Making Kin With Soil

Research and development project, 2023-4

Making Kin With Soil is a residency and research project exploring soil movement and nourishment through a more-than-human lens. The project is supported through a collaboration with the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and the Eden Project in Cornwall. Iman spent time with researchers at both sites, constructing a soil network between Cornwall and London.

The project included a work-in-progress exhibition held on April 24 at the University of Exeter’s Environment & Sustainability Institute. This exhibition invited scientists to navigate a polyphony of voices and perspectives on soils, bridging the cultural and scientific realms and challenging the dichotomy between the natural and unnatural. The showcased work included a variety of multimedia outputs from Iman's exploratory period, such as audio compositions, watercolor paintings, sculptures, and immersive experiences.

Workshops at both sites incorporated meditative journeying exercises to explore how intimacy, emotion, and imagination can contribute to scientific inquiry. These workshops aimed to develop strategies that bridge different knowledge domains, connecting the local to the global and the creative to the empirical. The goal was to create common and shared languages for revitalising soil and communicating the sentience and liveliness of their inhabitants.

Iman is now working on a new film commission, building on her findings from the residency.
© Iman Datoo