The Russian village of Zvizzchi, 2015. Photo: courtesy Myvillages.
On Wednesday February 2nd the Rural School of Economics exhibition by MyVillages opened at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. The exhibition marks the launch of the Rural School of Economics, a new trans-local and collaborative infrastructure for learning, for those who create and use rural economics.
For the exhibition, Myvillages collaborated with the inhabitants of three villages: Zvizzchi and Pushkino in Russia and Zburazh in Belarus, and with artists and cultural managers. The aim was to investigate the nature of rural cultural production and how this is visible in the everyday life of a village. By filming, photographing and drawing together, participants learn to see their environment anew and discover how knowledge is exchanged through intergenerational and trans-local encounters. The photos, drawings and objects show how the villagers, young and old, see and shape their own environment; but can those images be read with our Western European-conditioned eyes? On this point, Myvillages sets the stage for public debate.
Image by @pushkino_style on Instagram
Jap Sam Books published multiple books with MyVillages. A selection of these publications can be found at NAi Booksellers bookshop at Het Nieuwe Instituut. To celebrate the launch of this new project we look back on some of the great publications we released together with MyVillages.
Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks is a long-term art project by Myvillages to revisit the 'picking days' while at the same time opening up a full circle of fruit harvest, beverage production and drinks trade as a collective endeavour.
Order Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks here
Boerenzij | The Rural Side takes de old appellation for Rotterdam-Zuid as a starting point. In the past, farm workers and their families moved to Rotterdam because there was work to be found in the harbors. Through time, the rural and urban became inextricably intertwined.
Order Boerenzij | The Rural Side here
The concept of the Vorratskammer / Pantry goes far beyond the simple act of eating: it has to do with how food is collected, its origins, the way it is traded and exchanged and its history. All of these elements are part of this project. Producing and eating food is considered a cultural and social activity that is closely intermingled with farming and processing traditions as well as land use, but also with living in modern cities and topics as sustainability, environment, food processing and (over-)consumption. This publication gives an overview of this interesting art project by myvillages.org.
Order Vorratskammer / Pantry here
Myvillages was founded by artists Kathrin Böhm (UK/DE), Wapke Feenstra (NL) and Antje Schiffers (DE) in 2003, to advocate for a new understanding of the rural environment as a place of and for cultural production. Myvillages’ work addresses the relationship between the rural and the urban, looking at different forms of production, preconceptions and power relationships, whilst passionately questioning the cultural hegemony of the urban. The collective is involved in co-operative projects in various villages and landscapes around the world, with the aim of bringing a new dynamism to solidified notions of local resources and production, agriculture and culture, and internal and external perceptions.
The exhibition can be visited until 27|03|22.
For more information click here