3 May

In Exchange with Land and Community: A conversation on social participatory artwork between William Bock, Othmane Ouallal and Nessie Reid

20 May, In Exchange with Land and Community: A conversation on social participatory artwork between William Bock, Othmane Ouallal and Nessie Reid, Malhoun, 7.30pm to 9.30 pm *An event to mark biological diversity day 


To mark Biodiversity Day 2024 (which officially falls on May 22) we will be hosting a discussion with three artists and cultural practitioners whose work can be identified as embodying a social practice, whereby process and collective participation, particularly alongside communities whose livelihoods are based on a stewarding of the land, forms the heart of the their works. 

William Bock will be joining us on the back of his participation in the 18th International Society of Ethnobiology Congress. William’s practice is multi disciplinary, exploring relationships between people and the environments they inhabit. For William, in the context of the climate emergency,  ‘digging down’ into the specific complexities of a landscape is a way to work with communities to process the wider ecological and social issues at stake. William creates experiential, social art projects that are specific to place, connecting us to our common ground and the ecology we find ourselves living in.

William will be sharing his Tarraignt / Green Rope making practice with us, including the edition he will be making in Morocco alongside the congress’ attendees. The Green Rope Project uses the act of crafting a Sugán rope ( an Irish straw rope) to bring people together. It is a social sculpture and a hands-on process that creates space for conversation across cultures and identities.

Nessie Reid joins us with the Patchwork of Belonging, an in process work that asks us to consider how we find ourselves belonging to land and community, or, how we find ourselves untethered from these sources of life and meaning. The Patchwork of Belonging is a participatory, collaborative and mobile artwork which gathers stories and songs describing the ways we find belonging and connection to land, place and the food we grow and eat. Through medicinal herbal practice, seed saving, dendrology and agroecological farming the Patchwork making process inquires what it means to find new – and rediscover old – ways to belong and find connection. The patchwork begins its journey in Morocco listening to the stories, songs and experiences of a women’s cooperative in Azilal, it will also be listening to and gathering stories at the ISE congress before travelling to South-West Wales to sit with farming, agroecological and weaving communities. 

Nessie, as well as being Global Diversity Foundation director is herself a farmer and landworker at Glynhynod, in Cymraeg, Wales. Nessie has worked for a range of social and environmental organisations interrogating questions of food sovereignty and community. Her work the Milking Parlour, an on-going project explores the values we hold towards our food and farming system.

Othmane Oualall joins us as an contributor to the Patchwork of Belonging on its journey in Morocco, where Othmane will have led the workshops in residency with the women’s coop in Azilal, but more importantly Othmane joins us with his own social practice embedded in the distinct oasis communities and landscape that he was born and raised in. His research mines oasis spaces (common to Marrakech, an oasis city) to find narratives of social, cultural, economic, and architectural histories, drawing narrative connections amongst these. Othmane deconstructs the dichotomy between concrete and earth, the rigidity of modernism and the fragility of tradition, drawing awareness to the harmful impact of urbanisation on oasis spaces. 

20 May
7.30 pm-9.30 pm
Harvest Festival – Marrakech

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