Melliferopolis explores the role of bees in urban contexts and the complex and diverse relations that form between humans and these semi-wild animals. By creating shared spaces for Bees and Humans, encounters with these animals and their world can happen.
Melliferopolis provides bees with a space and invites their intrinsic values to unfold – rather than employing them as honey producers or eco-system service providers. The understanding of the animal and their wellbeing is central to the project. With increasing urbanization, outdoor environments have become more and more shaped by the needs of human city dwellers rather than in accordance with ecological expressions or necessities. The Melliferopolis installations are an attempt to renegotiate urban space for multi-species use and to create authentic experiences of natural phenomena, including within the work biological systems and animals that cannot entirely be controlled or managed.
In that sense the project taps into an understanding of the Chthulucene as described by biologist and theorist Donna Haraway, a world where multispecies stories and “making kin” become the only meaningful way of being in this world of precarious times. For humans, keeping bees in the city means negotiating space and being confronted with wilderness. It enables us to reform relations and stay connected with a species that has already walked a long way with mankind by its side and yet is still so alien. Allowing these entities into our everyday life, can be seen as a proposal to “stay with the trouble”, an attempt to redefine our understanding of how we relate to our biosphere / environment.
On this path, we hope to spark curiosity in many humans and help to keep our environment intact enough for the bees to thrive.
Examples of these aspects of Melliferopolis are: