A Call to Contribute to a Unique Exhibition on Agricultural Biodiversity


GenØk’s biodiverSEEDy project is organizing an exhibition to remind the world of the connections the frozen seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault have to history, context and culture. This exhibition will honor the interconnections between seeds and their cultural and ecological contexts and the important work that farmers do to keep agricultural biodiversity alive.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault operates as a global backup for the seed collections of genebanks from all around the world. Located deep inside a mountain on the artic island of Svalbard it currently holds over 900,000 different frozen samples of crop seeds. While this is an important global resource for crop biodiversity conservation, the practice of freezing seeds in genebanks and storing genetic sequences in databases as a way to conserve agricultural biodiversity renders the connections seeds have to farmers, ecosystems and cultures invisible. It also makes it difficult to remember and value the important role that these diverse socio-ecological contexts and farmers play in creating and conserving agrobiodiversity.

Artists participating in the exhibition are asked to explore the interrelationships of agricultural seeds with personal and family relationships, culture and/or ecology. They are asked to create work that addresses these interrelationships and speaks to seeds as a metaphor of a life carrying vessel – not only the life of the plant, but also the breadth of interconnected social and biological lives of agricultural landscapes.

The works will first be displayed in the arctic city of Tromsø, Norway and a select number of artists will be sponsored to attend and speak about their work, as well as be featured in a short video documentary. The following day, the artists and works will travel to Svalbard where the artworks will be delivered for permanent “interment” in the abandoned coalmine (Mine #3), located beside the vault and the source of its original inspiration.

The whole event is planned to take place between April 12th-17th 2018.

Details on how to get involved

The BiodiverSEEDy project

Photos: AdobeStock_83139423_PointImages (this page) and Dollarphotoclub_45612456 (front page)