Land Art and Community Project. Performance
Gram Art Project, Paradsinga, India, 2016
Developed by Gram Art Project (Shweta Bhattad, Lalit Vikamshi, Ganesh Dhoke, Paradsinga community)
Performance in collaboration with Aditi Bhattad
Paradsinga, Central India, is an area facing severe climate problems, harmful chemical farming methods and GM seed use, lack of water supply, soil erosion, and as a result, a high number of farmers’ suicides. Local artists Shweta Bhattad and Lalit Vikamshi, and farmer Ganesh Dhoke have been working together on a community land art project to raise awareness on the situation and discuss what a farmer has to face if he still chooses this profession; and together aimed to initiate a change.
As a first step, the field which is normally covered by poisonous BT cotton was cleared and treated by natural materials to turn the land into a fertile organic farm. Then leafy organic vegetables were grown to reveal the portrait of the industrialization-pro Indian Prime Minister and the message of the project: Dear Prime Minister, please GROW IN INDIA. Furthermore, a public letter was sent to the Prime Minister and a seed festival was organized where farmers presented and exchanged local organic seeds.
Artists Eva Bubla, Lilli Tölp and Mai Sööt joined in the process of cleaning the plot, learned about zero budget farming, assisted in maintaining the leafy greens, donated their pre-existing seed bank to Gram Art Project, and participated in the festival by performances as well.
Performance Grow in India reflects on the problems of recent farming practices and the exploitation of Motherland. Mother Earth is suffocated in “plastic,” artificial chemicals, until farmers realize how they are trapped in company interests and turn back to traditional, natural farming practices to save the health of their land, their food, and thus, their very own .