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The image shows a long, patchwork tablecloth than hangs down from the ceiling and lays over a long wooden table. The white tablecloth is embroidered with red text and long thread tendrils. Atop the table and tablecloth are place settings made of soil. Four antique-looking, dark brown chairs sit around the table. The tablecloth spills off the table onto the floor in a pile of soil.

Dirt to Dirt

Kristina Rogers

“We spit on it, denigrate it, and kick it off of our shoes. But in the end, what’s more important? Everything comes from it, and everything returns to it. If that doesn’t earn dirt a little respect, consider how profoundly soil fertility and soil erosion shaped the course of history.” -David R. Montgomery Dirt has an immeasurable impact on the human experience. Dirt to Dirt attempts to contextualize the cultural, colonial, and humanistic role that soil plays. Through domestic objects reminiscent of a traditional Western dining room, Dirt to Dirt draws the connections between European colonialism and its influence on our communal perception of dirt. From our everyday language to global politics, dirt as a social concept has been weaponized against both people and the environment. Defining land as nothing but dirt, defining people as dirty, defining dirt versus soil. Dirt has historically been used to justify colonial violence, to sully what is deemed pristine, and to degrade our most underappreciated and mistreated natural resource.

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