SUELO is a multidisciplinary gathering that articulates the natural and cultural history of a selected location, opening possibilities for a brighter present and future through intersectoral collaboration and partnerships between the local community and conservation, tourism and/or sustainable development organizations.
Suelo brings together locals, scientists, organizations and creatives for varying periods of time, to share knowledge about the place through stories and physical experiences in situ. As one would study a soil profile, we look at the past, present and possible futures – that is, the location’s origins, geology, flora and fauna, crafts, customs, subsistence practices, food, sounds and projections of adaptation to a changing planet. The result is an in-depth portrait of the place that is consolidated with documentation in multiple media, leading to a more complete understanding of the place by the participants. The long-term outcome is the visibility of existing and potential partnerships to continue to collaborate and support each other for a regenerative and resilient future for the place and all its inhabitants.
The SUELO pilot project was carried out in January 2014 in SaLo, Punta San Lorenzo, Veraguas – on the oldest rocks in Panama. Through guided experiences by selected participants, an exchange of knowledge took place with members of the Arrimadero community. This first residency was co-facilitated by the Estudio Nuboso team, and guests artist Claire Pentecost and researcher Brian Holmes (both from Chicago).
“I have seen how structured multidisciplinary encounters generate new questions, ideas and understanding; and that conducting an organized study of a particular place opens doors to transformative knowledge. Shared knowledge is multiplied knowledge.”
– Claire Pentecost
“What are we becoming in the transformations of the twenty-first century? How can we co-evolve with the territories in which we live, rather than destroy them? To find these answers, each of us must learn to listen to others and pay attention to the ground beneath our feet. Traditionally, art, natural and social sciences remain worlds apart. This is an opportunity to bridge this gap.”
– Brian Holmes
We are currently working on creating Suelo as a Methodology to implement in any context in the world and at different scales, as a way to reconnect with the places we inhabit in a post-pandemic world. We will be sharing our progress during this year 2021. This Suelo Profile image is a sketch of what we are creating.