Against Monoculture and Mono-Culture – Talk and Installation
Against Monoculture and Mono-Culture (Food and Art from Below) Indoor & outdoor installation & conversation by Nadir Bouhmouch & Soumeya Aït Ahmed
Across Morocco’s Atlas mountains, a biologically heterogeneous landscape made of wheat, barley, walnuts and alfalfa was mirrored by a flurry of poetic diversity. Each valley had its poets and each its work songs, just as each valley had its unique patchwork of crop varieties. When apple monocultures replaced the wheats and barleys, they also condemned these songs and poems to oblivion.
Through a two-fold intervention at LE 18 and involving a fruit vendor in the neighbourhood, Nadir Bouhmouch explores the relationship between food, labour, and art.
An anti-imperialist treatise for both ecological and cultural diversity in the face of a “globalisation from above,” the installation and talk retrace how the introduction of a single crop – the apple, has altered both the agri-cultural and the cultural diversity of many Atlas regions.
Intersecting Nadir’s research on the global homogenisation of cinematic aesthetics, food sovereignty and monocultures, as well as a collective research with Soumeya Ait Ahmed on Amazigh oral poetry in the middle and central Atlas mountains, the presentation given for the opening argues, through a variety of visual and auditory media, in favour of a decentralisation of cultural and agricultural production as well as the importance of maintaining or re-elaborating art forms which are in tune with our environmental contexts.
Nadir Bouhmouch is a filmmaker, photographer and writer. In addition to his work in film, Nadir is also co-founder of AWAL, an art and research project dedicated to oral traditions in the Atlas mountains and southeast of Morocco.
Soumeya Ait Ahmed is a cultural programmer, producer and researcher based in Marrakech. Member of the artistic team of LE 18, she co-founded AWAL, a project dedicated to archiving and promoting the ancestral oral arts.