Library of Land & Sea
The Care of Seed: An Entangled Kinship
Luigi Coppola, Vivien Sansour and Pelin Tan
Project description

What can we learn from recording and collecting seeds? Can non-human-centred ethics help us understand heritage and cross-narratives?

Seeds are living data. They carry histories, heritage and methodologies, which intersect with human knowledge of Earth and nature. Across the Mediterranean region, collecting and archiving heirloom seeds is becoming a form of solidarity and resistance against extractive capitalism and industrialised agriculture, a practice to protect and restore our natural habitats and biodiversity. Such forms of practice are critical of dominant monocultural approaches, and embrace interspecies hybridisation and circulation.

The Care of Seed: An Entangled Kinship, is a collective research project by artists Luigi Coppola and Vivien Sansour, with researcher Pelin Tan. It reimagines forms of cartography, survival infrastructures and practices of empathy within kinship. Through a process of mapping, the project explores the value of heirloom seeds, and the archives recovering and revitalising abandoned land, strengthening communities and producing new economies.


Luigi Coppola (Belgium/Italy) is an artist and activist and promoter of participative projects and politically motivated actions. His artistic practice is connected with the process of social re-appropriation of the commons that starts with an analysis of specific social, political, and cultural contexts. He trained as a scientist as well as in the field of art. Coppola is involved with Casa delle Agricultura, a project in Castiglione d’Otranto, south Italy, which seeks to revive abandoned land, repopulate the countryside, generate a sustainable economy and strengthen community cohesion. 

Vivien Sansour (Palestine) is the founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library (2014) and the Travelling Kitchen (2015), which were launched with the goal of preserving seed heritage, and bringing it to the table, to ‘eat our history rather than store it away as a relic of the past’. She is based in the West Bank, and trained in anthropology and art.

Pelin Tan (Turkey) is a sociologist and architectural theorist based in Mardin, Turkey. She is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Arts, Design and Social Research, Boston, and is the sixth recipient of the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art & Activism at Bard College, New York. She is a lead author of ‘Cities’, in Rethinking Society for the 21st Century: Report of the International Panel on Social Progress (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Previously, she was Curator of Gardentopia: Cosmos of Ecologies (Matera, 2019). Tan is affiliated associate professor at the Fine Arts Academy of Batman University (Turkey).

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