“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.
Jen Rae (Creative Lead and Director)
Dr Jen Rae is a Narrm (Melbourne)-based artist, researcher and food futurist of Canadian Métis-Scottish descent. Her 15-year practice-led research expertise is in the discursive field of contemporary environmental art and arts-based environmental communication. It is centered around cultural responses to climate change, specifically the role of artists. Her work is engaged in discourses around food in/security, disaster preparedness and ecological futures predominantly articulated through transdisciplinary collaborative methodologies and community alliances. The outcomes of her creative practice are multiplatform, resulting in site and context-specific installation, performance, drawing and cookery. She is the Creative Lead of Fair Share Fare, a collaborative and multi-artform art project focused on future food security in a time of climate change. Using branding and food as mediums of exchange, FSF orchestrates interactive and cooperative works that act as data generators and community builders to dispel myths and increase literacy around food systems; to help decolonise thinking around food provenance, whilst advocating for food and land sovereignty; and, to facilitate knowledge creation and transfer through intercultural and intergenerational exchanges.
Jen is a lead artist-researcher in Arts House’s REFUGE project and a board member of the International Environmental Communication Association and the Creative Recovery Network (AUS). She is currently collaborating with Maree Grenfell, Resilient Melbourne on a community resilience workshop with the City of Vancouver (June 2019) considering how Refuge might work in the context of another city. She has lectured at the postgraduate level in socially engaged art and performance at Victorian College of the Arts and Deakin University.
Dawn Weleski (Co-founder and 2016 collaborator)
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.