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Micro Narrative
Breaking Ground:
Sifting Soil Stories at Bos Park
Sara Jacobs and Taryn Wiens
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Soil is formed through constant and relational processes of breaking down—through decomposition and erosion—where brokenness becomes a ground for regrowth. At Bos Park in Amsterdam, thinking with soil foregrounds the socio-ecological contexts that underlie the park’s design, fracturing dominant narratives of the park as a ‘finished’ cultural landscape. Rather, thinking with soil at Bos Park unearths histories of those who work the soil, from park construction by Jewish prisoners during Nazi occupation to recent attempts at maintaining the park as ‘completed’ nature. The productive breakdown of soil becomes a lens for uplifting pluralistic narratives to work toward meaningful pedagogical practices of historical, social, and ecological repair on soil time.

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