‘Days Full of Invisible Growth’ is a critical quest into the intergenerational practice of subsistence potato farming in Lithuania. It intertwines with the legacy of Russian imperialism and the history of Soviet violence in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.
‘Days Full of Invisible Growth’ is a visual essay and a critical quest into the profound cultural significance of potatoes in Lithuania, positioning them as a staple that has shaped the nation's identity and resilience. This tuber is, however, deeply intertwined with a historical narrative that reflects the legacy of Russian imperialism in Lithuania and the history of Soviet violence in the Baltics and Eastern Europe.
Amidst today’s geopolitical tensions, particularly Russia's actions in Ukraine and threats to other neighbouring post-Soviet states, the project interrogates the subtle and unspoken Soviet nostalgia associated with subsidiary potato farming and invites viewers to take on alternative perspective to view this cultural practice.
Within the broader context of the Symbiocene, the cultivation and consumption of potatoes take on added layers of meaning. Potatoes are not just a source of sustenance but also a symbol of the intricate human-nature interdependence. In this light, subsistence potato farming in Lithuania can be seen as a testament to the people's ability to adapt and thrive amidst adversity, echoing the broader principles of the Symbiocene.
Through the use of moving image and intergenerational conversations, the film goes beyond mere documentation; it aims to decontextualize the longing for the Soviet past, offering viewers a more nuanced perspective on the cultural and environmental forces at play. By doing so, it contributes to a broader discussion about the dynamic relationship between culture, history, and the environment in the Symbiocene era, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging and reinterpreting cultural practices in the face of modern challenges.