Accommodation, local transfers to and from airport, various expeditions, lectures and research trips and unlimited coffee, tea and water. There will be two group dinners and breakfasts provided per week. The participants are responsible for other meals for the rest of the residency period. The organizers will facilitate regular trips to buy groceries and connect to good internet in the town of Curacautín (20 minutes by car).
The fee for this 6 week program is 2850,- euros per participant*, to be paid in advance and non-refundable. They encourage applicants to consider funding options and eligibility before applying. Valley of the Possible will provide support to accepted participants seeking external funding. This support includes help with finding international funding bodies, reviewing applications and providing letters of support. However, Valley of the Possible cannot guarantee any type of funding.
* the participant fee is based on the actual cost of accommodation and food in Chile and the direct costs of the program and excursions. Valley of the Possible is a starting nonprofit organization and as of yet does not receive any structural external funding.
They welcome established as well as up-and-coming artists from all disciplines and backgrounds. Scientists, activists, farmers, botanists, chefs, philosophers and other thinkers and makers with a specific interest in, or at the intersection of ecology, biodiversity, gardening, regenerative agriculture, art and Indigenous culture are encouraged to apply. The preferred candidates will focus their research by examining what this place needs, or what they can add, instead of what they can take from it. Experience with regenerative agriculture and a willingness to get your hands dirty are favourable. Good physical fitness and a basic knowledge of Spanish is an advantage, though not required.
Valley of the Possible invites all artists, scientists, activists, agriculturists, botanists, chefs and other thinkers and makers with an interest in agriculture, food systems and biodiversity for an interdisciplinary research program and residency period in the Cañon del Blanco valley, La Araucanía Andina, southern Chile.
In May 2019, their initial pilot project began to articulate all the various layers in which the valley is situated, including its historical, social, ecological, geographical and political contexts. Based on that exploration and its outcomes, they now direct the second research program to focus on the creation of regenerative and reciprocal knowledge-sharing, departing from the natural order of things and guided by local and indigenous ways of interacting with the biotic community.
Within both a global and local context characterized by huge climatic shifts and ecological catastrophe, we need to learn how to live with the earth in a way that is restorative instead of destructive, whilst at the same time creating resilient communities that are able to adapt to sudden changes. The question then arises: how do we imagine living on a worldwide scale whilst also fostering a hyperlocal connection to our community and ecosystem? Or in Bruno Latour’s words, how can we be capable of ‘attaching oneself to the soil on the one hand, becoming attached to the world on the other?’
Valley of the Possible’s 2020 research program draws inspiration and hope from a phenomenon called Terra Preta (Black Earth): a discovery that gives rise to the likelihood of parts of the Amazon Rainforest being a carefully constructed environment instead of a pristine wilderness. The hypothesis posits that the abnormally black and fertile earth found scattered around was created by the patient persistence and techniques of Indigenous cultures to maintain the fertility of one of the most vulnerable and important ecosystems on earth. An example of thoughtful human planning and landscape design evolving throughout thousands of years.
The residency: For the duration of the full six-week period, Valley of the Possible will organise a tailor-made program: with the first two weeks being immersive and guided, and the last four weeks predominantly self-guided. This program consists of various trips into the valley as well as surrounding areas and (Indigenous) communities, visiting examples of gardens, national parks and ecological reserves guided by biologists, farmers, chefs and specialists from local universities.
It also features guest lectures and workshops by Indigenous seed keepers, wild food (edible plants and fungi) foragers, regenerative agriculture experts, philosophers, artists, Mapuche and Pehuenche leaders and community spokespeople. They will screen relevant documentaries about Mapuche, Pehuenche and Chilean culture, as well as supply a small library of relevant books. In addition to the program, they offer access and introductions to a broad network of art and science institutions and universities in Chile, Latin America and The Netherlands. After the immersive program period, there is time and freedom to deepen your practice, work on your own projects and to go on self-guided trips in the area.
From the grounds of the accommodation, participants have direct access to hundreds of hectares of native forest, several hot springs, geysers, and the Rio Blanco, with mineral water that springs from the adjacent Sierra Nevada volcanic mountain range. Apart from the program and the self-guided trips, they ask (though do not demand) the participants to consider dedicating a few hours per week to the earth and community they will become part of.
Valley of the Possible does not seek specific outcomes. However, following Indigenous cosmology and the guiding principle of reciprocity, the organizers ask the participants to focus their research by examining what this place needs, or what they can add, instead of what they can take from it.
Participants are hosted in a mountain lodge on a small farm located on several hectares of privately owned land. The lodge provides five basic rooms (private or shared), with comfortable beds, linens and towels, small working desks and heating in each room. Bathrooms are shared. The lodge also offers a communal kitchen, living room with fireplace and a collection of books. A fogón (traditional Chilean communal fireplace), a café and sandwichería, stables, laundry room and a primitive barn are also part of the property. There is free access to the local thermal hot springs.
Valley of the Possible is a research-based residency program, they do not provide any studio or workspace. Each room has a desk and there is a simple rustig barn with basic tools. Participants do have access to a communal livingroom and a café.
From the grounds of the accommodation, participants have direct access to native forest, hot springs, geysers, and the Rio Blanco, with mineral water that springs from the adjacent Sierra Nevada volcanic mountain range. Private paths lead over the Sierra Nevada into Conguillío National Park, accessible with a guide. There is very limited phone signal and NO WIFI at the accomodation.
The physical location is in the valley Cañon del Blanco, a remote and secluded valley in La Araucanía Andina in Southern Chile, surrounded by spectacular volcanic landscapes with a high level of biodiversity.