New exhibition: ’saujana membumi’ - exploring sustainability

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Members of the Indonesian artists’ collective Rumah Budaya Sikukeluang. Ph
Members of the Indonesian artists’ collective Rumah Budaya Sikukeluang. Photo: Göttingen University
First special exhibition at Forum Wissen in collaboration with documenta fifteen This special exhibition -saujana membumi- at the University of Göttingen’s Forum Wissen, enables science, art and society to explore new ways of sustainability together. The central question is: -How can environmental protection, economic profit and the needs of the local population be aligned in a way that promotes sustainability?- Scientists at the Collaborative Research Centre EFForTS are investigating this using the example of the tropical rainforests on Sumatra in Indonesia, which are increasingly being displaced by oil palm plantations. The special exhibition runs from 18 June to 25 September 2022 as a collaboration with documenta fifteen.

The presentation of the research is complemented by artistic perspectives from the Indonesian artists’ collective Rumah Budaya Sikukeluang. During a festival lasting several days in March on Sumatra, the collective developed numerous ideas and objects on the topic of sustainability with local people, which are presented in the special exhibition. This means that visitors to the Forum Wissen can experience the social and ecological dimensions of the monoculture cultivation of oil palm plantations in Indonesia from different perspectives.

But that’s not all: building on the local experience, the researchers have initiated a long-term project in collaboration with the artists and the local people. The aim is to jointly find ways to make oil palm plantations more ecologically and socially sustainable, for example by planting native tree species amongst the oil palms, which will both increase biodiversity and broaden the range of products available to small farmers.

documenta fifteen supports this project as just one of many long-term sustainability projects. One euro from the proceeds of each documenta fifteen ticket will go to support these projects. The exhibition is curated by Studio TheGreenEyl, the Indonesian collective Rumah Budaya Sikukeluang, and Göttingen University’s Centre for Collection Development.

The special exhibition will be opened on Saturday 18 June 2022 at 18:00 by Professor Bernhard Brümmer, Vice-President for Research at the University of Göttingen, Dr Marie Luisa Allemeyer, Director of the Centre for Collection Development, Professor Dr Alexander Knohl, Board Member of the Collaborative Research Centre EFForTS, and Frédéric Eyle, Studio TheGreenEyl. The collective Sikukeluang will perform. Everyone who is interested is warmly invited to attend. Further information can be found at­llungen/so­nderausste­llungen/so­nderausste­llung-nach­haltigkeit­-erkunden/ .