Maren Krings – Hemp’s Potential
Industrial hemp, the non-intoxicating variant of the cannabis plant, is globally gaining momentum. German photographer and climate impact storyteller Maren Krings (born 1980) has tracked the rediscovery of industrial hemp in four continents, photographing more than 200 projects in 26 countries, and interviewing more than 80 industry experts. The Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam is proud to present a selection of Krings’ work in the exhibition Hemp’s Potential, on view in Amsterdam as part of the recently reopened and totally refurbished permanent presentation dedicated to the past, present and future of industrial hemp.
Solutions to pressing problems
In 2016, Maren Krings set out to understand more about the source of the social and ecological crisis of our century. She discovered that industrial hemp has the potential to address a wide spectrum of our most urgent shortfalls. This single plant can be used for housing, feeding, healing and dressing humanity, and can provide solutions to other pressing ecological problems. Driven by the question of whether hemp can contribute to a system reset, Krings set out on a five-year journey to examine how hemp can help realize a circular economy; an economy focused on positive society-wide benefits, rather than on growth.
“Global efforts to scale our world view of the socio-ecological crisis into a holistic problem large enough to force governments and policy makers into action, is causing individuals to experience climate anxiety, and they lose sight of the solutions within reach. With my photo documentary I want to encourage people to leave their comfort zone and engage in proactive problem solving.”, explains Maren Krings.
Hemp to generate change
Krings’ findings were surprisingly similar for such different settings. Whether a grass-roots project, a start-up or a well-established hemp industry, all use hemp to generate change. The museum shows a selection of Krings’ work, comprised of photographs, a film and a newly developed audiotour, revealing inspiring undertakings that aim to steer modern economies towards a more ecologically conscious and circular model.
“Krings’ photographs testify to the enormous diversity and vitality of the current international hemp industry. We hope that by sharing her work with our visitors, more and more people will recognize that industrial hemp can be an essential crop for realizing a truly sustainable future”, says museum director Ben Dronkers.
About Maren Krings
Krings’ work has been published and exhibited internationally and she is the author of three photo books. A fourth one, about this project, is forthcoming in 2021. She graduated with a BFA in photography from the Savannah College of Art & Design (USA).