Friday, March 7, 2008

why "one pot" - why a "table"

ONE POT is a project to use the table and a common pot of food to provoke dialogue and create culture. 

we have stopped using the common table - and the basic human act of sharing food is a fading ritual. 

the table has always been the perfect place to share our stories, our opinions - a perfect place to investigate the world. 

food, specific dishes, and recipes old and new are like little time capsules of culture - they tell us about the people who created them - their climate, their ingenuity - food and coffee are inextricably linked - this study uses the table and the food we share as the lens by which to look at coffee. 

in each source trip i will sit down with 20-30 farmers - cook with them and share a common table - we have already cooked feijoada in brazil, suban-ick in the hills of guatemala, and a freshly slaughtered sheep in the koke river valley (ethiopia) - what will we eat in sulawesi? papua new guinea? yemen? when we share the table i ask question after question - the goal is to collect stories and perspectives from around the globe - and then share them here in these pages. 

1 comment:

Stephanie Snyder said...

Sharing the space of the table, the space of history, in food, conversation, and ideas - through digestion, through the shared processing of food as it works its way through the body, what could be a better way to transmit unspoken knowledge across cultural boundaries. I have attended ONE POT events and found them inspiring and exhausting (in the best possible way)... to know that you are carrying this desire to share the table to far away places and subjecting yourself to other people's "time" and sensibilities seems very necessary and I hope that you figure out a vital way to share this with your regional collaborators that also allow us to join the "virtual table" created through the material you collecting and, hopefully, archiving.

I think it's amazing that Vita is willing to expend resources to further the work that you would be doing "anyway" - it seems mutually altruistic and a new way of conceptualizing what it means to "promote" - now it's your responsibility to ensure that the information you are hunting and gathering moves toward knowledge... I remain entirely optimistic. What's the next step? Will you be organizing a Seattle ONE POT around your recent travels?