As an island Cuba is particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change. Climate change has severely altered the cycles of rain and drought in Cuba, which has contributed to a decrease in hydraulic reserves and a loss of the soil’s cultivation capacity. It has also led to a loss costal mangroves and dunes, the retreat of costal lines, and an increase in the number and severity of hurricanes. Invasive plant species are reproducing at accelerated rates due to more favourable climate conditions.

All of this has had severe effects on livelihoods and food security, exacerbated by Cuba’s political and economic isolation. It has resulted in increasing internal migration, particularly to urban areas, which in turn, have also experienced increasing food and housing insecurities.

Woven forms

Studio Riera worked with a group of primary school children to discuss the importance of nature in our lives and vegetables in our diets.

Urban environment intervowen with nature, the cohabitation of plant and human.

Urban gardens, Havana. Self-sustainability through growing and passing on knowledge from generation to generation.

Visiting the Botanical gardens of Havana with the participants, led by Studio Riera.

Urban permaculture garden Havana.

Bosnia ad Hercegovina

Bosnia is one of the most bio-diverse countries in Europe. It is also the most polluted. Climate change has produced unpredictable cycles of rainfall and drought, leading to alternating patterns of severe flooding and fires. The 2014 floods led to the displacement of 90,000 people, and together with more recent extreme weather events, have increased soil erosion and crop failure, and decreased water resources.

This has exacerbated rural to urban migration, particularly of young people, and has contributed to increased food and livelihood insecurity among remaining rural populations. As reported by USAID, Bosnia adaptive capacity is challenged ‘by a large vulnerable population on the brink of poverty, a high unemployment rate of 40 per cent, wartime infrastructure damages, limited information on climate-related social, health and environmental trends and a lag in technological innovation.’

Over the course of seven days, Most Mira worked with a group of ten young people – supported by a video artist (Nemanja Čađo), two teachers (Ivana Kitonjić and Milica Gagić) and a theatre director (Maja Milatovic-Ovadia) – who explored issues of climate and environment in post-war Bosnia.
Starting from the word OKOLIŠ (environment in Bosnian) and using a collaborative, devised theatre approach to theatre making, the group created four short, filmed theatre performances.

The group also created two photographic series. The first, seeds are stronger than concrete, explores the abandoned architectural remnants of the war, now overgrown and partially returned to ‘nature’, partially healed scars on the Bosnian landscape.

The second series, abandoned everyday, explores everyday activities – a morning shower, coffee with friends, reading, and a birthday party – against the backdrop of neglected or abandoned structures and spaces, once a sign of industry and prosperity.


Since 2006, Jordan has suffered some of the worst decrease in rainfall in recorded history. Resulting drought has ruined farms, decimated livestock, and threatened water reservoirs. It has contributed to a decrease in farmers’ wages, and exacerbated rural-to-rural and rural-to-urban migration.

Focus on the civil war-driven Syrian refugee crisis has meant that less attention has been paid to climate-change induced migration in the region. Yet increasing numbers of small-scale farmers have been crossing borders because of climate change generated livelihood pressures, causing additional strain on already fragile infrastructures. In Jordan, food and livelihood insecurities have also been exacerbated by overdependence on imported seeds, produce and monocropping.

Below: Photos by Eva Sajovic, captions by Mahammad Zaytoun, Jordan September - December 2019.

Abla is a Palestinian refugee who made her home on the bank of the Jordan river, near Jericho.

The edge between desert and a green oases, built with simple tools, nursery, love and belief. The nursery is placed to the north and covered with vines to help the new shoots and saplings to find better conditions to survive.

Compost worm is specialist in converting organic material to fertility throw eating them and giving us their manure which is rich and full of micro-organisms and digested matters.

The water storage system in Abla's farm is a system of mini swales, a sort of trenches that hold water wall and allow it to come inside the farm.

We build Reed beds to purify the water that comes out of kitchen and W.C but not the toilets.

The first part of the bed receives the used water and is filled with 5-10 cm rocks. The next part is filled with 1cm gravel and planted with reeds which gives habitation for anaerobic bacteria that do the job. The last part is filled with 5-10cm rocks and pipes to pull out the water from all depths. We use blocks to separate parts. The purified water is used for woody trees and pioneer species.

Vermicompost is a food waste recycling system. We give accommodation and food for the volunteering worms and they give us fertility to grow our food.

The engine and the production start-up, where we prepare the plants to take their role in helping us to (survive) and sufficiency.

Image taken on the Geof Lawton's Greening the desert permaculture farm project.

Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, UK

Final installation and programme, 28 Nov - 1 Dec


During the Revolution, the Cuban wheelbarrow was a popular way to market agricultural products. It was established as an alternative to state regulated food stands, squares and vendutas (greengrocers). For decades, the state regulated the sale of goods as a mechanism for equitable distribution. With the crisis of the 1990s, which followed the fall of the ‘Socialist Camp’ and which in Cuba is known as the ‘special period’, the alternative and parallel economy has re-emerged in different guises: on wheelbarrows, horse carts, bicycles, or jabas (loaded sacks) on the backs of street vendors. It has been accompanied by sounds and proclamations of various kinds, full of absurdities and ellipses, which have imbued the products on sale with a certain mystery and brought comic relief to this parallel economy. Above all, they have enabled the sellers to escape the confines of state law.

Faced with increasingly severe shortages of goods, the parallel economy expanded rapidly, and the state’s grip on Cuban society contracted. Thus, since 2010, the state began promoting these previously prohibited activities, establishing them as one of its ‘new’ economic and trade models. To bring individual traders under their auspices, the state established a licensing system, meant to encourage individual enterprise. A recent reversal in policy, however, has meant that no new licenses are being granted, making those who currently have one the last of their kind.

Handcarts: The Organic Poetry takes as a point of reference a performance during the 2012 Havana Biennial in which Samuel Riera, together with a group of other artists exhibited their work in cages. The Havana Biennial, the most important event on the Cuban art scene, is supposed to exhibit and sell local work to visitors and foreign gallery owners and collectors. However, Cuban artists who find themselves outside of the main circuits of art promotion on the island are left out of the Biennial. These artists – the carretilleros – are condemned to wandering around the Biennial with their mobile galleries, like those selling their produce and wares from wheelbarrows, carts, and sacks.

Sweet potato is a staple of the Cuban diet. Its consumption is frequently underestimated as it is mostly consumed by families with low purchasing power. It is cheap, abundant, and often sold from carts, wheelbarrows and sacks. Handcarts: The Organic Poetry tries to vindicate the sweet potato by giving it added, artistic value.

Participants were invited to leave a personal imprint, as visual poetry.


Taking as inspiration and point of reference the ground floor looms used by the Bani Hamida Women’s collective, a social enterprise project in Jordan, this loom was designed by Eva Sajovic in collaboration with artist and weaver Raisa Kabir. The Bani Hamida women build simple looms in their backyards which provides them with an accessible form of work and income.

Here at the Tate the artists have built the loom with found and carefully sourced materials from ethical and local sources, in the hope of facilitating a conversation about what sustainability means, what skills we need for the future and what materials to use in a world of climate degradation and breakdown.

This is the starting point to a longer, UK wide project that will explore crafting, making and sharing as a form of subversion, countering the professionalization and deskilling of society and precarious dependence on the ready-made consumables. Promoting sustainable ways of living by understanding where materials come from, and what it takes (labour, skill, time) to shape them into products will create an opportunity for critical reflection on the political economy of production and consumption, and serve as a methodology for engaged, affective and effective social action.

Artists are planning to make this project available to various communities around the UK. By involving them in growing hemp and jute then spinning it into yarn and weaving into cloth, the participants will gain knowledge of sustainable ways of growing and producing and share skills they are interested in developing.

To extend this exhibit the following event will take place on the 1 December, 14.30 – 15.30:


The performative discussion, facilitated by Eva Sajovic, considers the relationship between the loom and computer; loom being a precursor to early computer technology that uses separate decks of punched cards to make what we call a ‘programme’. It will use this relationship as a trope for exploring the ecological and psychological impacts of digital technologies and infrastructures on human beings and nature.

Over the course of seven days, Most Mira worked with a group of ten young people – supported by a video artist (Nemanja Čađo), two teachers (Ivana Kitonjić and Milica Gagić) and a theatre director (Maja Milatovic-Ovadia) – who explored issues of climate and environment in post-war Bosnia.

Starting from the word OKOLIŠ (environment in Bosnian) and using a collaborative, devised theatre approach to theatre making, the group created four short, filmed theatre performances.

Using Format