Åsa Sonjasdotter

is an artist, re-searcher, writer, and social organiser, living on the island of Ven, Sweden, and in the city of Berlin, Germany.

In her practice, Sonjasdotter enquires relationalities of crops; their nurturing generosity, the tensions around power, politics, and narratives they stir, and also, not the least, the ways social organisation mobilise and form coalitions around their cultivation.

Sonjasdotter’s artistic work is driven by an urge to engage in material-narrative processes for the unmaking of violent relations through food and land. Having grown up between monoculture farm fields in the highly industrialised farm region of South Scandinavia, she has an embodied experience of what such relations does to the people, the habitats, the waters and the soil. Further, it was in this region that a ‘universally applicable’ technique for monoculture plant breeding was invented. This technique provides today the base for legislations imposed on farmers by globally operating seed corporations. The topic is elaborated in the 2022 film Cultivating Abundance, made in dialogue with the seed association Allkorn (Common Grains) and breeder of peasant seeds Hans Larsson. For about two decades, Sonjasdotter has engaged in the restoration of peasant knowledges and food relations.
Together with artist and researcher Daniela Edith Zambrano Almidón, and curator and researcher Gatari Surya Kusuma,  Sonjasdotter is joining the ongoing action Papitas Taypuycha – Earthing Potatoes, based on the sharing of different contexts of location with departure from Mother Earth. Edible tubers such as cassava and potatoes, are in this action regarded as elements of maternal shelter, as vessels of migratory stories and global movement and. 

Sonjasdotter is editor of the translation and contextualisation of the pamphlet Peace with the Earth (Fred med Jorden), written by Elisabeth Tamm and Elin Wägner in 1940, published by Archive Books, Berlin, in 2021, who also published her recent book Peace with the Earth, Tracing Agricultural Memory – Refiguring Practice, in 2019. The book presents a micro-historical enquiry into agricultural practices departuring by nurturing environments of three staple crops; grains, potatoes and kales.

Further, Sonjasdotter is a Doctoral Researcher in Artistic Practice at Valand Academy, The University of Gothenburg, Sweden. From 2015 to 2019, she was a founding member of the Neighbourhood Academy, a bottom up learning site growing from the Prinzessinnengarten in Berlin. In 2007, Sonjasdotter co-founded the Academy for Contemporary Art in Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway, where she was program leader until 2010, and professor until 2014. She took part in establishing the Danish artists’ association Young Art Workers (Unge kunstnere og kunstformidlere, UKK) in 2002. Sonjasdotter was a founding member of Women Down the Pub (Kvinder på Værtshus), a feminist action network initiated in Copenhagen, 1996, that published the antology View, feminist strategies in Danish visual art in 2004.

Contact: asa (at) potatoperspective.org