LandRush is an artistic exploration of the social and environmental impact of large-scale agro-investments on rural economies and land rights, the boom of renewable fuels, the reallocation of land, and the future of agriculture around the world. In a series of documentary films, an interactive iPad App and spacial installations the project questions what constitutes modern agriculture.
Today land use and agricultural practices rival climate change as a global environmental threat. Agriculture is using 40 percent of all the land on earth, and more than 70 percent of all human consumed water, drying up riverbeds and draining aquifers. Fertilizer runoffs from industrial farming operations are destroying the ecosystems of rivers and coastal regions, while deforestation and the transformation of grassland into farmland cause soil erosion and a loss of biospheres and biodiversity.
With crop failures becoming more frequent due to climate change, groundwater levels dropping, soils depleting, and the increase in productivity of most crop plants sinking, the question is:
How can we feed the world without trashing it?
Since 2011 we documented neocolonial land grabbing in Ethiopia, industrial mega-farms in Brazil, family farms thriving due to ethanol production in Iowa and the multiyear drought in California’s Central Valley. Currently we are researching organic farming and land use politics in Eastern Germany and water policies in the Colorado water shed.
LandRush grows organically chapter by chapter in a constant cycle of research, production and presentation. Each chapter is a complete story for the moment, but can be revisited once situations change. So by its very design LandRush is and stays in a constant Beta. This open process allows our work to surface in ever-new contexts, gradually building a bridge between magazine journalism, web documentaries, interactive apps and spacial installations, where the storytelling transfers from the context of journalism into the space of art.