To say this past year has been stressful would be an understatement. Every routine we were familiar with was disrupted, and all our attention was directed to the virtual world – to stay connected with friends and family, for entertainment, and of course, for work. One of the most pleasurable activities – cooking together, eating together – was no longer possible for so many in the way we were used to. And yet, one of the greatest escapes of this time has been food. Thinking about food. Consuming it through YouTube videos and Instagram reels. Experimenting with recipes both elaborate and simple. Connecting through food by sharing photos and videos of things we cooked with family and friends, or on social media.
But food is so much more than that. At a time when we are questioning the ways in which we consume, food is one of the areas in which inequality is glaring. Food consumption is intrinsically tied to our environment and the positive and negative impact in can have on it. In a country like India, the food histories and traditions are immeasurable.
For this year’s Serendipity Arts Residency, we invited two residents to think about the power of food, and all aspects associated with it through a Food Lab, which ran between August to November, supplemented with a robust programme of (online) talks and workshops. A variety of issues including Food Origins/History; Food Inequality/Sustainability; Food Policy; Food and Culture/Traditions, Nutrition, Food Writing and even Food Design, were explored through online conversations.