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Karla Sánchez Zepeda
Co-Director
26/4/2024
Our Ethos - Blackbird Cultur-lab

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Testing the soil, Autumn 2023

Our values

Blackbird Cultúr-Lab is a small organisation that is part of a larger vision of a holistic way of managing land. We believe that everything is interconnected. We can see links between many disciplines and modes of creating, and we know of the interdependence of all beings, we aim to highlight such links through the different activities that we program.

We are also aware of the importance of real diversity, without which no ecosystem can thrive, and try to actively foster it as much as we can.

We have been experimenting and finding our own way of working with artists within a context that promotes health and regeneration. The lessons we have learnt - and are continuing to learn - from putting into practice the principles of regenerative agriculture have shaped our understanding of culture at large.

We are in the process of identifying, putting into action and evaluating, practices of what we are calling “regenerative culture” or “regenerative arts”.

We are very much aware of our need to be able to regularly think with and collaborate with others as we require perspective, new ideas and inspiration. We are constantly learning from our encounters with others, as from our own failures and successes.

We value togetherness, dialogue, care as daily praxis, experimentation, freedom to play, reciprocity and mutual support.

We have made a conscious decision to encourage the participation of a diverse audience at our public events. We like to encourage the interaction of people that would otherwise never meet nor ever engage in conversation. Our events are attended by individuals from the locality as well as and by artists and people already interested in the arts coming from all over the country. Our programme to date has involved supporting local, national and international artists and practitioners.

At Blackbird Cultúr-Lab hospitality and care are at the centre of everything that we do, as is the notion of actively encouraging mutual support and reciprocity. We are in the process of learning how to sustain and develop our activities in a manner that is in accordance with principles of healthy regenerative growth.

We are currently learning-by-doing, in feedback with holistic-management techniques we have learned from the Savory Institute and are open to any and all suggestions, information and constructive critiques.

Our Mission

Blackbird Cultúr-Lab is a creative cultural laboratory based within a working family farm transitioning towards regenerative agriculture. It aims to provide an environment for farmers, artists, academics, and practitioners from various disciplines to experiment and work beyond traditional boundaries within the context of regenerative culture practices that we are in the process of enacting and nurturing.

Blackbird is keen to promote cultural exchanges to integrate diverse ways of thinking and a better understanding of the connections between the health of the soil and our everyday lives. It also hopes to present alternative ideas about life in the rural and encourage healthier models of working in the arts and culture at large. It does this through different programs such as research residencies, dialogue sessions, children’s workshops, presentations of artworks/films, and other activities.

In our individually tailored research residencies, experimentation and play are key to encourage artistic as well as scientific creativity and discovery. Artists and professionals from various disciplines are invited to interact with the research residents, sometimes as mentors, sometimes as students, sometimes as peers, with the aim of exchanging skills and fostering reciprocity.

In the children’s workshops we aim to give participants different skills and make clear connections between natural elements and scientific methods with artistic techniques and practices. Artists and professionals from other disciplines deliver hands-on activities interacting with all family members to encourage intergenerational learning.

Blackbird Cultúr-Lab believes in the importance of constructing healthy environments by developing interconnectedness and mutual support, and nurturing all the ecosystem processes; including community dynamics.

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