The Travelling Farm Museum of Forgotten Skills is a Travelling participatory museum in the making. The museum listens to the history, (im)material heritage, and present-day inhabitants – human and non-human – of Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht, to develop skills and stories for fair and sustainable world-building.
In March 2020 we began an open, collective, and public process of developing the Travelling Farm Museum through, what was supposed to be, a series of public gatherings, workshops, and tours through Leidsche Rijn. After a sunny walk marking our first gathering, the process unfortunately had to change course in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.Affiliated study lines:: Center for Ecological (Un)learning (CEU)
In response to the changing conditions, the core team of the Travelling Farm Museum, including The Outsiders, Merel Zwarts, and the Casco team, defined the year 2020 as “the time of plowing and sowing” – activities that, while less visible, are fundamental for natural growth. With the motto, “food for health, health for the planet,” we focus on ecological cultivation skills for food for health and find ways to connect with local farmers in Leidsche Rijn and in the broader Utrecht area.
In addition, we work on the “embryo” of the Travelling Farm Museum, a first piece of roaming architecture on a bike that is now in the making and will soon travel to distribute the museum’s newsletter and collect feedback from the neighbors. The material shared with us by neighbors will then be made available on the newly set up “temporary online depot" both online and off line (more info below and to come in our next newsletter).
Lastly, for those who live in Leidsche Rijn, our “temporary physical depot” in the Terwijde shopping center may not be open, but the windows are still accessible. We hope to be able to lend our glass facades so that they might function as the neighborhood’s communication interface. More on the development on this will follow soon!
As our activities take new forms we also extend the Travelling Farm Museum’s team. We are happy to welcome artist Sun Chang as the first ever “young artist-farmer in residence” at the Travelling Farm Museum of Forgotten Skills, as well as Corelia Baibarac and the Public Engagement initiative at the Department of Media and Culture Studies of Utrecht University who will join the team for closer conversations with the neighborhood. If you are interested in contributing to or joining the Travelling Farm Museum of Forgotten Skills, please contact Erik Uitenbogaard (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Leidsche Rijn was once a vast farmland. It was twenty-two years ago when building started in the area to create a so-called VINEX neighborhood. In this process of urban development, many stories, skills, and memories of its agricultural heritage disappeared.
In 2018 Leidsche Rijn–based artist collective The Outsiders and Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons joined forces with neighbors, artists, and communities to inhabit and animate one of the area’s few remaining original constructions: the Terwijde Farmhouse. From seeding to harvesting, several public activities took place. The intention was that these sparked collective thinking around the past of Leidsche Rijn as farmland, and its future as Utrecht’s newest neighborhood, all through the lens of food, ecology, and heritage.
The farmhouse was sold to a developer in 2019, which offered us a new opportunity: to move into the neighborhood and learn more about all the stories around us – the ones told by the soil, trees, insects, and children of Leidsche Rijn. This is how the Travelling Farm Museum of Forgotten Skills came into being.