Food Related

In the project FOOD RELATED recipes, facts, news items, concerns, and other content related to Arctic food and food culture are collected on an online platform, while workshops and other events are organized to support this sharing. As a virtual meeting place, the platform tries to build bridges between the different Arctic peoples: a bridge that can overcome physical distances through virtual contact; a bridge that can overcome language problems through automatic translation software; a bridge that can support transitions and changes through exchange of experiences and discussions; and a bridge that can strengthen dignity and self-respect through positive cultural display and attention for contemporary issues. Just as food has been shared within the Arctic for so many years already, thoughts about food can be shared upon this platform. The artistic approach turns it into a nice place to explore and makes it enjoyable to contribute, while the food related information forms a varied collection that is sometimes fun to read and often food for thought.

The topic of this project, food and food culture, is chosen with care. Besides its indispensable nutrition, our food can tell us who we are. Also the way it is gathered or hunted, prepared, shared and consumed, has meaning. For example, seal is more than just food for the people of Greenland: it is a way of life. People attach importance to maintaining their traditional food culture, while diet changes are experienced in almost all Arctic communities and are usually endured fast, unprepared and sometimes unwanted. Those, whose food habits change, change themselves. Food can comfort us and can literary bring people together (it breaks the ice and is in itself topic for sharing), food is directly connected to identity (you are what you eat), and food can restore the physical connection in virtual contact (a bodily balance). During the sharing of similar social and cultural experiences of food, the users of the online platform might feel ‘food related’.

A pre-version of the platform is online and can be found at www.foodrelated.org. This version has three mappings: a Geographic View shows the entries in relation to their geographic location, a Foodgroup View shows the entries in relation to their ingredients or food items, and a Historic View shows all entries in order of publication. Future versions will include more mappings and forum options. People will be able to comment on each other’s entries and to start discussions.

FOOD RELATED is part of the thematic working group on social work of the University of the Arctic. Participatory practices that are initiated and designed for this project are researched in the PhD TOWARDS TOGETHERNESS.

You can find more information posted in the category FOOD RELATED on this blog, or on the website www.foodrelated.org.

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