INLAND: our Hub in Spain

INLAND is a collaborative platform started in 2009. It provides a platform for diverse actors engaged in agricultural, social, and cultural production and questions the center-periphery dynamics so prevalent in the arts system. It also aims to strengthen the rural as a space for change.

January 9, 2024

People are sitting around a cheese. One person sits in the middle and cuts the cheese. There is one dimmed light shining.

INLANDs goat cheese ceremony © INLAND

“We believe it is important in this moment to test Social Ecology principles in practice - hands-on!”

Allianz Foundation Hubs are regional platforms from civil society, climate action and arts & culture. They form a European network working on solutions for the pressing societal questions of our times. To meet these challenges, new ways of exchange and cooperation are needed. And a shared vision.

What is your mission?

“It is our mission to not only highlight the importance of the legacy of land and native cultures regarding a shift of paradigm from Europe´s unsustainable development model in light of the urgent eco-social collapse. We promote and practice new ruralities as a way to question both current dynamics in cultural fields as well as the impact of industrial agribusiness, tourism or certain forms of nature conservation on rural communities. In the end, when we coined the idea of a three words manifesto — art, territory, social change — we set the ground for the activities we carry out, spanning from research to training and producing. The artistic and agroecological produce aims towards financial autonomy, and testing models that can be reproduced in other rural locations as well as bridging existing ones. We believe it is important in this moment to test Social Ecology principles in practice, hands-on, and not to stay in the mere game of symbolic representations and circling lucubrations in which contemporary art can so often fall when taking an interest in environmental matters.”

What do you do?

“INLAND has been evolving during its 15 years of existence. It started highlighting the place of the rural in contemporary culture and opening a field of inquiry and practice, working with artists in 22 villages across the country. Over the years we have been experimenting different forms of artistic intervention in rural areas, and now we are focusing on developing and promoting communities-of-practice within the spaces we are working, especially from a formerly abandoned village we are reviving, and base for the Shepherds School and Inland Academy, two of our pedagogical initiatives. We publish books, contribute to exhibitions and produce cheese from our flock of sheep and goats. And we also coordinate nomadic and transhuman pastoralists networks at regional and global level, for political advocacy and mobilization. We experiment with cultural forms of use to confront current territorial challenges and accompany other land-based art projects for settling. ”

A hut in the spanish mountains

Infrastructure for INLAND’s shepherd and its sheep flock in the Spanish mountains during the summer © Allianz Foundation.

People walking over green hills

Field visit of INLAND’s headquarter by a group of young international art students © Allianz Foundation.

Who are your people and who do you work with?

“We work with the neighbors and communities around our spaces of work as well as with the arts field at international level. We train young practitioners interested in pastoralism, art and agroecology. And with global social movements for food sovereignty, from the pastoralist and indigenous mobile peoples networks we facilitate to other allies. We also influence policy makers at different levels, locally, as well as the UN system.”

What expectations do you have of your collaboration with the Allianz Foundation Hubs network?

“To learn and exchange from other projects developing very interesting programs, and to formulate common actions that draw out the best from each partner. This also allow us to develop the infrastructure in our main space of practice, sustain the team, become more functional, and have a better and more effective impact in our surroundings.”

A wooden hut in the woods is under construction

Cheese Pavilion, part of INLAND’s work at documenta 15, now rebuilt in their headquarter in the North of Spain © INLAND.

A shop of the Allianz Foundation Hub INLAND. The shop is offering merchandise and food products

In their space in Madrid Allianz Foundation Hub INLAND is offering merchandise and food products © Allianz Foundation.

Goats on a fields in the spanish mountains. The sky is blue and in the background there are green hills.

INLAND’s own flock of goats in the Spanish mountains © Allianz Foundation.