Sunday, September 2nd

From 3 to 3.30 pm 15

Visit to the Pavillion of the Institute for the Imagination of the Mediterranean with Luigi Coppola

presso Fiera del Levante, Lungomare Starita 4, Bari / Monumental Entrance – Pavillions 140/141

From 4 to 6 pm

Workshop with Luigi Coppola

Casa delle Donne del Mediterraneo, Piazza Balenzano 18B, Bari (market area)

The concept of Evolutionary Populations, better known as seed-mixing, originates in 2013, with the research of the geneticist Salvatore Ceccarelli. Due to the outbreak of the civil war in Siria, Ceccarelli is forced to abandon his researches on the participatory genetic evolution of the cereals, conducted together with local farmers. Few years before he managed to bring a small number of seeds to Italy, hundreds and hundreds of varieties, harvested and reproduced by Syrian farmers. Those very same seeds were planted all over Italy and within a few years, the practice of seed-mixing and participatory genetic evolution started to spread more and more shaking the cultural certainties tied to the concepts of monoculture, uniformity and genetic selection.

The revolutionary potential of evolutionary populations lies within the ability to respond ethically to the major agroecological challenges of the present: ensuring food security despite climate-related uncertainties, promoting agrobiodiversity in order to improve the nutritional characteristics of the crops themselves and giving control of the seeds back to the farmers thus creating strong participatory and commoning dynamics.

Evolutionary populations have the ability to evolve over time, to adapt to climate and soil changes, leaving it to the earth to choose the varieties to grow. This agricultural choice lends itself to becoming a metaphor on how to welcome diversity without prejudice, an idea capable of subverting existing power hierarchies. Cultivating the idea of evolutionary population entails making a basic cultural choice, simple and revolutionary, that of escaping the logic of having control over nature, of uniformity and monoculture and embracing the concepts of intraspecies hybridization, contamination, circulation and complexity.

In the context of the Institute for the Imagination of the Mediterranean, and following the August residency that has seen Luigi Coppola involved in a search and exchange path and with local subjects and groups, the artist invites the participants of the workshop to a first stage of collective reflection, with a focus on evolutionary populations, their evocative and generative power of political and cultural forces able to stimulate change.

Starting from the experience of the Parco Comune dei Frutti Minori, “park of participated beauty and local biodiversity”, born in Castiglione d’Otranto within the project Scuola di AgricUlture (in collaboration with the Casa delle Agricolture), this first choral meeting was born with the intention of constructing a dialogue and actively connect practices related to the care of the common good and sustainability in agriculture. The aim is leading to the new year by looking for new modalities for a common action, and for a synergistic co-planning.

Luigi Coppola | Public Presentation

From 6:30 to 8 pm

Within the research for the Institute for the Imagination of the Mediterranean, Luigi Coppola will publicly introduce his practice on the concept of Evolutionary Populations with a focus on the projects launched by Casa delle Agricolture, a pedagogical platform based in Castiglione d’Otranto, which combines agro-ecological learning with the modalities and strategies typical of the artistic and cultural systems. Among these the School of Agriculture: a permanent laboratory of social, organic, regenerative and cultural activism.

A small aperitif curated by Ethnic Cook and Green Night will follow


Luigi Coppola is an artist who works in public art, performance, video and installation. He researches participatory practices and politically-motivated actions, starting by analyzing specific social, political, and cultural contexts. His artistic practice comes from a combination of various educational and professional experiences. He trained both as a scientist (Environmental Engineering, PhD in Risk Analysis) as well as in the art field (Visual and Performing Arts). Coppola has developed projects, performances, and exhibitions in international contexts, including: Parco Comune dei Frutti Minori, Castiglione d’Otranto, 2014-ongoing; Fondazione Merz Turin, 2018; BAK Utrecht, 2018; Kunsthaus Graz, 2017; Quadriennale Roma, 2017; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, 2017; Teatro Continuo, Milan, 2016; Parckdesign, Brussels, 2016; Athens Biennale, Athens, 2015; Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2012; Steirischer Herbst, Graz, 2012 and Democracy Biennale, Turin, 2009. He was associated Artistic Director of the Urban Art Biennale in Bordeaux - Evento 2011, art for an urban re-evolution and part of the research group Art in society at the Academy of Tilburg NL. Coppola was a 2017/2018 Fellow at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht NL.