Table of plenty

table of plenty5

Table of plenty by Kultivator

A part of the alternative education programme “Everything Under The Sun”, that merges the fields of food and art under the issues of climate change through an interdisciplinary, experimental approach. Curated by Ece Pazarbasi and  Caique Tizzi in the Agora collective, Neuekölln, Berlin.

Kultivator led a module with 12 participants in this programme, choosing to set the focus on the refugee situation. From Kultivators perspective, the changes in everyday life due to the migrations of people is one of the effects of climate change that had the biggest impact so far on society as a whole, as well as on Kultivators home village and farm. This movement is big right now, but as climate change continuous, the amount of people having to re locate themselves will only grow. With the 12 great participants of chefs, artists and activists from all over the world, the aim was to create an artistic response to the possibilities and challenges of this present.

We were particularly interested in the changing cultures of food, like organization of meals,  economy, ownership, manual labor, social aspects, and the mix of traditions and recipes.

The north has since long benefitted from influences from all over the world in their kitchens. Berlins Neuekölln and Kreuzberg districts are evidence of a great wealth in food culture, from street food to restaurants, or as in Agora; cosmopolitan, artist-run cafes. In the many street markets there is an abundance of produce.

In the same areas people are living in refugee camps, at the moment extremely overpopulated, with no possibilities for people to prepare food or eat as they wish. With only one week to work with, we set out to cook something from these ingredients.

The “cooking” process started with visits to inspiring initiatives, activist groups and kitchens, and two different camps for asylum seekers. With the people we met, and in our group, we decided that we wanted to create a situation of sharing and discussion with people that are in the asylum seeking process, and together with them create something that could serve as a template for future community events at Agora cafe.

As we discussed the project with local street vendors, an overwhelming lot were more than willing to join by donating bread, vegetables, fruit and other nearly overdate produce. In one evening's gathering, we collected more than enough of material for a huge dinner. We could invite the people we had met in the refugee camps, Tempelhof (at the time housing a thousand people) and Berlin Stadtbadhaus (around 300) to share the kitchen and social space of Agora with us for one evening. The event was named “Table of plenty”, referring to both the overfull table of food material, and the chefs and guests from many backgrounds. The evening went over all expectations.

The connections made between people locally in Neuekölln, and the map of where to find food, + the new experiences and knowledge sharing of kitchen skills, could be one small step in preparation for a world that is changing, not only for the worse.

Programme Curated by: Ece Pazarbasi and Caique Tizzi