Germinar-t 2.0: Degrowth Arts Residency Returns to Sunseed
In early April, Germinar-t 2 was hosted at Sunseed, exploring “Las Memorias del Río Aguas”.
The degrowth based art-residency returned to the Sunseed Desert Technology community in Los Molinos del Rio Aguas, Almería, after the inaugural Germinar-t took place here in December of 2022. This time the performance group in residency was the Lab of Rooted Imagination from Barcelona, which formed in October 2022 and made their debut with #estudio1 on activist struggles in January 2023.
Germinar-t 2.0 took the form of a 10-day process of creating a performance around water cultures, ending in the Festival del Agua, which Sunseed co-hosts each spring with the local community. The process was informed by art-based-research practices: the community collaboratively researched their own relation to water cultures before the performers arrived. These findings were fermented into stories, poems, little plays which were presented to the performers in residency as a process of ‘soaking’ into the place and the territory. During the week, the performers played and created based on the collection of stories they received. At the festival, the performers in residency had the opportunity to present what they worked on during the residency and open up the investigation to the territory.
The final created performance invited a hike through Los Molinos, engaged the audience on a journey to look for a drop of water flowing up. Defying gravity. Doing the impossible. Rebelling. Defending itself. Getting sucked up. Pumping itself up through its own force like the water in Los Molinos from Río Aguas to the houses of its residents pushes itself through the ram pump.
On their journey they find a group of self-proclaimed activists who are there to defend the river, in search for a direct action, in search for purpose and there to do something against the ecocide. This group quickly loses themselves in the experience of drought, a journey inwards begins in which the activists get existential about experiencing the effects of privatised, accumulated and power-directed water flows of which most people are exempted. It is hard to stay at the margins, in which these effects are sensible first. Next to Spain and France exhausting themselves in games of green growth and police violence supervised by the EU, there are strange bird creatures eating the guts of a coloniser dude from the UK who came to Sunseed to plant prosopis and thereby save the region from desertification. The birds chant cryptic ancestral territorial knowledges and predict the future to be red through capital driven human interventions. When the birds turn slowly on the audience to read some more guts, the poet leads them to the maze in which they re-encounter the activist group which has still not lost their zest for action. The group enters the maze and transforms into a stream of consciousness, moving back and forth, battling for reason, legitimacy and purpose. Wondering what kinds of actions, if any, make sense. No common conclusion is reached. The activists shed tears, laying them carefully into the middle of the maze. The poet ends on: The only thing we can do is share our water even though our only water might be the tears that we shed for the bodies of water we lost in the fight.