making work that makes a difference
Part residency, part workshop; this is a creative space for international artists and change makers. This training is hosted as part of the Ulex South Project
Are you an artist of migrant heritage exploring environmental and human rights? Are you looking for a fully funded residential to create new work? Would you like to collaborate with artists from European countries? This could be a space for you.
We will learn, reflect, create and explore how to make visible to ‘an everyday audience’ the human and environmental catastrophe of industrial food systems. We will particularly focus on the environmental degradation of the greenhouses in Almeria, Southern Spain, infamously called the Plastic Sea (visible from the moon, picture below). As well as hearing the stories of migrant farm workers employed there to grow the vegetables supplied to supermarkets across Europe.
The Ulex South residency is hosted within the intercultural association La Bolina (Granada) who run a regenerative land project and provide dignified alternatives to the inhumane working conditions that migrants experience in the Plastic Sea. La Bolina is working in collaboration with organisations and artists across Europe creating alternative food growing models and campaigning against the disconnected food system through theatre, events, films and socially engaged art. Workshops will be facilitated by Ulex South, La Bolina and The Change Collective, a UK based organisation looking at how an arts based approach can be a catalyst for social change.
This residency will be attended by artists, writers and makers who come from a migrant/refugee background, who work in solidarity with migrants and refugees, or who work in arts and ecology or artivism. People who want to develop their experience and capacity in making work that makes a difference.
Why focus on supermarkets?
Built on the glitz of comfort, speed and cheapness, supermarkets distract from the land and lives destroyed by extractivist global food systems. Food is one of the most important needs for every human being. The upcoming food crisis is not fiction. Today’s dominant model of industrial agriculture creates dangerously fragile societies and ecosystems.
Suggested watching: Disconnect video
What to expect?
Artists from different countries will come together to exchange arts practice and learn about the reality of EU food systems, the invisibilization of migrant workers and the consumers’ complicity in an exploitative system. They will also take part in Ulex South workshops with The Change Collective (UK) and La Bolina’s artistic director Ruth Cross in collaborative and site-specific artistic responses. Artists will make an individual or collective (in small groups) performative, artistic or changemaker response during and after the residency.
Documentation of the work will be collated into an exhibition, publication or event supported by Asociacion Solidaria Deserollo Andaluz, Granada, Spain. Artists will be invited to share their work at events for Refugee Week in June 2022, supported by Counterpoints Art – the UK refugee arts network.
The project will provide:
– Travel to Granada, Southern Spain- including any COVID-19 tests needed.
– All food, accommodation, bedding and WiFi for the duration of the trip.
– Travel for all excursions within the residency
– Translators where necessary
Artists will need to be available for a pre-event call in Feb/March for logistics and content overview, as well as sharing within Refugee Week between June 20th – 26th 2022. They will also be required to: provide their own travel insurance and abide by the COVID regulations at the time of the residency; provide most of their own arts materials; have the necessary travel documents to travel to Spain.
This training is hosted as part of the Ulex South Project
Ruth Cross is co-founder of Eroles Project – an international learning for action centre, and, Asociación La Bolina – a visionary intercultural initiative working to regenerate land and lives through creating social integration and sustainable livelihoods for locals, migrants and refugees in El Valle, Andalucia, Spain. She is the Artistic Director of Cross Collaborations, an award winning arts for change immersive theatre company.
Ruth is an experienced arts activist, social theatre maker, researcher and educator specialising in instigating transformative and regenerative change. She can be found directing immersive performance with migrants and refugees, creating participatory arts action campaigns and coordinating cross-disciplinary projects with organisations, decision-makers, civil society and local communities.
For the last 10 years Ruth has facilitated capacity building training with activists and social movements. She is a research contributor with Schumacher Research in Action community, is a member of the international Delicate Activism community and of Social Arts network ImaginAction. As well as a collaborator with Asociación Solidaria Andaluza de Desarrollo (ASAD).
La Bolina is based in El Valle, south of the city of Granada. It is a project that integrates regeneration, integration and sustainability. As well as regeneration of land and repopulation of rural villages, we are dedicated to the dignified and respectful integration of migrants and refugees through running education and training programmes, building just and ethical employment opportunities and providing community living whilst constructing alternative food systems based on local and circular economies. La Bolina has developed an eco-business growing and distributing veg boxes to a community of customers and to restaurants and eco-shops.
a holistic approach
Agency, theory and strategy - a deep inquiry
1. A thorny-evergreen flowering shrub, with a high capacity for regeneration and resilience. Its seedpods open in contact with fire and it reshoots from charred stumps. A successionary plant that grows well under challenging conditions. It improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixing, preparing the way for renewed biodiversity.
2. A traditional choice for igniting fires. Burns hot and bright.
3. A networked project adding nutrition and fertility to European social movements through training and capacity building. It kindles the realisation of social justice, ecological intelligence, and cognitive vitality.