Using urine in smarter ways – an evening in Amsterdam

by André

I was invited by Mediamatic to give a presentation about the work that Odilia and Stefan did in 2014 with members of the agriculture cooperative “Força do Povo”, in the neighbourhood of Inhagóia B in Maputo. Odilia and Stefan investigated the health risk associated with irrigating crops with urine and that was the topic of their BSc thesis.

The evening was very informative and lively with several presentations discussing the connection between urine, science and society. Mediamatic described the evening in the following way:

You never really get to talk about piss, do you? Well, at Mediamatic, we do. Kicking off the first Pis’talk, a series of lectures that explore urine in a broad cultural and contextual sense. The speakers of the evening will dive into the history of urban sanitation, as well as explore urine as a resource, and a source of both nutrients and water in modern day societies. Think we’re just taking the piss? Come find out at the Pis’talk!

The other two main speakers were Janna Coomans and Hugo Cortial of Metabolic. While Janna discussed the “interplay between socio-political and bodily practices in the urban environment”, Hugo presented Metabolic’s work on “decentralizing utilities through waste seperation and transformation, creating valuable by-products such as compost and fertilizer”.

I am looking forward to following Mediamatic’s future work with urine as this is just the start of a two-year project that will look into the possibility of using urine in more creative and useful ways. The next talk is scheduled for the 25th of June, don’t miss it!

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