
Vivien Sansour (she/her) is an artist, researcher, and writer. She uses installations, images, sketches, film, soil, seeds, and plants to enliven old cultural tales in contemporary presentations and to advocate for seed conservation and the protection of agrobiodiversity as a cultural/political act. Vivien founded the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library in 2014 where she worked with farmers in Palestine and around the world. As an extension of this project she created The Traveling Kitchen, a social engagement project aimed at bringing to the forefront conversations about climate crisis, food politics, and the imagining of new worlds. Her work as an artist and been showcased internationally, in places such as The Chicago Architecture Biennale, Victoria and Albert Museum, Dutch Design Week, Berlinale, Istanbul Biennale, Fotoindustria, and the Venice Art Biennale. As a writer, Vivien has written for magazines such as E-fluxx, Mold Magazine, and The Forward where she was featured as a food columnist.

An enthusiastic cook, Vivien works to bring threatened varieties “back to the dinner table to become part of our living culture rather than a relic of the past.” This work has led her to collaborate with award-winning chefs, including Anthony Bourdain and Sammi Tamimi.

A former Harvard University Fellow, Vivien is currently the Distinguished Artistic Fellow at Bard College where she premiered her art performance,

“The Belly is A Garden” at the Fisher Center for Performing Arts and the Bard farm. As part of her fellowship Vivien is teaching in the Experimental Humanities department where she is developing a course on human and nature design in the Hudson Valley entitled, “The Belly is A Garden”

- El Batin Bustan 2022-2023.

Bio Jumana Manna
The Palestinian-born artist and filmmaker Jumana Manna’s (she/her) explorations into land rights, plant taxonomies, and the ongoing struggles for sovereignty in the Middle East implicate this same colonial mindset in the twenty- first century. Throughout her work, she reveals the consequences of an archival impulse to procure and control not just nature, but culture and knowledge as well. Speaking of her film Wild Relatives (2018), for example, which considers the power dynamics of centralized seed banks and industrial agriculture, Manna reminds us that Catlin’s disturbing sentiment is still very much with us: “They are another manifestation of this classical modernist contradiction of the urge to preserve the very thing being erased, and this has been a red thread in much of my work.”

Bio Samah Hijawi
Samah Hijawi (she/her) is a multi-media artist (a painter, a performer, an astrologer, a story teller, a researcher and an academic, a cook—it’s up to you to decide). Regardless of the form through which she materializes her work, her projects are always deeply rooted in historical narratives which are used to re-imagine our contemporary life outside of the radicalized and polarized discourses that direct our lives today. In her recent project Kitchen. Table., she researches the movement of food practices over time and across geographies, and the body as a site of food memory. The research materializes in food map posters and performative dinners that map out the stories and spectacular trails of migration of plants, herbs and spices—to unfold the politics of the food on our tables.

Alongside the food research is an on-going project called the Aesthetics of the Political, an exploration of how a political position is embedded in the aesthetic choices in an artwork. This research has materialized in many forms (performances, podcast, curated program) and is also developed as a learning program for art students who are engaged with social and political issues in their work.



6 april 2023 17.00 - 20:30


Auditorium KABK, The Hague

Meer info

Part of the Spring Cycle series of lectures Earth Craft - Studium Generale 2022-2023