The Politics of Food at Delfina Foundation

Since 2014, Delfina Foundation’s Politics of Food programme has worked with artists, activists, agronomists, artisans, bakers, butchers, chefs, economists, farmers, fermenters, foragers, historians, scientists, policy makers, nutritionists and more, delivering over 100 residencies with public programmes taking the format of meals, exhibitions, walks, talks, pickings and a pop-up cafe. A book dedicated to the topic was launched at the end of 2019 and is distributed by Sternberg Press.

In Autumn 2022, Delfina Foundation, in partnership with Gaia Art Foundation, will launch the fifth concentrated season of residencies and public programmes focusing our investigations on the most pressing issue of our time: the climate emergency. Agriculture alone is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, 92% of global water use, 38% of earth’s ice-free land, and is a major source of biodiversity loss and land degradation. In our oceans, the impact of the world’s fastest growing food production system – intensive aquaculture – encapsulates the complexity of future “sustainable” diets as nutritional, policy and environmental factors rub against one another. Addressing how and what we eat is critical to the survival of both human and more than human species.

The book, Politics of Food, co-published by Delfina Foundation and Sternberg Press, is an important document of current research and thinking around this subject with contributions by prominent artists, academics, activists and chefs.

Through interviews, essays and artist contributions, the book critically assesses and illuminates ways in which the arts can confront food-related issues, including the infrastructure of global and local food systems, alternatives and sustainability, climate and ecology, health and policy, science and biodiversity, and identity and community.

This book is neither a record of Delfina Foundation’s work in this area, nor a comprehensive survey of all issues or artists working with food. Instead the book presents some of the most pioneering ideas and projects around the subject, focusing specifically on four key areas which serve as sections into which the book’s content is structured: Food and Identity; Food Journeys; Food Futures; and Food and Hospitality.

The Politics of Food, Edited by Aaron Cezar and Dani Burrows