Compositions for Actions 2024: Dormancy, Reseeding, Resistance

Compositions for Actions 2024: Dormancy, Reseeding, Resistance

Artist Anastasia (A) Khodyreva has been chosen as the recipient of the Compositions for Actions 2024 Open Call grant. Their project, Dormancy, Reseeding, Resistance, centres themes of dormancy and anti-ableism which are explored communally through artistic research and cross-pollination with scientists and gardeners in the form of workshops, commissioned writing, and performance art.

Dormancy, Reseeding, Resistance centres on communal gardening and seed-saving practices that emerge in the intersection and inflamed contexts of anti-ableist politics and food insecurity— especially as lived by economically precarious, migrant and disabled people. The project brings together the expertise and personal experience of transdisciplinary artists, microbiologists, and community gardeners who collectively work with seeds, plants, and a concept of dormancy.

Dormancy is a key concept of the project. In public perception, dormancy appears to be a passive process, but a gardener, an artist, and a microbiologist know that dormancy is a complex kind of individual and communal activity. Dormancy is a crucial phenomenon in plant reproduction and the artistic process. Dormancy needs careful tending. Both seeds and human bodies, especially bodies that require slower pace due to chronic exhaustion, ill health and neurodivergence, need tending.

Anti-ableism is another central theme, which will be examined in two ways. First, exploring the various applications, preparations and cultivating of herbal medicines for managing chronic illness, as practiced by community growers in Glasgow. Second, researching explicitly and implicitly ableist vocabularies in mainstream gardening and seed-saving narratives, and designing a primer that proposes alternative languages and interventions. The primer will include a practical guide and critical essays by invited writers and will be released as a printed and audio edition. To activate the primer, honour and sensorially share the embodied knowledge of the team, Anastasia (A) and Sara Blosseville, a co-founder of Light-Harvesting Complex, will deliver a participatory performance.

Initiated by Anastasia (A) Khodyreva, a transdisciplinary researcher, writer and artist, the project locates itself between Glasgow and Vantaa to attune to weeds and plants grown for seed production. During this project, they strive to establish a durational and sustainable collaboration between Glasgow Seed Library and Light-harvest Complex.


Anastasia (A) Khodyreva is a Russian-born Turku-based non-binary researcher, artist, and writer whose work scrutinises how dominant Western politics of structural marginalisation are lived and quietly subverted in one’s daily—anti-ableist, migratised, genderly non-binary and multispecies—communities. They dream of more & more just non-binary worldings & for structures of migratisation to crumble. In their artistic practice, they work with text, performance, aesthetic gestures, and collective readings. They wholeheartedly believe in independent publishing. In their practice, they are curious about creating critical atmospheres of sensing and being, poetics and politics of touch, dreamy ecologies of multispecies relationships, affective labour of friendships and other intimacies and collaborations as doings-in-common.


Glasgow Seed Library is a collection of seeds and a community of growers, hosted by Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow (CCA). The library stocks organic and open-pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seeds for everyone to borrow, grow and save. By learning to save and share seed locally, we can nurture unique varieties and adapt our plants to a changing Scottish climate.

Rowan Lear is an artist based in Glasgow, Scotland. Playing with photography, text, sound, vegetation, clay and other lively materials, and in collusion with people, texts and more-than-human others, Rowan traces the entangled histories of sensation, embodiment, agriculture and ecology. Since 2019, they have cultivated a living community of seeds and stories  at Glasgow Seed Library, a project hosted by Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow. Rowan currently co-organises Un/Nature, a queer ecologies reading group at Glasgow Zine Library, and is developing The Sentient Garden, a multispecies and multisensory commission at Forgan Arts Centre, Fife.

Margaret Cramm is a feminist environmental biologist currently based at Queen Mary University of London and works with the concept of dormancy as extremophilic bacteria live it. Cramm traces intra-corporeal dynamics in microbial community activity and function in order to improve predictions of the future fate of soil organic carbon in the Arctic permafrost. Cramm is
insatiably curious. Questions about the limits to life on Earth and elsewhere drive her curiosities. She is particularly interested in the relationship between life and time.

Light-harvesting Complex, Helsinki, Vantaa
Light-harvesting Complex is a curatorial project dwelling in a greenhouse in Vantaa, Finland. It is run by Sara Blosseville and Victor Gogly. This is a living place evolving with the seasons, a place for alignment between humans/artifacts/insects/plants in growth, where artworks are surrounded by life, which highlights the vibrancy dwelling in their matter. A physical space for narratives and fantasy, which turns into an imaginary space, once shared online, like a dream or a greenhouse.

About the Compositions for Actions 2024 Open Call

The theme for the Compositions for Actions Open Call 2024 was artistic and socially focused projects that address the democratisation and participatory aspects of performing arts and/or contemporary arts as well as to support Finnish and Finland-based professional artists and artist groups and their international collaborators to perform arts and/or contemporary arts that address the topics of equality, diversity and inclusion. The two selected projects for 2024 are Dormancy, Reseeding, Resistance by Anastasia (A) Khodyreva and lipsync serenades for soft occasions by Tze Yeung Ho, Kholod Hawash and Josh Spear.

Image credit: Sara Blosseville. Documentation of « blink blink, says the right eye when I slap my own cheek » exhibition by Lisa Lepistö.

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