Next to an idyllic village on the hills of Catalonia lies a towering dormant bio-factory building that had not been touched for more than ten years.

The villagers call it “the rabbit factory”.

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The building left today is the most typical set-up of a factory complex sitting quietly in a regulated green-belt zone a few miles under the bliss of ski resorts and walking paths. Sadly, the rabbits shall never see the sunset over the hills that they live in.

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It’s said that in the 90s two friends got together to pitch this project of rabbit factory in order to receive government grants in the name of enriching the local economy. The local government was thrilled to encourage local farming of any kind in a bid to retain a village population in the competition of urbanisation. In an era of a gastronomy revival, it seemed like the perfect plan.Rabbits produce more meat per acre than other farm animals and contains less fat. The efficient and nutritious alternative seemed glaringly obvious. The local authorities welcomed the new business with open arms, so much so that they were willing to overlook the slight deviation from the strict set of stone-lined cottages.

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Rabbits are well-known for reproducing at such a rate that they would probably out-compete any assembly line in a factory. Imagine a joystick factory where the joysticks just hopped onto each other and multiplied by themselves! Was this the new Farmification? It was “cow farm”, “pig farm” and“rabbit factory”. These newly introduced rabbits must have seemed like the new bio-technology of commercially producing in-demand commodities.

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Everything seemed to fall into place and then, one day, the rabbits all died. The locals have rumours that it was the way they inseminated the rabbits. I was amazed –inseminating the rabbits seemed a little excessive, surely one’d just have to leave them to it? Where are these rabbits now? How did this manufacturing facility become so obsolete? Did these animals really die because they were ‘over-optimized’?

To be continued…

Written by Lisa Ma

Lisa Ma socializes activism. Combining ethnographic research and speculative design, Lisa creates platforms of engagement from surprising insights and processes that deeply resonate with the global technological community. The emergence of clicktivism – to protest at the click of a mouse – is trivializing activism. Lisa argues that although activism doesn’t necessarily benefit from technology, we need to evolve how activism contributes to technological societies. To illustrate this, she designs dilemmas and creates social events that are perceived as activism but function as services.

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