We are an independent cultural non-profit that offers artists, scientists and other thinkers and makers a place to connect with nature, time for research and space for artistic development.
We strongly believe the arts can increase public awareness and influence our understanding of ecology, the effects of global warming and other consequences of living in a time of ecological collapse. Especially in collaboration with other disciplines, the arts can encourage much needed new visions in a rapidly changing world. These narratives will travel the world through exhibitions, exchanges and public events and engage others to think and act ecologically.
We strive to be an open organisation that acts, communicates, shares and grows as a small part of a bigger whole. We encourage our surrounding network to do the same: we welcome artists, scientists, partner organisations, volunteers and the general public to reach out and get involved, to explore, to share work and to exchange knowledge and ideas with us in the creation of an interconnected community for alternative culture.
As cities and urbanized cultures continue to expand, people become increasingly detached from their natural surroundings. The constant need for economic growth is spurring global warming and the sixth mass extinction of species. What is our role in all this and from where does it stem? How do we create meaningful change? How do we move beyond the flood of distressing scientific data and rhetoric to visualize an alternative future? How can we move past an anthropocentric view of the world?
The arts may be the most powerful tool we have to ask these questions and more importantly: to reimagine the relationship we have with our planet in the most fundamental way possible. It has the capacity to bridge cultural and socio-economic gaps and create new narratives humanity so desperately needs to transform to new ways of living. Already there is a growing (often activist) art movement addressing climate injustice, ecological catastrophe and the suffering that comes with it. This movement can provide strength to bring about change based on community and interbeing, as well as the potential to rethink politics and demonstrate how nature is interwoven with economics, technology, culture and law. At the same time, we believe it is essential to support from within this movement the parallel development of ecological and economical shifts that re-addresses the wisdom, tradition and culture of Indigenous people and the importance of their cosmology. Valley of the Possible exists to host, support and present these discussions and works.
Through open calls and curated programs, we encourage interhemispheric, intercultural and interdisciplinary exchange. We invite up-and-coming artists, established professionals and other visionary spirits from all disciplines and backgrounds with interest in subjects related to, and at the intersection of, art, ecology, science and (Indigenous) culture. In conjunction with curators, we produce tailor-made programs exploring specific themes. Additionally we offer a platform to investigate an inclusive and community-led model for the rewilding and regeneration of nature and specifically this remote valley in the Chilean Andes. Through this continuous collaborative process we are slowly building a soon to be refugio for art and research.
In the future we will also open up the valley throughout the year, inviting people from all over the world, for long and short term stays- to find time and space to reflect, research or work on their own projects or develop site specific works.
Besides the residency programs, Valley of the Possible will also develop other activities such as (public) workshops and volunteer programs aimed at organic agriculture, the construction of communal work spaces and the regeneration of land and soil. Open calls to these activities will be posted on our social media and in our newsletter, should you have any questions in the meantime or want to reach out for future collaborations, please contact us!
Whilst we are building our own facilities, we offer our participants accomodation in a rustic mountain lodge, located on a small farm of several hectares of privately owned land in the Cañon del Blanco valley. This lodge provides five basic shared rooms, with comfortable beds, linens and towels, small working desks and central heating. Bathrooms are shared. The lodge also offers a fully equipped communal kitchen, living room with fireplace and a collection of books. A fogón (traditional Chilean communal fireplace), a café and sandwichería, and laundry room are also part of the property. Access to the local hot springs is included.
Valley of the Possible is located in the Cañon del Blanco, a remote and secluded valley in La Araucanía Andina, Chile, surrounded by ancient volcanic landscapes with a high level of biodiversity and a strong Indigenous presence.
The Cañon del Blanco valley finds its origin in the adjacent volcanic mountain range Sierra Nevada and the bordering Conguillío National Park, which is also home to Llaima, the second most active volcano in Chile. In the direct vicinity of the valley, and also worth exploring, are the extra-terrestrial landscapes, snow-capped volcanoes, enchanting native forests, alpine lakes, wild rivers, remnants of lava streams and black volcanic sands of the other national parks and reserves of Tolhuaca, China Muerte and Malalcahuello-Nalcas.
The area surrounding Valley of the Possible is part of Kütralkura UNESCO Global Geopark, the first, and so far only, geopark in Chile. A geopark is a defined area with a significant number of landscapes and sites of geological importance, rarity or aesthetic significance, highlighting its historical and cultural qualities. Kütralkura contains six protected areas, five volcanoes and an outstanding level of globally recognized bio-and geodiversity. The geological history of this area spans the last 250 million years and represents the memory of the Earth. It is part of the greater UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Araucaria; an integrated protection, education and sustainable development concept.
The predominant ecosystem in the region is the temperate Valdivian rainforest, a unique rainforest that grew entirely independently of other temperate rainforests in the northern hemisphere. The World Wildlife Fund has listed this region and its ecosystem in the top 200 ecoregions of the world that require immediate protection and conservation. The northern part of this region has been recognised by Conservation International as one of the 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world.
Indispensable is the culture and voice of the Mapuche and Pehuenche, the original inhabitants of this land (Wallmapu). Mapuche society recognizes itself as spiritually part of the ecosystem, thus the way they relate to their surroundings is strongly linked with their cosmological concept and spiritual thought. Like many other Indigenous peoples, the Mapuche have a powerful kinship with the environment they inhabit, generating a permanent search for a sense of equality, reciprocity and harmony. Culture, principles, laws, behavioural codes and relationship systems are the means by which Mapuche pursue that endeavour. In that respect their language (Mapudungun) is not only a medium of communication and expression, but also an art form.
We are a starting non-profit with a completely self-funded program. Currently the organisation depends on the selected participants to take responsibility for raising the necessary funds to support their visit and carry out their activities. Of course we are available to assist in this process to help finding suitable funding bodies, by providing feedback for funding applications and to write letters of support. However, we can not guarantee any financial aid.
A starting non-profit can use all the help in the world! Therefore we are looking for passionate and skilled people who want to get involved in co-creating this place with us. We know that everyone has a special skill or talent to contribute and we want to make sure volunteers enjoy their time helping out as much as possible. If you are interested, please contact us by email and tell us about yourself, your interests, your time commitments, your relation to the vision of Valley of the Possible and its location, your expectations and of course your specific skills.
Currently we are specifically looking for a volunteer who can assist us for two months in the preparation and production of our BLACK EARTH RESIDENCY AND RESEARCH PROGRAM 2020 (17th April until 30th May 2020). Preferred candidates speak English and basic level Spanish, are available from early April until early June 2020, starting a week before the program starts and ending a week after it ends, have experience with cooking for groups, affinity with the themes related to the program, and are interested in helping out with all facets of the residency.
We are also always looking for volunteers with skills in woodwork, construction, sustainable energy systems, regenerative garden design and land management to join us in the near future. Subscribe to our newsletter on our website to keep an eye on future volunteering opportunities.
- APPLY FOR VOLUNTEERING
Valley of the Possible runs thanks to an international team of volunteers, which is supported by kind donations, generous patrons and other like-minded souls. Do you share and support our vision and want to help develop new perspectives on our relationship with the natural world? Do you see the importance of repairing the threads that connect us to nature and community? If you find joy and value in what we do, please consider becoming a Friend of the Valley. Your support matters.
Valley of the Possible is registered as a cultural non-profit foundation ('stichting') in the Netherlands under Chamber of Commerce number 73152013. We are awaiting confirmation to be registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (ANBI status in Dutch, similar to 501c3 in the United States). Within this legislation, any gift or donation to our organisation is partly tax-deductible.
Valley of the Possible is an initiative by Olaf Boswijk and Mirla Klijn, both from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Valley of the Possible
Camino Cañon del Blanco km 12,
La Araucanía Andina
Stichting Valley of the Possible
1052 HD Amsterdam
Chamber of Commerce 73152013
TRIODOS BANK NL86TRIO0379541254
Art Direction and Design: Nina Couvert
Development: Steven Lenoir
Valley of the Possible is managed according to the board + management model. The board - that consists of a group of professionals with an extensive knowledge of, and international experience in the arts, ecology, nature conservation and artist residencies - oversees the financial, legal and artistic policy and appoints and advises the management. An artistic director has been appointed next to an operations manager who together are responsible for the day-to-day management. All board members are volunteers and are excluded from compensation. Making payments to the founders of the organization or to those who are part of the bodies of the organization is excluded from the purpose of the foundation. Valley of the Possible follows the principles of Cultural Governance.
Members of the Board:
Beatriz Salinas Marambio | Chile (curator and visual arts manager, former director of Cerrillos - National Centre of Contemporary Art in Santiago)
Maria Tuerlings | Netherlands (founder of TransArtists, board member Farm of the World)
Andrea Troncoso | Chile (Project officer at EUSEA, European Science Engagement Association)
Chris Julien | Netherlands (research director for Waag Amsterdam, committee member of the Creative Industry Stimulation Fund, board member of Fiber Festival)
Sarah van Overeem-van der Tholen | Netherlands (business coordinator at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, board member Art Table)
Astrid Vargas | Spain (conservation biologist, Commonland, Tompkins Conservation)
Mirla Klijn (Artistic Director, Netherlands)
Olaf Boswijk (General and Operations Director, Netherlands)
Valley of the Possible is registered as a cultural non-profit foundation ('stichting') in the Netherlands under Chamber of Commerce number 73152013 and RSIN number 859376023. We are registered as a Public Benefit Organisation (ANBI status in Dutch, similar to 501c3 in the United States). Within this legislation, any gift or donation to our organisation is partly tax-deductible.
Yasmine Ostendorf (Head of Jac. P. Thijsse lab for nature research at Jan van Eyck Academy Maastricht, founder of Green Art Lab Alliance, Netherlands)
Morgan Catalina (founder of Out-of-Office, independent cultural event producer and curator, Children of the Light, Studio Iris van Herpen, USA)
Other angels we have worked with on a voluntary basis:
Erik Post (audiovisual design) and Unmapped Films (nomadic film production company)
Herson Huinca-Piutrin - Master in Contemporary History and Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, Ph.D. fellow (CONICYT Chile) at the Laboratory of Anthropology of Social Institutions and Organizations of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), researcher at Comunidad de Historia Mapuche, Temuco, Chile.
Prof. dr. Marten Scheffer - Dutch ecologist, mathematical biologist and professor of Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management at Wageningen University and Research Centre, winner of the 2009 Spinoza Prize, musician and co-founder of SARAS (South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies, Uruguay.)
Kim Tuin - Director of het HEM, a new contemporary art space located in Zaanstad, just outside of Amsterdam. Former director of Stichting de NDSM and Trouw Amsterdam, The Netherlands.