Soil – City – Solidarity: Figuring Fallow Time – Soil Care, Termites and Agro-pastoral Politics


Figuring Fallow Time - Soil care, termites and agro-pastoral politics. The Somankidi Coura cooperative

A seminar with Raphaël Grisey and Bouba Touré, chaired by Nicole Wolf.
Bouba Touré co-founded the agricultural cooperative of Somankidi Coura (Mali) in 1976, together with other African migrants living in France at the time. Against the backdrop of thought and activism of African liberation struggles in Africa and 1968 labour politics in France, the cooperative started as a matter of survival following a drought in 1973. The cooperative negotiates and defied colonial infrastructural interventions and their impact on land structures, scale and temporalities. Bouba Touré will share the cooperative’s history and present, shaped by colonialism and neo-colonial development projects and by migration and the role of the diaspora and will address how alternatives for permanent agricultural, economic and pedagogical structures have been sought at Somankidi Coura, of which local irrigation systems and situated practices of soil care through local termite and other ecologies are a crucial part.

The collaborative film and theatre of the oppressed project Xeex Bi Du Jeex – A Luta Continua (by Raphaël Grisey, Bouba Touré and Káddu Yaraax, 2018) rehearses this history and becomes a means to reflect on current entanglements of climate catastrophe, conflict and migration. Film and performance become part of the Somankidi Coura ‘generative archive’, next to Bouba Touré’s vast photographic archive.

See also: Sowing Somankidi Coura. A Generative Archive, edited by Raphaël Grisey and Bouba Touré, Berlin: Archive Books, 2017

in english
free entrance

Color picture: Xeex Bi Du Jeex – A Luta Continua, a film and a performance by Raphaël Grisey, Bouba Touré and Káddu Yaraax, 2018
b/w picture: Agricultural cooperative of Somankidi Coura, 1978. Photographs by Bouba Touré

Part of Stoffwechsel, Teil 1. Stoffwechsel is a project by Film Feld Forschung, organized within the framework of Archive außer sich, a project of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, part of a cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and Pina Bausch Foundation, part of The New Alphabet, a HKW project, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media due to a ruling of the German Bundestag.