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A Potatoes’ Perspective on Revolution

This multi-layered investigation takes place in urban and suburban farmlands of transition for reconnection of the present time to that of the years before the French Revolution. By farming the same potato varieties that were grown in the Jardins de Luxe of Paris in order to feed the hungry of the revolution and that–because of royalty regulations–are restricted for farming nowadays, this joint cultivation of plants and memory aims at connecting the stories of those turbulent years to those of our time.
The fact that the years before the French Revolution were marked by severe climate changes caused by a volcano eruption on Iceland is an important dimension for understanding what caused this political shift to happen. It adds to the similarities to our present time.

Participating farmers and urban gardeners:
La Ferme de Marconville
Domaine de Chamarande
AgroCité
Planète Lilas
La Trèfle d’Èoile
Le jardin partagé Le Bois Dormoy
jardin solidaire et partagé Cambrai
ZAD Patate

Potato varieties cultivated:
Corne de Gatte
Bonotte
Boulangère
Institut de Beauvaius
Ratte
Kerpondy
Bleu d’Auvergne
Saucisse
Rouge des Flandres
Violine de Borée
Vitelotte
Roseval

The project took place in collaboration with the following venues in 2014:


AgroCité, Colombes, France
May 17 - October 18, 2014
Cultivation of potatoes and public presentations.

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Domaine de Chamarande, Essone, France
May 25 - October 20, 2014

The images show documentation of the part of the project presented at Domain de Chamarande. Potatoes are grown in the old vegetable garden of the castle. Paper bags and vegetable boxes to be used for distribution of the harvest are presented in a nearby pavilion.

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Centre Culturel 104, Paris
October 18 - November 02, 2014
Exhibition and market for circulation of the harvest and the printed information.

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Photography: Åsa Sonjasdotter and Etienne Pottier



The project was presented at the following places in 2015:

A History of Meteorology, of Food, and of Revolution
an installation by Åsa Sonjasdotter
at Musée de la chasse et de la nature
Paris, France
May 21 – September 26, 2015

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Institut Suédois, Paris, France
D’après nature
May 22 – October 25, 2015

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