Soil Conversations was launched in 2021 by independent curator Nisha Merit.
Although it is a time of post-pandemic reflections on the human condition in relation to nature and technology, it was guided more by the idea of exhibition design under the premise of Process as Practice. Merit lives in Johannesburg and is rooted in Berlin. Soil Conversations is a connection between cities and brings artists, writers, and performers into the process. This first edition is co-curated by Yolanda Kaddu-Mulindwa, director of the municipal Galleries Neukölln, with the support of her curatorial assistants Nina Marlene Kraus and Beatris Wakaresko. 
The concept of Soil Conversations was written by Nisha Merit in collaboration with writer, curator, and artist Lindiwe (Lindi) Mngxitama. 

This website provides information about the exhibition and creates a platform to grow and network. It was built by Zamani Xolo / Bubblegum Club.
Photography by:
cvk* (Gallerie im Körnerpark & social media, pics & video)
Nihad Nino Pušija (Gallerie im Körnerpark)
Mvelo Midoli (Johannesburg Art Gallery)


Soil Conversations presents nine artistic positions from South Africa and Germany that explore the materiality of earth, our relationship to soil as a basis for life, and earth as a carrier of memory, identity, and future.
The exhibition connects two geographical points - the Galerie im Körnerpark in Berlin and the Johannesburg Art Gallery in South Africa. During the runtime, the exhibition itself becomes a research platform and the basis for texts by German and South African writers in relation to the presented artworks and the thematic complexes that are published on this website. Soil Conversations thus unfolds rhizomatically by making curatorial and artistic processes visible beyond the walls of the gallery.
Soil Conversations is an exhibition that explores the relationship between humans and the environment in both the digital and analog realms. The exhibition presents soil as a space of meaning, identity, and history, and questions the concept of linearity in favor of spaces in between. It considers soil as a planetary boundary, an exploited resource, a territory that shapes geography, and a mix of nourishment, trauma, and life cycles.

The exhibition also explores the relationship between the analog and the digital, considering the digital as a space of pixelated dialectics where one can exist beyond the boundaries and borders defined by history and politics, yet not be completely free of them. But the body remembers - even in the transition between particles and pixels, we carry the histories inscribed in our physicality into this digital terra nullius.
Themes of land, history, spirituality, and the body are integral to the artworks in Soil Conversations. The goal of the exhibition is to engage with the speculative and explore the plurality of past and future scenarios as a relationship between humanity and the world and as the defining position of the present moment.

Exhibition Spaces

© M&G

Johannesburg Art Gallery

Crn. Klein & King George Street
Joubert Park, 2044 Johannesburg

Opening Hours
Tuesday - Sunday 10.00 to 17.00

Free admission


© Nihad Nino Pušija

Galerie im Körnerpark

Schierker Str. 8

12051 Berlin

Opening Hours

Daily 10.00 - 20.00

Free admission