About the fellowship
Castiglione d'Otranto, Lecce
In this collective process we integrate artistic research, work on the imaginary, narration and representation, with agroecological, economic and social actions. What I am experimenting with is the role of the artist who works with his own tools within the real processes of transformation. And because I believe in the potential of art as an engine of change, it is important that it be practiced in relationship.Luigi Coppola
Casa delle Agriculture (Castiglione d’Otranto, Lecce) is a voluntary organization active in defence of agro-biodiversity, inclusive practices and experimenting with new models of “restanza” in marginal territories. It has been operating since 2012 with the objectives of reviving abandoned land, repopulating the countryside, generating a sustainable economy and strengthening community ties. Among the cultural activities organized, the Notte Verde Festival: Agriculture, Utopias and Communities has become an essential appointment for those interested in sustainable agriculture practices, ecological conversion and models of rethinking the countryside.
The Visible fellowship contributes towards the project Vivaio dell’Inclusione (Inclusive Plant Nursery), which has amongst its aims: to tackle involuntary loneliness, especially in the elderly population, through participation; to support activities with vulnerable groups; to promote and protect the environment. The Vivaio dell’Inclusione will be a community laboratory for the production, selection and conservation of seeds and mother plants of local vegetables (e.g. cabbage, fennel, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, etc.) and minor fruits to protect genetic resources and the rights of farmers. In the coming months together with groups of elderly people and migrants after specific training, plants at risk of extinction will be catalogued and reproduced, in order to increase biodiversity; a library of seeds will be set up; a small greenhouse will be built; ethnobotanical cuisine and bread-making workshops will be launched.
About the artist
Luigi Coppola is an artist who promotes participatory projects and public art and. He is co-activator of Casa delle Agriculture. His work intertwines agricultural and aesthetic practices, developing long-term projects. His research is based on the principles of agroecology and permaculture, focusing on the construction of common goods and communities. He is currently a senior researcher at the Center for Arts Design and Social Science of Boston (USA).