Humus economicus – Launching a four-year art and research project!

We’re happy to announce that The Posthumanities Hub researcher Dr. Janna Holmstedt has received a four-year research grant from Formas, a Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development for Humus economicus: Soil Blindness and the Value of “Dirt” in Urbanized Landscapes.

This art and research project inquiries into the value and future of soil in urbanized landscapes. It seeks to draw attention to radically altered human-soil relations, the invisible work of soils, and practices of soil care in a time when soils are sealed and degraded at rapid rates.

The research team consists of Janna Holmstedt (Pi), National Historical Museums, Sweden (SHM), Christina Fredengren, SHM, Malin Lobell, artist and gardener, Jenny Lindblad, KTH, Cecilia Åsberg, LiU, and Karin Wegsjö, filmmaker and director.

Through the Humus Economicus Collaboratory we will gather artists, scientists, environmental-, urban-, gender-, and heritage scholars, and connect with a growing number of soil stewards to counteract soil blindness, decolonize conceptualizations of nature, and transform public knowledge and imaginaries of soils.

The project explores how multiple forms of inheritance and potential futures meet in the subject of soil, and what societies that strive to be sustainable could learn from it.  Soils tie together political ecologies into conflict zones where nature and culture, human and non-human cannot easily be discerned and held apart. Humus economicus intends to stay with these troubles. It also recognizes that soil is not a charismatic other, as whales for example, which manages to mobilize empathy and action. Soil is rather uncharismatic and constitutes a wider form of bio-agency. How then, to call forth embodied knowledge of, and empathy with, an environment that to a large extent is invisible, difficult to grasp, uncharismatic, and which is being altered in anthropogenic ways?

Read more at the Humus economicus website!

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