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FROM THEIR FIELDS TO OUR PLATES by Iuna Rolland

This exhibition connects the Southern peasants with us Northern consumers: How are produced the food we consume? What are the conditions of production? How does our way of consumption and feeding influence the way of production and the agriculture in the southern countries? The exhibition is a way to question us about our food and its consequences at the international level; it aims to show the links, the interdependencies between countries at the agricultural production, distribution and consumption levels, from Brazil to France by way of Senegal and Spain. To create this exhibition, I was mainly inspired by Erwin Wagenhofer’s documentary called "We feed the world". The goal was to give some ideas of reflections about these different issues putting the pictures in relation between them whith a striking comment. At the end, the board about peasant agriculture and solidarity economy gives propositions for "others possible ways of production and consumption" because YES, an other world is possible ! :-)

Short description of the action:

My local event was an “interactive exhibition” which aims at involving people about their daily alimentation. More precisely it was an exhibition made up of 9 boards. On each there is one picture and a few comments, the main principle it to shock the public with impressive pictures and comments. Thanks to that, they can think about their own daily alimentation. With this exhibition we organised a “words carrier” to try to make people interested in the exhibition with the question “What is the most important thing in your alimentation?” (Saturday) and “Do you know where come from what you eat?” (Sunday). This local event took place in the “Fête de l’Humanité” in Paris on September 12th and 13th 2009. Frères des Hommes asked me to be part of their presentation.

Quantitative statements:

Each day around 40 people saw the exhibition. Each day we discussed with around 20 people out of these 40 ones who looked at the exhibition. During the week end minimum 15 people had information, documents and contact of Frères des Hommes thanks to the exhibition.

Qualitative statements:

Did you reach your objectives and why? Were they relevant according to the specific situation? This experience didn’t permit me to know if the people changed really their opinion about alimentation or their alimentation. But different people who were interested in the topic took information about Frères des Hommes and tried to know more about the association. A minimum of 15 people went away with Frères des Hommes’s documentation or/and Frères des Hommes’s contact. In a different context more people could have been touched by the exhibition. With better tools to put the boards into values, we could have had more influences on the public.

Was the chosen method relevant according to your objectives and target public? I think this exhibition can involve more people than we did during this local event. The place where we were (Fête de l’Huma) wasn’t the best place to do it. The public was too solicited to be open to our proposition. All the organisations, the political parties, the trade unions had something to promote, to ask to the people and were here to convince them of something. So, to my mind, the public was too solicited. But the idea to use the “words carrier” to attract people to the exhibition was a good idea. It permitted to interest them.

Was it hard to put into action? What did you miss?The construction of the exhibition took me time. During the weekend our difficulty was that we didn’t have a good material to put the different boards into value.

What did the participants get from the action?: This exhibition was a tool to involve the people in their own way of alimentation. The people who were interested in the topic became aware of the importance of their alimentation and the way they could change it to have a better impact on the global world.

If you had to do it again, what would you change and why?: I would like to do it in another place with a different public. A different context could bring to a better and a bigger impact on the people. Thanks to this experience I became aware of the importance of the context of the local event for its impact.

What feelings did you get from the event? : I really would like to have the occasion to do it in another context to improve this experience.

To download the exhibition (only available in french), click here: From their fields to our plates


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Updated: Friday, September 10, 2010