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Freeing the Seed, Freeing the Breeder: Fostering Genetic and Social Diversity with Open Source Seed, A Lecture with Dr. Jack Kloppenburg

November 11 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Join Artspace New Haven and artistic duo Aeron Bergman & Alejandra Salinas for a lecture with Professor Emeritus of Community & Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The freedom to access and use seeds is being rapidly eroded as the “gene giants” of the corporate world extend their power. With global imposition of various forms of intellectual property rules, farmers, gardeners and public scientists increasingly find themselves unable to legally save, share, sell, or breed with their own seeds. At a time when responses to climate change urgently require enhancing the ingenuity and creativity available for crop improvement and adaptation, patents and corporate concentration are radically narrowing the diversity of companies, breeders, and varieties. As a means of freeing both seeds and breeders from corporate domination, Kloppenburg offers “open source” legal arrangements – especially those with “copyleft” provisions – as a foundation for a more just and regenerative regime for the use and exchange of plant genetic resources. 

“Freeing the Seed, Freeing the Breeder: Fostering Genetic and Social Diversity with Open Source Seed, A Lecture with Dr. Jack Kloppenburg” is part of the series ““The Commons: Towards Reclaiming Collective Power,” conceptualized by Bergman & Salinas as attendant works within their exhibition Against the General Good/ Contra el Bien General, on view September 17–December 3, 2022. Please register for this virtual program.

Jack Kloppenburg is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of the influential First the Seed: The Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology. An organizer as well as an academic, he is a founder of several advocacy organizations working for a just and sustainable food system. He is a founder and board member of the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI), and a founder and steering committee member of the Global Coalition of Open Source Seed Initiatives (GOSSI). Both OSSI and GOSSI advocate the use of ”copyleft” approaches to “free the seed” from corporate control and the pervasive use-restrictions that now constrain plant breeding.



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November 11
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm