The power of citizens learning and collaborating with scientists, artists, and policy-makers to address environmental concerns is presented in this engaging short film. Over the past three years, local Community Champions (CC) in GROW Places in Europe have been leading the effort to place 15,000 soil moisture sensors, to support scientific validation of Sentinel-1 satellites. Additionally, the GROW Citizens’ Observatory project (GROW) is generating transformations at a much wider scale, reaching thousands of people who are learning about the rapid degradation of soils and the fragility of our food systems as well as discovering pathways to become active agents of change.
We begin with individuals and CCs from the GROW project talking to camera about their environmental concerns, motivations, hopes and challenges presenting a compelling narrative of their soil stories. We show GROW’s dynamic soil moisture maps generated through citizen science data which help growers and support policymakers to make better-informed decisions. The audience will experience GROW’s online networked digital artwork ‘By the Code of Soil’ that draws from soil sensor data; this unique, audio-visual manifestation appears on audiences’ computers whenever the land-mapping satellite Sentinel-1A passes overhead. Through these interruptions to daily life, it connects audiences to invisible processes and systems, inviting us to reflect on our relationship with soils. The film ends with a call to action for public engagement in environmental monitoring.