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"Above all, this project

is about harnessing diversity

to promote new types of unity"

TADELLE DESSIE, Project Director, African Chicken Genetics Gains project,

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Project & Partners

In Ethiopia, MOUTH is supporting the development of  Incubated Worlds, a collaboration between artist Koen Vanmechelen and the African Chicken Genetics Gains Project (ACGG), lead by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in the service of Ethiopian farmers. As part of this unique art-science collaboration, an ACGG-selected strain is being cross-bred with Vanmechelen's diverse Cosmopolitan Chicken to help identify sustainable, high productivity chicken strains suitable for sub-Saharan Africa. Over 2500 household farms are included in the research, all of whom are able to benefit from the chickens as a source of food and income.


" This is a development initiative which brings diversity and ever-changing combinations back to Ethiopia, the place where life in myriad forms began and flourished. It demonstrates to the world that difference can be a thing of beauty and something that society needs to survive. By injecting fresh global DNA into local chicken stock, Incubated Worlds offers an alternative evolutionary model in which science and art combine. Through this, diversity and productivity is brought together to enable lasting improvements to people’s lives."

TADELLE DESSIE, Project Director,

African Chicken Genetics Gains Project

TADELLE DESSIE, Project Director,

African Chicken Genetics Gains Project

National Museum

Honoring the beauty and value of diversity,

Artist Koen Vanmechelen’s Book of Genome was also added to the collection of the National Museum of Ethiopia.


“These books are not simply a succession of letters, they are an encyclopedia of stories, they link Ethiopia, the cradle of civilization, visually and scientifically with the diversity that has developed throughout the world, they connect past and present and hold the potential for the future.”

OLIVIER HANOTTE, Scientific Advisor,

African Chicken Genetics Gains Project

Opening Incubated Worlds
Research and breeding centre


Incubated Worlds at the National Museum
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