Table et Terretoire, Creative Europe
“La Table et le Territoire” - an unprecedented program of European cooperation from the
Laboratory of Sustainable Culture.The Laboratory of Sustainable Culture is a collective exploration program of the major issues of sustainability and adaptation to climate change of contemporary societies through
arts, humanities and citizen participation, initiated in 2015 by the association COAL Art and
sustainable development and the LADYSS-CNRS in collaboration with, already, about twenty
artists, scientists and citizen initiatives.
Its objectives are:
1) To produce participatory experiments with artists and scientists, on areas of innovation, and to
promote research-creation as a practice contributing to redefining the possibilities of territorial
2) To question and share the construction of knowledge, both artistic and aesthetic, as well as
academic and technical;
3) Networking the main actors of this transformation at European level. After three years of research, creation and sharing in France around the issue of Soils (program called Sols Fictions which continues today as part of an order from the company of Greater Paris to support the site of Greater Paris Express, the future metro of Greater Paris), the Laboratory of Sustainable Culture is taking off on a European scale starting in 2019, with "La Table et le Territoire", the second part of an action around the issues of sustainable food, thanks to the cooperation between six leading European actors in the field of art, ecology and territories:
three atypical cultural sites set up on farms – Zone Sensible (France), Campo Adentro (Spain) and Art Mill (Czech Republic) ) -, a third artistic and citizen place - Locus Athens (Greece) -,and an art centre - The PAV - Parco Arte Vivente (Italy), pioneer in the production of cultural events related to art and ecology -, under the coordination of a leading actor of the art and ecology scene: COAL (France) and in relation with institutional and scientific partners
including the French laboratory LADYSS CNRS, the international network Marguerite, the ENS Paris, the Spanish cultural institution Matadero and the University of Athens. The partners of “La Table and le Territoire” have set themselves the goal of growing a culture of sustainability, to bring about and embody other artistic, scientific and political stories of the Earth's transformation. More specifically, they aim to put into practice a cultural approach to territorial transformation for ecological transition. The aim is to include in local practices, strategies for adapting to changes linked to climate change. For these purposes, “La Table et la Territoire” is based on new forms of citizen participation as practiced in science and culture, notably through digital tools. The aim is to develop, analyse and disseminate joint arts / science
practices, whether in the social sciences and humanities or life sciences and subject matter, but which are resolutely participatory and involve civil society. Sustainable food, an eminently cultural, societal and ecological subject, is an issue at the European Union level. In order to increase the scope of these experiments, “La Table et la Territoire”’s program capitalizes savoir-faire on this theme, on a European scale, with a wide network of actors, scientists, cultural professionals and local people. This program aims to create the conditions for synergy at European level. It is a question of highlighting the importance of a socio-ecological transformation of the territories, integrating the contributions of culture in participative approaches, promoting citizen mobilisation on the stakes of a renewed food culture, inventing new fields of action and funds for culture, through the demonstration of culture-based solutions (as we speak of Nature-Based Solutions). From innovative initiatives in the sustainable food sector in France, Spain, the Czech Republic, Greece and Italy, artists, scientists and citizens will share the fruit of their experiences through participatory artistic productions, public meetings, a digital platform, a festival, a publication and learning and training sessions, with the aim of highlighting the importance of culture-based solutions in the field of food. Indeed, cultural transformations, practices and values that organize a way of life in society, are at the heart of ecological transition and food behaviours inscribed in a perspective of sustainability.
Our goal, after a first 30-month program, is to build a sustainable network and to integrate other European actors and initiatives. For a sustainable food culture in Europe today, food is a priority for sustainable development from a technical point of view as well as an eminently cultural point of view. From the field to gastronomy, hybrid initiatives led by artists in the fields of agriculture and food are multiplying on a European scale. The objective of “La Table et le Territoire” is to support and enhance this new scene, to develop new audiences and to analyse the potential of these Culture Based Solutions in terms of ecological transition and the emergence of a new potential for economic development for the cultural sector.
These issues are at the centre of the European Union's policy. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) aims to achieve new and emerging objectives. At all levels of society, academics, civil society, politicians and cultural actors develop partial answers to these questions. The art and culture sector, whose history has always fought with that of food and land, has the major ambition
of synthesizing these responses in relation to territorial transformations. To initiate this ecological transition in favour of a greener, fairer and more creative food culture, we must develop a trans-disciplinary collaborative approach where artistic approaches and the cultural sector contribute to the evolution of social representations and practices, drivers of any change and any transition. Collaboration is at the heart of the environmental transition:
- By working together, across Europe, we can foster innovation and more rapidly offer innovative opportunities for processing food crops in relation to territories.
- By sharing our knowledge and savoir-faire between actors, we can boost initiatives across Europe and compensate for the fragmentation of resources and the disparity of scales of action thus revealing existing potentials.
- Previous actions such as ArtCOP21, which brought COP21 close to 300 cultural actions across Europe, have shown that a growing community of organizations, networks and artists are already supporting the transition by creating important resources for action.
“La Table et le Territoire”is a program to put participatory and citizen-based solutions into practice based on culture. ArtDialog is honored to be a part of this pan-European project.
Sustainable Food and Territory:
ArtMill, our home site, is based in a rural area of southwestern Bohemia, that is mainly agricultural land and forests. Our own small scale farm is one of the few organic farms in the region, joined by three other larger scaled farms (less than 30 hectares each), who do not use pesticides. The rest of the local countryside is indeed using dangerous large scale agricultural production techniques that for over forty years have been decimating the soil and poisoning the water systems with run-off into the lakes and streams that populate Czech Republic and into the ground water. Our presence in the region for over two decades affords us integrated relationships with our neighbors and the farming community, after many such interactions with students and artists over the years.
We propose an art/research project that would engage local farmers with visiting artists, both Czech and foreign, to measure and document the outcomes (healthy food and healthy lives) of various farming practices in the region, in various activities. :
Art and Farmers at Market. Since the end of the Soviet state in Czechoslovakia, small, local markets have begun to disappear across the country as globalized, corporate super markets move in. The major cities like Prague have re-instated Farmer’s Markets following a pan-European trend to more sustainable/local food consumption. These markets have not yet come to the rural regions of the country as much. We will be working with our local towns of Horaždovice, Sušice, and Nalžovské Horý to begin this project. It will include performative and visual artworks and crafts as well as food.
2. Interviews with local farmers by artists, who will document their stories from the Bolshevik past until today’s challenges with the agricultural laws in the EU. These stories and impressions will be exhibited at ArtMill’s Barn Gallery in late August, 2020.
3. Exhibition/Performance/Workshop by invited Czech and foreign artists responding to the theme of Sustainable Farming and Territory. See invited artists below.
4. Farm-to-Table meal. Spread across the hill at ArtMill, overlooking the lake, an outdoor banquet created and directed by artists for the local public and government officials from Prague and the EU, as well as our other Creative Europe Table et Terretoire partners, to demonstrate the feasibility, social and economic benefits of locally produced food in a beautiful space and encourage local farmers to remain steadfast in their commitment to Organic. Scheduled for late August, 2020.