About the Challenge

What is the Maaleipä Challenge

The Maaleipä Challenge is a nationwide challenge contest and work of art realised by the London-based artist duo Cooking Sections and the contemporary art commissioning agency IHME Helsinki.

The Maaleipä Challenge, Cooking Sections’ IHME Helsinki Commission 2024, promotes the collective well-being of soil, waters, and people by launching a nationwide challenge open to all. The challenge is aimed at all bakers, home cooks, bakeries, schools, grassroots’ collectives, and restaurants, and its objective is to find bread recipes that would enhance the health of the land as well as our own health, now and in the future.

Cereal cultivation has a long history in Finland. The growing demand for forage crops has, however, reduced the arable land area available for the production of the key components of humans’ plant-based diets, and, at the same time, intensified the monoculture farming of oats, barley, wheat, and rye. Consequently, the agrochemicals that leach into the ground and eventually flow all the way into the Baltic Sea deplete the soils and cause the eutrophication of water systems. By developing new kinds of Maaleipä bread recipes we can counter this development. Join us in advancing the change!

Any questions? Contact us: maaleipa@ihmehelsinki.fi

“Maa” in Finnish = soil, dirt, earth, surface of Earth, ground, country, land

“Leipä” in Finnish = bread

Organizers of the Challenge

Cooking Sections is a London-based artistic practice that examines the systems that organise the world through food. Their CLIMAVORE project asks how to eat as humans change climates.

As new human-made “seasons” blur the lines between spring, summer, autumn and winter, and annual monsoons; periods of polluted seas, soil exhaustion or fertiliser runoff are instead increasingly shaping our foodscapes. Addressing the intensive, extractive practices that lead to them, CLIMAVORE imagines new platforms that can nourish new horizons.

IHME Helsinki is a contemporary art commissioning agency that combines art, science, and climate work. We produce annually a public artwork created by an international artist or artist group, in cooperation with Finnish and foreign partners.

In addition to our annual commission, we organise four to five events each year. Through our commissions and events we contribute to the cultural change that the environmental crisis demands. Our work is possible with the support from Saastamoinen Foundation, Kone Foundation and Abakanowicz Art and Culture Charitable Foundation in 2023-25.