Today we are introducing a new project in which we hope to explore a number of the topics raised in this blog. The Food Parliament is democratic experiment in which we look to give political voice to stuff. The stuff in question is of course food.
Food is not just a topic of conversation, it is a format. Much of human culture is based around food, it’s preparation, production, and then of course the meal itself. Conversations happen around this table, decisions are made over dinner, and every meal table has the necessary ingredients required for a future parliament. Or is it missing something?
A core question the project raises is the idea that it is possible to give democratic representation to objects. This is a practical, as well as a theoretical question. The environment and issues such as global warming clearly require action, and action in democratic societies requires democratic debate, political decision making, and eventually legislation. We therefore already include a range of voices, from scientists, to lobby groups in this process. The question raised here is not therefore as simple as can, or should we do this, but rather is there a better way of doing this?
It can be argued of course that people in the end must decide, and all this talk of “giving voice” to inanimate objects in the political process, is nothing more than mumbo-jumbo. Does it make sense to really try and give an ingredient a “voice”. What are the dangers, and absurdities for instance, of inviting people to speak for on behalf of this plant?
Through a series of events – events we are dubbing “collisions” – we will will seek answers to this question. Can we make any sense of this attempt to represent a plant, or food-stuff? Can we speak for things? The methodology is simple enough – let’s ask the question and see what people come up with? Meal time discussions will be used to record and archive the conversations, and we will be teaming up with the Festival of Mint, and FOG.FM to celebrate local food production, and give these discussions a focus.
Subscribe / stay tuned to this blog to follow the progress of this event, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To take part in this event wherever you are, all you need to do is:
- Cook a meal at home with locally produced produce
- Invite friends
- Tune into FOG.FM and listen to the radio
- Put your event on the map
If a you feel more ambitious then consider inviting members of the public and create a “supper club” event, or perhaps hold a talk or discussion. For the more creatively inclined you could participate in the radio station by contributing play lists, take a turn as a DJ, or invite live performers for a session on the radio.
Finally, we fully expect some events may be in public venues, cafés, or turn into complete local festivals of their own. That’s what we did in Finsbury Park, London last year, and it was a hoot. Look forward to meeting more lovely people this year. Why not put your town on the map?