Espacio Continuo Gallery

Sustainability as a Form of Resistance in Art


In her essay “Building Radical Soil,” Puerto Rican historian and poet Aurora Levins Morales claims that her own family has stood against tsarism, monarchy, colonialism, and imperialism. “We have inherited a long view and are less likely to have an all-or-nothing response to the ups and downs of our movements,” she writes, referring to her blood relatives as well as her comrades and political ancestors. Morales grounds her analysis in the metaphor of soil — how rich and fertile traditions can establish “strong, stable roots” despite intergenerational contradictions:

Soil is more than a collection of mineral molecules. It’s organic and alive, composed of rotting leaves and underground runners, fungal threads and billions of bacteria, seeds dropped by birds and dust blown from the other side of the world. Clay, sand, rock, and plant matter, local weather and regional climate, latitude and season, all interact with each other and are changed. Soil is not a list of ingredients. It’s relational, and so is our sense of history.

April 18, 2022

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