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Food Democracy

Critical Lessons in Food, Communication, Design and Art

In a world where privatization and capitalism dominate the global economy, the essays in this book ask how to make socially responsive communication, design, and art that counters the role of the food industry as a machine of consumption. Food Democracy brings together contributions from leading international scholars and activists, critical case studies of emancipatory food practices, and reflections on possible models for responsive communication, design, and art. A section of visual communication works, creative writings, and accounts of participatory art for social and environmental change, which were curated by the Memefest Festival of Socially Responsive Communication and Art on the theme of “Food Democracy,” are also included here. The beautifully designed book also includes a unique and delicious compilation of socially engaged recipes by the academic and activist community. Aiming not just to advance scholarship, but to push ahead real change in the world, Food Democracy is essential reading for scholars and citizens alike.

500 pages | illustrated in color throughout | 7 x 9 | © 2017

Culture Studies


Food and Gastronomy

Media Studies

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“This large volume is a thought-provoking hybrid between a traditional collection of essays, a set of recipes (one for each essay), and a catalogue of visual and participatory art pieces and social engagement interventions. The format is the direct reflection of Memefest and its Festival of Socially Responsive Communication, Design, and Art, whose participants and contributors believe that academia, social movements, and professional environments should not operate in silos, but interact and cross-pollinate beyond the customary institutional distinctions.”

Huffington Post

"This large volume is a thought-provoking hybrid between a traditional collection of essays, a set of recipes (one for each essay) and a catalogue of visual and participatory art pieces and social engagement interventions. The format is the direct result of Memefest, the experience that the book documents: an international network of scholars, professionals and activists that collaborate in various contexts ranging from events to meetings and symposia."

International Journal of Food Design

"In this compelling collection, Memefest contributors remind us why food lies at the heart of contemporary political struggle. The single most damning truth about contemporary global society is that people continue to starve on a planet that produces enough food to nourish its entire population. This tragedy results from the use of food as a medium of control and a source of profit. The essays in this collection provide a crucial source for developing the tools and practices to support sustainable democracy in a time of global instability. Now more than ever we need the Memefest organization’s prescient blend of theory and practice, aesthetics and politics."

Mark Andrejevic, Monash University, Pomona College

"The most effective step you can take to save the world, and yourself, is to change the way you eat. The food industry is responsible for more health problems, environmental damage, and social strife than any other. By choosing what to put in our mouths, we can heal ourselves, save the topsoil, feed the hungry, and overturn neoliberalism. Food Democracy shows the many easy, powerful, and delicious ways to achieve a sustainable future. We are what you eat."

Douglas Rushkoff, author, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

"This extraordinary new book challenges us to reclaim the role of design and public communication in imagining a democratic future of food. By recognizing that representation, as well as production, distribution and consumption, is a key element in the way the global food system works, this book shows that design is crucial to determine how we think about food. As an answer to this, Oliver Vodeb has curated an inspiring collection of examples of alternative food design bringing together activists, cultural producers and academics and in the process has redefined what food design may mean."

Ilaria Vanni, University of Technology Sydney

"What can tactical sustenance be in a world where hunger is a part and parcel of our current strategic market systems and governance that function to maintain ‘food insecurity’ on a global scale. Food Democracy is a direct response to navigating this Meat-Market-State by focusing on community research initiatives and artist practices of avant-gardening and beyond that can help us re-configure how our food is designed, how our food is sold, and who has access to food. This book is not just about what the problems are – but what can we do about it."

Ricardo Dominguez, Electronic Disturbance Theater

Table of Contents

Oliver Vodes
Hungry for Change + Thirsty for Life
The Socially Responsive Communication, Design and Art Kitchen and its Dishes
Darren Tofts
Mean Cuisine
Being a Polemical Discussion of Food in Excess of Necessity, its Uses and Abuses
Cirila Toplak
The Global Meat Autocracy: An Issue of Social Injustice
Cartelization of the Global Meat Industry
Nikola Janović Kolenc
A Shortage of Democracy, Not of Food and Water
Trends Shaping Today’s Food Industry
Abby Mellick Lopes, Tessa Zettel
Making Time
Food Preservation and Ontological Design
Sam Burch
Everything Has a Story
Decolonization, First Nations Sovereignty, and the Seventh Pillar of Food Sovereignty in the Australian Context
Aida Baghernejad
Self-Employment on the Street Food Markets and the Political Dimension of Consumption
Katherine Moline
Marti Guixé’s Food Designing
A Critique of Consumerism?
Tanja Kamin, Andreja Vezovnik, Pavlina Japelj
Somewhere over the Rainbow
Cooking a Slovenian Path to a ‘Better’ Future
$$ TM – The Sociosoma
Claudio Sotolongo
Urban Agriculture in Havana
Everything Fresh Including Design
George Petelin
Food for Thought
Visual Practice as Activist Research
The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination
Geographies of Hope
Eugenio Tisselli
What Lies Outside the Cavern
Veeranganakumari Solanki
Trisikaideka | 13 | UMAMI
Mariano Mussi
The Hidden Sacrifice
Oliver Vodeb
Designed Pleasure
How Advertising is Selling Food as Drugs
Oliver Vodeb
Pleasure Praxis
Food Democracy – Friendly Competition 2013
Visual Communication Practice
Curated by Oliver Vodeb
Miha Mazzini, Marko Plahuta
Eat for Democracy
Ashlea Gleeson, Jack Loel
Edible Illusions
Rodolfo Medina Flores, Jakub Fišer
Merry Kurban Bayrami and Happy New Year
Mohammad Naser
Seeds of Hope/Destruction
Jessica Nuzum
What Are You Really Eating?
Marija Jaćimović, Benoit Detalle
Michael Pollan’s Food Rules
Mariella Bussolati
Orto Diffuso
Maya Weinstein
The DIY High Fructose Corn Syrup Kit
Sandra Rojas
Lucy Datyner
What Do We Know about the Andean Quinoa Industry?
Kate Simpson
Happy Cow
Maria Isabel Isaza Echeverry
Who do You Feed with the Food You Eat?
Marko Damiš, Zdravko Papič (mentor and friend)
Migrants in Europe
Stephen Gross
Andres Rodriguez
El Futuro se construye en el Campo
Katherine Jauczius
Land Grab- The Game
Dylan Leak
Guerilla Torches
Hayley Smith
The Perfect Tomato
Sybille Neumeyer
Just a Little Money Involved
Zayra Dolores
Pick Me
Liam Matthews
Food Democracy
Oscar Waugh
The Patch
Julia Unkel
Facing (orig. Im Angesicht)
Khaula Al Ameri
Engineered Corn
Thomas Roohan
The Food Trade Apparatus (FTA)
Scott Burns
Sophie Van Der Drift
Meet & Two Veg
Eugenia Demeglio, Alberto Novello
How Much is Enough?
Eugenio Tisselli (Et All)
Los Ojos de la Milpa (The Eyes of the Milpa)
Christine Mackey
Seed Matter
Oliver Vodeb
Conflict Kitchen
Dawn Weleski and Jon Rubin
Oliver Vodeb
Living Out a Siutuation: The Memefest Food Democracy Brisbane Sessions
Visual Essay
Typographic Illustrations Ben Mangan
Documentary Photography Oliver Vodeb

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