The industrial food system prioritizes the needs of companies ahead of people, overlooking concerns regarding nutrition, sustainability and the rights of workers. An alternative to this is a people-centred food system, based on the creativity of individuals who take the initiative instead of waiting for governments to solve collective problems. In doing so, they serve the wellbeing of those who produce and eat the food, as well as those impacted by production processes.

Food systems begin with people. This section presents stories from cities like Oslo that anoint “Byobonden” or city farmers to promote local agriculture, and communities in rural Italy that find new ways to create jobs for their young people, reversing migration trends that swell cities in their country as rural areas collapse. It shows how chefs either find local food by foraging within the city, or work directly with local farmers to produce regionally-specific foods that would otherwise disappear from local diets. They even create restaurant spaces, as in Bologna, that help immigrants maintain their cultural traditions through food. In Paris, the Zone Sensible project shows how entire cities return the power of local food production to their people, and even create new urban markets to strengthen the connection between people and their food.

How is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe reconnecting its citizens with their food system?

by Anja Bergersen

Oslo, Norway

The city farmer’s mission is to get as much dirt under as many nails as possible, and inspire as many people as possible to cultivate urban spaces. His days are packed with people wanting to learn, learning to grow, and growing together through cooperation, knowledge sharing, and sensorial experiences.

BYBONDEN

The city of Oslo recognized the need to reconnect their citizens to the land, so they elected a BYBONDE to help consumers access better food and more local produce.

“If you have facilitated the journey from soil to the table and back to soil again, if you have sown, tended, reaped and shared the fruits of the soil, you will be filled with respect for our food, for the soils and the people who devote their lives to bring the food to your table.”

ANDREAS CAPJON
The City Farmer
Losæter, Oslo, Norway

“As a kid, my biggest dream was to become a farmer. However, I grew up in the city of Oslo – miles away from the closest farm. Oslo’s city farmer (Bybonden) makes it possible for people like me to connect with the land, and to understand the value and work behind every meal. Bybonden has become the human link between the food system and the citizens of Oslo.”

ANJA BERGERSEN
Information Artist
Oslo, Norway

Throughout the world, emigration to urban areas has serious consequences, but resilient young entrepreneurs are bringing new life to rural territories.

by Alberto Miti

Amandola, Italy

In Amandola, two of these young hopefuls, brothers named Mirko and Daniele, are following in their father’s footsteps by choosing to continue the family beekeeping business instead of abandoning their rural community in favor of urban life. By staying they’ve also forged their own path, offering new services for their community. Inspired by their beloved bees, they’re building a new generation of idea pollinators.

Reversing Swarms

A beekeeper’s efforts to bring bees back to their hives after the occurrence of a bee migration. This same action is being taken on a larger scale to help people return from cities back to rural areas in Italy.

“Our bees are conducting a public service. We work with them and it’s our duty not to waste what they share with us.”  

DANIELE AND MIRKO
Beekeepers
Apicoltura Colibazzi
Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibbilini, Marche, Italy

 

ALBERTO MITI
Information Artist
Marche, Italy

Many urban spaces offer an abundance of edible plants that can be easily harvested, but few people enjoy these sources of fresh local food... Except Kevin.

by Julia Scherzl

Malaride Road, Dublin, Ireland

This self-taught chef leads a weekly foraging tour, inviting anyone, so long as they are curious to learn more about the city’s diverse edible offerings. As they explore, they harvest whatever food they find, not letting anything go to waste. Most of the food will appear on the restaurant menu that week or else find its way to Kevin’s home kitchen where he preserves and prepares it to enjoy later on.

URBAN FORAGER

Collecting fruits, vegetables, and edible plants that grow wild in public places.

KEVIN POWELL
Chef
Dublin, Ireland

“I planned on spending my vacation in Dublin, Ireland before I joined the LexiconLab project, so I looked for local initiatives and found this hidden cafe where they told me about their urban foraging story. I got in contact with Kevin, the chef, very fast and he invited me to join him for their next tour through the city. I was very surprised by the variety of fruits, herbs and vegetables that exist in Dublin’s city centre and that it was all edible and free for everyone to pick. The kindness and spirit of Kevin and his friends overwhelmed me and made me feel more connected to local resources. I chose to put the story into the People section of the exhibition because it all starts with human beings engaging in projects and driving the change of our food system.”

 

JULIA SCHERZL
Information Artist
Munich, Germany

The “Orto dello chef” was born from a shared desire to source local, authentic ingredients. in the process, it united a community of chefs and farmers.

by Angelica Trinchera

Bologna, Italy

Through their collaborative efforts to develop personalized restaurant gardens, they forged a bridge between the kitchen and the garden, and, in doing so, minimized the distance that their food travels. With the ability to grow and harvest the ingredients for their own menus, these chefs now find their creative inspiration in nature.

La Dispensa dello Chef

A vegetable garden designed to encourage chefs to experiment with their ingredients based on seasonality.

FEDERICA
Garden Owner
Podere San Giuliano
San Lazzaro, Bo

“Since I was a child, I have been fascinated with the food world; my father had a restaurant, and he always wanted to have the freshest products in his kitchen. I have chosen to take a picture of the project ‘L’Orto dello Chef’, because it helps people like my father to select genuine vegetables, and creates a virtuous relationship between farmers and chefs.”

ANGELICA TRINCHERA
Information Artist
Bologna, Italy

L'altro Spazio celebrates its community's rich cultural diversity by hosting cooks from all over the world.

by Martina Malucchi

Bologna, Italy

Here, together with other associations, immigrants gather around the dinner table, to share stories about where they come from and how they uphold their family traditions. These unlikely neighbors become friends, united by the common thread of food and hospitality.

FOOD CULTURE INCUBATOR

A collaborative restaurant space designed to offer participants from different cultural backgrounds the opportunity to share experiences together with the global language of food.

IQBAL KHAN
Co-owner of Tiranga Association
L’Altro Spazio
Bologna, Italy

“I’ve always been fascinated by international environments, and I strongly believe that knowing and entering into contact with other cultures is essential for ourselves in order to better understand what surrounds us. Food is a common language, a bridge that connects completely different people. For this reason, I chose “L’Altro Spazio”, that provides a space to empower diversity, and where people as Iqbal and his wife have the opportunity to share their traditions. I hope that this story can help people to understand the positive value of integration and cultural cross-pollination.”

MARTINA MALUCCHI
Information Artist
Tuscany, Italy

FOOD BIODIVERSITY AND ARTISANAL KNOW-HOW (“SAVOIR-FAIRE”) ARE ENDANGERED BY THE CONVENTIONAL FOOD SYSTEM.

by Caterina Romanelli

Paris, France

Terroirs d’Avenir is a new agora, bringing together the needs of the city and the soil. They operate a marketplace where producers come together to provide tips and advice to their customers and reconnect them with sustainable ethics as well as traditional culinary practices. The aim is for everyone in the food system to get a fair deal.  

A NEW AGORA

Terroirs d’Avenir creates alternate avenues for food distribution in Paris by helping small producers bypass the usual intermediaries to create a direct model that guarantees a fair price to everyone in the food system, from growers, to chefs, to citizens, while providing everyone with a direct source of authentic, value-driven ingredients.

SAMUEL NAHON
Co-founder of Terroir d’Avenir
Rue du Nil, Paris, France

“Raised on an organic farm in northern Italy, I have been living in Paris for five years. I have explored the French food and sustainability scene for my venture and I have chosen Terroirs d’Avenir for the exhibition because it is an impressive example of an alternative to the food distribution system. They help small producers bypass the usual intermediaries to create a direct model that guarantees a fair price to everyone, from growers, to chefs, to citizens. Zone Sensible’s urban farm is another incredible project that emerged in Paris. A collective of farmers and artists teamed up to create a shared community identity in the Paris Suburb of Saint-Denis, France’s most multicultural area, starting with food and agricultural land preservation.”

CATERINA ROMANELLI
Information Artist
Udine, Italy

In a Paris suburb with no shared identity, building community starts by building a people-centred food system.

by Caterina Romanelli

Paris, France

Zone Sensible aims to reflect the cultural diversity of people in the harvesting of diverse crops from around the world. Through artistic programming, people celebrate their culinary cultures with records of recipes, chefs and artists. They respond to the community’s needs while also preserving the nourishing purpose of the land.

Zone Sensible

A collective of farmers and artists teamed up to create an urban farm to preserve the last agricultural land in Paris and connect people from different cultures through food and agriculture.

OLIVER DARNE
Artist & Beekeeper
Zone Sensible, Saint-Denis, Paris, France

“Raised on an organic farm in northern Italy, I have been living in Paris for five years. I have explored the French food and sustainability scene for my venture and I have chosen Terroirs d’Avenir for the exhibition because it is an impressive example of an alternative to the food distribution system. They help small producers bypass the usual intermediaries to create a direct model that guarantees a fair price to everyone, from growers, to chefs, to citizens. Zone Sensible’s urban farm is another incredible project that emerged in Paris. A collective of farmers and artists teamed up to create a shared community identity in the Paris Suburb of Saint-Denis, France’s most multicultural area, starting with food and agricultural land preservation.”

CATERINA ROMANELLI
Information Artist
Udine, Italy