Désirée Coral Guerra


Image portrait of Désirée Coral GuerraHEI: Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee

Host organisation: Glasgow Seed Library

Duration of the internship: January – July 2022

My practice explores and examines early global exchanges from and to the Americas and the rest of the world, engaging with and attending to the ontology of materials. Understanding the process of making as thinking. My practice emphasizes the importance of generating contextual material knowledge and its influence on understanding past, present, and future relations with the land. 

Why did you decide to undertake an internship?

The PhD Path can become a very lonely path, and the possibility to have experts on your field of research and other academic researchers to exchange ideas and knowledge that are not part of your HEI, I believe is the best that can happen to a PhD researcher and the research. 

What was your internship about, and what did you do?

My internship at the Glasgow Seed Library was a series of events of exchanges of knowledge with academic and non-academic experts on the topics of food sovereignty, soil, seed exchanges and relationship with the other non-humans, history and decoloniality. We called this research project Colonial Seeds.

The Colonial Seeds public events were public talks about the origin of the domestication of certain seeds part of the Glasgow Seed Library collection and the everyday gastronomy in the UK and Europe, such as tomato, beans, corn and quinoa in relationship as well to the cultural and gastronomical importance in their place of origin in the Americas. These conversations were presented in public talks in different venues in Glasgow.

Finally, as part of the exhibition WE are the compost, composting the WE at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow I was invited as part of the internship to present the art work Eating the Ancestors which contained artwork pieces called Time for Growth and Shadow Constellations which will be on up to the 10th of September 2022 at the CCA Glasgow.

Art exhibition showing soil and other objects on the floor
Eating the Ancestors at CCA, Glasgow

What aspects of the internship did you find most rewarding?

The exchanges of knowledge and human connections. The seed library has an extensive network that is constantly sharing and exchanging knowledge and practice. This creative and vibrant environment was for me the ferment for the public talks and my current research. 

Has the internship influenced your future plans at all?

Absolutely, I can see already how the experience at the Glasgow Seed Library has positively influenced my research and possibly future carrier plans.  

Countertop showing jars full of seeds
Glasgow Seed Library collections

What are some of the skills you have picked up or improved through the internship?

I believe that most important one was public speaking and researching for presentations for wider audiences. 

Do you have any tips for researchers looking to do an internship?

Don’t apply just because there is an open call. Apply to projects and research hosts where you can contribute, and they can also enrich your skills and bring new knowledge to you already existing baggage.  

Where can people find out more?

SGSAH; SGSAH ResearchWebsite: www.desireecoral.com
CCA exhibition: www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/we-are-compost-composting-the-we
Instagram: @desireecoral and @glasgowseedlib


This article was published on 29 August 2022.
Last update was on 31 January 2023.