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Cultivating Abundance
BY
Åsa Sonjasdotter

The film Cultivating Abundance (64 min., 2022) returns to the moment when a technique for the breeding of monoculture crops was invented at the Swedish Seed Association, beginning in the 1880s. The method was developed from ideas of genetic ‘purity’ and ‘originality’, a science fiction by which current seed laws still operate and seed industries continue to claim royalties. Further, the film follows plant breeder Hans Larsson and the seed alliance Allkorn’s clandestine mobilization for recultivation of the peasant-bred grains that were stored in deep freezers in gene banks following the monoculture takeover. Assembling gelatin-silver glass-plate photographs and moving images re-found in a cold store barn, as well as filmed material by activist farmers and breeders, Cultivating Abundance is made in dialogue between Hans Larsson, Allkorn, and the artist Åsa Sonjasdotter.

Aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format Generic SD-video & Generic HD-video
Duration 01:04:00
Language Swedish
Color Color
Sound Stereo & Dolby Surround 5.1
Year 2022
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About the artist

Åsa Sonjasdotter

Åsa Sonjasdotter’s artistic work is driven by an urge to engage in material-narrative processes for the unmaking of violent relations through food and land. Having grown up between monoculture farm fields in the highly industrialised farm region of South Scandinavia, she has an embodied experience of what such relations does to the people, the habitats, the waters and the soil. Further, it was in this region that a ‘universally applicable’ technique for monoculture plant breeding was invented. This technique provides today the base for legislations imposed on farmers by globally operating seed corporations. The topic is elaborated in the 2022 film Cultivating Abundance, made in dialogue with the seed association Allkorn (Common Grains) and breeder of peasant seeds Hans Larsson. For about two decades, Sonjasdotter has engaged in the restoration of peasant knowledges and food relations.

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