Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Soup Kitchen:Second Visit

I went back to the soup kitchen, to work this time. I would have liked to get more photos of people there, but it was busy and I was busy. I realised this may have to be regular thing for me to do. I am going back next weekend, I promised some of the people I would be back. There were some young girls there, younger than me. It did make me sad but when I left I felt that I had actually done something good and positive with my Saturday morning. I took some photos of the empty interior, the calm after the storm...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Visit to a Soup Kitchen

Yesterday in Bournemouth I visited a soup kitchen I had heard about from a friend. I went there with no expectations. I had tried to call and find information online, but it was all very vague and unhelpful. Having lived in Bournemouth for most of my life it was strange to suddenly find an underworld to which I had probably always chosen to 'un-see'. It was dark, crammed and intimidating- but there was also a positive atmosphere and sense of community; I noticed there was no soup being served, but sausage, mash and beans. I was approached by a lady, she put her arm around me and asked if I'd like some food, when I explained I was not there to be fed she looked at me strangely, I explained I would like to speak someone, she once again put her arm around me as if I had something distressing to talk to her about. I explained I was there for study purposes, her body language changed- she moved her arm and urged me to look around the room at how busy it was. I would need to speak to Murial (the lady in charge) she was too busy, so I went to sit in a cafe opposite and enjoyed some paid-for lunch; the atmosphere so far removed from what I had experienced. It was interesting to watch the people; some un-expected, wandering down the alley and then back with a full tummy.

I sat with my cappuccino thinking about how I might approach Murial and ask to take photos. I felt unsure as to whether I would be faced with hostility. The Lansdown Baptist Soup Kitchen has been running successfully for 20 years; although they are constantly battling with local residents, developers, town planners and a majority of the local businesses. They are not wanted here or anywhere and are now suspicious of people like me, for fear of being shut down for health and safety policies. I went back at 1.30pm, people were still grouped outside but the interior of the space looked different. A few stragglers were still in there sat down but most of the chairs and tables had been put away by the diners. Murial came and spoke to me, I told her why I was there. She looked excited at first, I think she thought my project was real! When I mentioned London and the future her face looked disappointed.

I am going back next week to work a shift. The diners were very curious about who I was, not many wanted their photo taken. I need to gain their trust, Murial said I will be able to take more photos next week, even of the tiny kitchen. I think it will be an experience. I will be the youngest voluteer, there are no young people working there. I feel this indicates something sad about my generation.

Monday, 14 November 2011

The cost of food

A graph from http://www.defra.gov.uk/statistics showing the rise in cost of food over the period from 1998 to the present.

Crisis Cannibalism

'It is also possible that they were by-products of ‘crisis cannibalism’ – the resorting to human flesh when little or no other food was available.'
Below is an image of a scull cap found in a cave in somerset. It appears to be evidence of cannibalism in the early ages. 

Fancy a drink? A skull discovered in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, 20 years ago which was used by ancient Britons to drink from

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1357764/Ancient-Britons-drank-skulls-used-cups.html#ixzz1diRtDB9

In the future will it be necessary for us to change our eating habits? Maybe as a human race this will happen naturally. Survival of the fittest and all that. It is critical for this project to consider the food consumed in the future before trying to tackle the scenario of a hungry, over-cramped inner-city slum. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Text : Food In The City

Walk down Brick Lane today and you will be bombarded with the aroma of cooking smells coming from the myriad of food outlets. Then heading down Commercial Street and on to Brune Street, wander past the building engraved ‘Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor’ and reflect how lucky we are to have such an abundance of choice these days.  
We understand the concept of cradle to cradle, we are learning to conserve fuel and recycle our precious metals. We worry about the packaging and the fuel costs but should we be more concerned about the contents. The seven billionth person was born last week. They will require perhaps 35 tonnes of food in their lifetime. What will they eat in a city with no food? 
Imagine a starving inner city population reliant on soup kitchens. Is the concept of ‘cradle to table’ depicted in the last frame of the film so shocking? 

Steel, Carolyn. Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives. London: Vintage, 2009.
Dodd, George. The Food Of London. London: Ayer Publishing, 1856.
Kuntsler, James – Howard. The Long Emergency. New York: Grove Press, 2005.
Braungart , Michael. Cradle to Cradle. London: Vintage, 2009.
Despommier, Dickson. The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century. New York: St Martins Press, 2010.
Suskind, Patrick. Perfume. London: Penguin Books, 1985.
Mieville, China. The City & the City. London: Macmillan, 2009.
Delicatessen. Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Miramax, 1991.
The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover. Peter Greenaway, Miramax, 1989.

Film : Food in the city

comments on a postcard..

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Words from the big book

And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth. And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail. And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year. When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands (Gen. 47:13-18).