Mi / 18:00

Wheatscapes and Culinary Ghosts

Maya Marshak (Delfina Foundation), L. Sasha Gora (KWI). David Bates (Chatham House)

Delfina Foundation, 29/31 Catherine Place, London SW1E 6DY

This multi-part evening opens with a viewing of the first iteration of Maya Marshak’s work Vision Fields. Produced during her residency, this mural, comprised of painting and moving image projection, is an outcome of her research in South Africa and the UK around lost agroecological knowledges.

Following the viewing, L. Sasha Gora will deliver a lecture (18:30) titled Down the Wrong Way: Toward an Environmental History of Cuisine, considering the idea of culinary extinction through the ways recipes map how cultures eat and adapt to the worlds around them.

Responding to the themes of environmental and culinary ghosts explored in Maya and Sasha’s work, David Bates will then present Against the grain… and back again, sharing with guests a selection of wheat grains and breads. This will include sourdough bread made with a recipe devised specifically for the evening, which will include ancient, heritage and modern grains. Together, these encompass the past, present and potential future of our interaction with wheat. David is the Library and Information Services Manager at Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) who Maya met during her research into agricultural policies as a part of her residency supported by Chatham House.

Finally, bringing the event to a close, Sasha will be offering a ‘mock mock turtle soup’, as featured in her lecture.

About „Down the Wrong Way: Toward an Environmental History of Cuisine“ by L. Sasha Gora

How do human appetites shape plants and animals, land and water, the world’s present and its future?

Because eating is one of the most direct ways that people interact with environments, by literally digesting them, fashions in food not only map changes in taste but also social, environmental, and technological transformations.

In Down the Wrong Way: Toward an Environmental History of Cuisine, cultural historian L. Sasha Gora shares her research about culinary reactions to climate change. Reflecting on how humans know, endanger, and perhaps even conserve flora, fauna, and their habitats through culinary practices, her work seeks to merge food studies and the environmental humanities.

Zooming in on the history of turtle soup, Down the Wrong Way considers culinary extinction – which is to say the ghosts of appetite’s past –, how recipes map how cultures eat and adapt to the worlds around them, and the entanglements between people and plants, cuisine and climate.

More information can be found here.