L’art de faire parler la terre

“L’art de faire parler la terre” (the art of letting earth speak) is the restitution, by way of visual and auditive portraits, of the field inquiry ” L’art de faire parler la terre. Une enquête de recherche-création autour des pratiques horticoles et de la culture rurale à la Martinique “, which I co-led between 2020 and 2022 with anthropologist Francesca Cozzolino in the framework of Plateforme art, design et société, part of EnsadLab, the research laboratory of Ecole des Arts Décoratifs Paris.

Our aim was to use artistic devices (podcasts and participatory workshops) to interweave a shared narrative of those traditions and knowledges that are reinvented on a daily basis in the horticultural and agricultural practices of Martinique, and thereby contribute to the transformation of Caribbean rural worlds. Our intention was on the one hand to identify agricultural initiatives that oppose the productivist visions of nature inherited from the colonial system (Ferdinand, 2019), and on the other hand to bring out new practices of solidarity and “creative resistance” (Touam Bona, 2016) based on plants. How to articulate the social reconfigurations resulting from the “return to the land” that can be observed today in rural Martinique? And what do these reconfigurations tell us about Martinique and the ways, in which its actors envision their future?

The dedicated website and podcast collection includes the voices of Emmanuel Nossin (ethnopharmacologist, co-founder of the Tramil Network); Nicolette Reibec (nurserywoman and plant healer, Domaine de Man Tina); Annick Jubénot (co-founder of the Lasotè Association); Téo Angoleiro and Claire Joseph (Écolieu de Tivoli, Centre de Culture Populaire Ypiranga de Pastinha de Martinique); Marc-Marie Joseph (artist and teacher at the Campus Caribéen des Arts); and André Lucrèce (poet and sociologist). The networking of theirs words weaves stories that echo one another : one recurring element is the importance of the social crisis against the high cost of living in Martinique in 2009, which marked the life trajectories of many of our interlocutors.

Concerned with enabling modes of encounter with the social worlds in which we investigate, we currently seek to share the knowledges we were granted access to through convivial ‘activation moments’ (listening sessions), allowing us to “faire société” (make society) around these practices, both in Martinique and in Metropolitan France / French-speaking regions of the world.

Photos by Romain Courtemanche 2022

Publications & conferences  (selection)

  • Francesca Cozzolino et Sophie Krier« « Faire danser la terre » »Techniques & Culture [En ligne], 78 | 2022, mis en ligne le 01 janvier 2026, consulté le 02 février 2023URL : http://journals.openedition.org/tc/18411 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/tc.18411
  • Conference “Co-construire les savoirs sensibles“. Moderated by Arnaud Dubois (anthropologist, Ensa-Limoges), this exchange crossed the views of Francesca Cozzolino (anthropologist, EnsadLab), Sophie Krier (artist-researcher, EnsadLab) and Annick Jubénot (founder of the Association Lasotè, Fonds St Denis, Martinique). This conference was conceived for the workshop “Élargir les champs d’une pratique de recherche citoyenne” of the Trans-making forum organised by Relais Culture Europe on Thursday 2 December 2021 at Cité des Arts, Paris.