Members of the Food Art Research network and groups associated with Cocina Colaboratorio gathered to share a day of action and reflection. We started with questions about our role as artists and arts workers who come into communities as outsiders, researchers and participants in a collective metabolisms. We began walking through the streets of Xochimilco, noticing the way the water, new developments and plants shape the city. We climbed into a boat and rowed together through the canals of Xochimilco with the instruction from Gaby Ale to keep “our feet planted firmly on the bottom of the boat and hearts facing the direction we wanted to go.” At Chinampa Tlazoltéotl we participated in Tequio a practice of caring for the land and as a way to enact reciprocal relationships with territory and community.
After this morning of hard work in the sun we were hosted for lunch at Chinampa Amapola del Sabor with a menu by Elvira Valle Santana who is part of Amapola del Sabor a women’s collective who are defending the Xochimilco territory through food growing, harvesting and exchanging.
We held “Digesting the territory” a tea ceremony and conversation, brewing local plants and plants from further afield as we set an intention to share our experiences of the day, reflecting on our practices, our concerns and the possibility for instituting otherwise.The conversation was hosted in three phases proposed by Emilio Hernández Martínez “Lo propio (your own), lo ajeno (the other) y lo posible (the possible)” and we drank teas to inspire our thinking.
We gave voice to questions about the role of art and curatorial practice in contested spaces and territories. We talked about our experience with working in spaces in which tensions exist between rural and urban, between cultural and ancestral practices and between spectacle and process. We exchanged experiences, failures, wishes, successes, and acknowledged the complexity of thinking territorial relations after modernity.
Cultural and curatorial platforms that joined: Chinampa Amapola del Sabor Chinampa Tlazoltéotl Cocina Colaboratorio Duapla Molcajete Hawapi Food Art Research Network Study Pattern Collective What Could Should Curating Do?
With: Mariana Martinez Balvanera, Michelle Buerba, Biljana Ciric, Madeleine Collie, Grace Gloria Denis, Rubén Garay, Maxim Holland, Zoë Heyn Jones, Emilio Hernández Martínez, Diego Astorga-De-Ita, Gabriela Alejandra Morales Valdelamar, Adriana Cadena Roa, Beatriz Paz, Susie Quillinan, Alessandro Valerio Zamora, Elvira Valle Santana
Los rastros que dejamos (video)
Cocina CoLaboratorio (CoLaboratory Kitchen) is a transdisciplinary project that gathers creatives, farmer communities, scientists and cooks around the kitchen table to exchange knowledge, design and take action towards sustainable food futures. A test ground for ideas that conciliate land restoration, food production and better livelihood in rural and peri urban areas. A collaboration between research institutes from the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), local and international universities, civil organizations, and individuals from different backgrounds.