Soul Food, meeting on food, art and environmental sustainability.


There are some main question at the origin of “SOUL FOOD” project:

What is food? Which dynamics are involved by food with respect to the environment, production and economy? And also: what meanings and symbolic values does food express?

The farming and agriculture sector represents a really complex world, which involves at the same time the media debate, productive and distribution chain, institutional and collective dynamics, culture and welfare.

SOUL FOOD‘s aim is to deal with food as a mean of knowledge and learning, by organising seminars, events, meetings. Through a scientific approach, and through its profound link with arts and theatre, this project aims to give a contribute to the debate on a environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable model of agriculture production; a high quality and high added value model, capable of being at the same time a “public good”, as safeguard of gastronomic heritage and of food security of a territory, and an “economic good”, capable of breeding local growth.

The support of relevant scientists (Pat Mooney, Pepe Esquinaz, Marcello Buiatti, Piero Sardo, Parvis Koohafkan), artists (David Riondino, Ascanio Celestini, Daniele di Bonaventura), the partnership with international organizations (FAO, Comune di Roma, Coldiretti, Slow Food), and, last but not least, the success of public and critics (TV report on Gambero Rosso Channel, partnership with the magazine Left) of the first edition of Soul Food, put in evidence some key elements for the success of this pattern:

1)      The use of new ways of communication for scientific contents related to environmental issues, both in general and specifically on food;

2)      Deep integration of contents, languages and communication codes.

Food is a concentrate of memory, conservation of cultural heritage, exchange among countries and people, primitive necessity of human beings. It also represent a perfect prism through which one can observe the world’s changes and mutations and a very interesting theme of cultural research.

SOUL FOOD is a day dedicated to the CULTURE OF FOOD, deployed in three main dimensions:

- a socio-cultural dimension, in which transpires the importance of food as a tools of knowledge, memory and transmission;

- an environmental dimension, trying to measure and understand the impact that the agri-food chain has on our Planet;

- an economic dimension, in which we try to quantify the effects of all the distortions in the links between farmers, industrial transformation and the actual models of profit distribution.

To reach this goal, we will mix the two languages of Arts and Science, which may sound apparently antithetic. We will try to join them, through the symbolic force of food. The scientific, theatrical, musical speeches and interventions will be alternated and moderated by the special intervention of David Riondino (brilliant Italian comedian, writer, actor…).

Aware of the complexity of the themes, we’ve invited well-known scientists and researchers (such as José Esquinas, Gianluca Brunori, Marcello Buiatti) to study the dynamics, and representatives of NGOs and civil society (such as “Slow Food for Biodiversity” or the “Foundation for Genetic Rights”) which will bring their testimony on the possible alternatives to the dominant agri-food model, through positive experiences that could be linked in a network and become a scheme and a model itself. We’ll speak about individual consumption choices, biodiversity, North-South relations, OGM, Farmer Markets.

But food is also culture, social interaction, point of crossing for stories and people. We’ll set a table on stage, around which there will be actors, musicians, which will tell us stories that start from food to become art, or which will sing like in a dinner with friends, with a door always open to welcome friends and passengers.

This event has been made possible, thanks to the voluntary participation of the organizers, the artists and the scientists/researchers.