SOTWA – meaning umbilical cord – developed in 2014. With SOTWA, Koen Vanmechelen explores the benefit of crossbreeding between cattle stock in Africa, where climate change increasingly threatens the tribe’s traditional cattle herding. The project started in Tanzania where the artist gave a Kenyan cow for adoption to the Masaai tribe. Fresh blood and DNA were injected to the herd, strengthening the resilience of the herd through crossbreeding and thus offering it a more viable chance for the future. The skin and horns were later returned to the artist to create artworks.
Anno 2018 the project is extended to Zimbabwe (in collaboration with the Future of Hope) and Ethiopia (in collaboration with ILRI).