Sols Vivants presentation to the public at Terres Communes event

Sols Vivants presentation to the public at Terres Communes event

Monday, April 24, 2023

What is Sols Vivants?

The Sols Vivants collective is a ground based, multi stakeholders initiative that unites citizens, non-profits, research groups and militant groups in Marseille around soil preservation and revitalization. The group has been meeting in many various places in Marseille to discover, exchange and cross-learn about soil preservation initiatives, policy, political and/or technical leverages in the very specific context of Marseille city and urbanism.

Our group was born from a common concern: protecting living soils and fertile lands. There were few of us at the first meeting, but very quickly many already well-established collectives joined, and often in action for several years.

Indeed, Marseille is teeming with individual and collective initiatives for the reappropriation of living lands. For us, having this concern means preserving the earth but not freezing the situation (not putting it under cover), it is taking care, paying attention to this living and fertile compartment, to what it has as potential.

 The Sols Vivants were born from the desire:

  • To bring local initiatives together and get to know each other (Marseille focus/extended scope of the PACA Region) and strengthen our collective
  • To learn to walk somewhere in order to feel anchored somewhere: the ground is not just a support, it is the support of our thinking and therefore of our action
  • To make current processes visible, we start from several perspectives,
  • To connect these initiatives together to increase their capacity to act, pool their resources, move forward together and/or respond as desired, deploy
  • To give ourselves some concrete tools to move forward on these questions (role of sharing experience, legal aspects, etc.)
  • To invest more collectively, or in a complementary/articulated manner, in the discussion/decisions spaces, becoming a force of proposal which, because aggregated or composite, carries more weight in the public and policy debate
  • To raise the issue of living soils and fertile lands to the priority level that it deserves among citizens (and decision-makers
  • To build and carry a common vision that does not oppose agriculture and biodiversity, spontaneous dynamics of living things, soil regeneration (a certain agroecology allows this!)
  • To consolidate the integrity of these living places, and their potential in the face of the precariousness of the legal and political means of protection implemented

CITAG is a founding member of this collective and has been participating to this dynamic of cross-learning and advocacy creation towards a shared goal : a public event on the 5th of December.

Sols Vivants at the Terres Communes event

The Terres Communes week event organized by CITAG, was a vast discussion with urban planners, geographers, agronomists, authors, philosophers, sociologists, teachers, architects and historians, taking place at Friche la Belle de Mai and surrounding areas on the future of our metropolitan territories. This week of meetings was organized in response to the Taking the Country’s Side exhibition.

During this week, Sols Vivants had the occasion to encouter the general public and researchers to present its first ramifications and conclusions for a common advocacy around the living soils issue. CITAG cities coordinator was present with 4 other members of the Sols Vivants collective to expose our work and goals in front of many different initiatives from Marseille and Belgium around the preservation of commons. It led to rich exchanges with personalities such as Isabelle Stengers and XXX. Marseille has been a land where commons were stripped, destroyed and shared between private intesrests for the past decades, especialy when it comes to land. It is capital to remobilize the citizens around this battle for cocreating land commons that benefit all citizens in Marseille and not only the most affluent ones.