“Food is our most powerful narrative”- Dr Alessandro Demaio, World Health Organization
World food systems account for up to 29% of global greenhouse gas emissions through production, distribution, processing and waste(1). While ensuring adequate nutrition is a key principle of food security in Australia and globally (2), climate change presents new challenges for future food systems and communicators. There is now a “greater awareness of balancing the need to feed a growing population and maintaining environmental integrity” whilst, considering the “social aspects of how people interact with food” (3).
Food is labour. Food is knowledge. Food is technology. Food is energy. Take what you need, enjoy and share with others. Come back for more, but waste not.
Fair Share Fare is a collaborative, multi-platform, socially-engaged art project focused on future food security in a time of climate change. Formed in 2016 by artists Jen Rae and Dawn Weleski, FSF aims to provoke discourse around food system knowledge and current patterns of food production, consumption, distribution and waste. Using food as a medium of exchange, FSF orchestrates interactive and cooperative works that act as data generators and community builders to:
- dispel myths and increase literacy about food;
- help decolonise thinking around food provenance, whilst advocating for food and land sovereignty; and
- expose potential fissures that may help to mitigate our vulnerabilities in a future impacted by disaster, social unrest and ecological degradation.
1.Vermeulen, S. J., B. M. Campbell and J. S. I. Ingram (2012). "Climate Change and Food Systems." Annual Review of Environment and Resources 37(1): 195-222.
2. For example, in 2015, world leaders at the UN unveiled the Sustainable Development Goals, providing a road map to mobilise efforts on 17 interrelated global challenges including sustainable food systems.
3. PMSEIC (2010). Australia and Food Security in a Changing World. Canberra, Australia, The Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council.
Dr Jen Rae is a Canadian Métis (Indigenous)/Australian artist-researcher engaged in the discursive field of contemporary environmental art and a scholar in arts-based environmental communication. Her creative practice and research interests centre around food systems knowledge, disaster scenarios and ecological futures thinking via transdisciplinary collaborative methodologies and community engagement. Jen is a multi-art-form artist including public art, drawing, animation and cookery. She is also the Co-founder The Riparian Project and Fair Share Fare. Highlight projects this year include partnering with Yup’ik artist Emily Johnson on SHORE in NARRM: Feast for the Yirramboi First Nations Festival, Flow at the Counihan Gallery for the CLIMARTE: Art + Climate=Change Festival, Main Attraction for the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, artist-in-residence at Arts House including participation in Arts House’s REFUGE project in November 2017. Jen is a board member of the Creative Recovery Network and is a Lecturer of Art & Performance at Deakin University.
Dawn Weleski’s practice administers a political stress test, antagonizing routine cultural behavior by re-purposing underground brawls, revolutionary protests, and political offices as transformative social stages. Recent projects include City Council Wrestling, a series of wrestling matches where citizens, pro-am wrestlers, and city council members personified their political passions into wrestling characters; “I will not bomb Iran” (100 times), a curriculum designed and taught by Weleski to generate student-authored apologies on behalf of the United States; and Condi Undone, a public project at Stanford University and throughout institutions in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Palo Alto, CA and mockumentary on the life of Condoleeza Rice with a Rice lookalike narrating her role in the gentrification of East Palo Alto and increase in conservative policy at Stanford University with a script culled from hundreds of public opinions in the area. Weleski codirects Conflict Kitchen, a take out restaurant that serves cuisine from countries with which the U.S. government is in conflict, which has been covered by over 650 international media and news outlets worldwide and was the North American finalist for the Second Annual International Public Art Award and finalist for the Visible Award (international), both in 2015.
Weleski holds an MFA in Art Practice from Stanford University and has exhibited at The Mercosul Biennial, Brazil; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose; Anyang Public Art Project, South Korea; The CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; Ft. Mason Center for Arts and Culture, San Francisco; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; Festival Belluard Bollwerk International, Switzerland; The Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh; and 91mQ, Berlin among others; has been a resident at The Headlands Center for the Arts, SOMA Mexico City, and The Atlantic Center for the Arts; and is a fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.