Studium Generale: Decolonising Soil

Location: KABK Main Gallery

Watch below a recording of the lecture on 8 December 2022

We are living in an unprecedented time of crisis. However, the Chinese symbol for crisis is a combination of the symbols danger and opportunity: despite humans being a geological force for destruction, and the immense challenges we face, we can heal much of the damage that we have done… because we are nature, defending ourselves. Our relationship with the soil, that very thin living skin covering the planet’s land mass, will determine whether we succeed in drawing down enough carbon from the atmosphere and living in balance, or whether runaway climate chaos will push the game-over button on the global economy and civilization.

The lecture will tour through the pre-Columbian Amazon and the Conquest, Europe through the Inquisition and Disenchantment, and the modern era looking for answers on how to decolonise ourselves, our societies, and our soils. Using social permaculture as a tool and looking through the lenses of Donna Haraway’s Staying with the Trouble and Adrianne Maree Brown’s Emergent Strategy, Alfred Decker will propose some ideas of how to build the world we want to live in, right here, right now, within the shell of the collapsing old world.

Alfred Decker is an award-winning permaculture designer, a certified educator with the Permaculture Association of Britain, and one of Europe’s leading permaculture educators. Since the late 1990s, Alfred has been involved with social movements and projects throughout Europe and the Americas. He is the founder of the 12P Permaculture Design consultancy, Permacultura Barcelona and the Forest Gardens project at Can Masdeu; is a co-founder of the Spanish Permaculture Academy; and was a member of the Permaculture Council of Europe. Alfred lives at the Vidàlia housing cooperative near Manresa, Catalunya (Spanish Territory).


Lena and Ale are an artist duo investigating food making and sharing as ways of healing and coming together. They explore the notions of curiosity and balance through ancient and new processes of fermentation and conservation and their research is initially inspired by mystic Hildegaard von Bingen’s writings, which offer a nuanced approach at understanding and utilizing common ingredients for the wellness of the body and the mind.

To accompany the Earthcraft series they will build tubular edible moments using local and affordable ingredients. Considering time and natural bacteria as partners as well as ingredients in the mechanism for the transformation of violence and toxicity into something that can nurture us.



Thu 8 December 2022 18.30 - 21:00


KABK Galleries 1, 2 and 3