Have you ever enjoyed a meal together with friends and strangers alike?
Can you imagine a square hosting a big table that neighbours share for dinner in summer nights?
Is it possible to raise awareness and fight food waste by launching a public banquet prepared out of leftovers?
In recent years numerous initiatives worldwide have arisen using food to challenge the way people engage in urban public spaces. Combining various backgrounds such as art, architecture, activism or anthropology, this interventions have been put into practice without any commercial purpose but holding multiple intentions that range from enjoyment and celebration to education or political protest.
City Cook Book is a collection of initiatives enhancing public spaces by bringing people together through food culture. It aims to explore how food can be an effective tool to both transform our common spaces into sites for encounter and social interaction, as well as to engage with larger issues that shape our everyday urban life. Through its digital platform and its print-it-yourself publication, City Cook Book intents to visualize this phenomena, reflect upon it and inspire other initiatives.
City Cook Book is a non-profit initiative developed by Claudia Sánchez and Íñigo Cornago.
This web and publication has been designed by ereslomastumas and programmed by Andrés Sedano.
Proyecto financiado por Ayudas Creación Injuve
Project funded by Ayudas Creación Injuve
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Socialising Outside University Prescriptions
So why S.O.U.P? what makes students dedicate their time to operating a dodgy hotplate and chopping vegetables? CSM’s new campus at King’s Cross places students as cultural producers at the heart of building a new piece of city, developed by urban planners fuelled by neoliberal agendas the building offers a learning space in which you can’t make coffee but you can buy one. Against these conditions, how are our practices and modes of being shaped and changed?
Our art studios exist as a centre point of contestation and negotiation in the lived experience of the students, but we ask, what should these spaces be? A protected space of imagination and experimentation or simulated preparations for the conditions outside that encourage students into their learned paths of competition and independent working, perpetuating the isolations of society. Recognising the value of cross course, cross year interaction and conversation when sharing a meal, cooking and sharing vegetarian S.O.U.P every Friday is an opportunity to explore collaborative methodologies for the reimagining and potential reinventing of our environment and education. Through offering an alternative and in many ways better way for the student body to access a key resource, that of nourishment; we reject the disempowerment and loss of autonomy the institution offers and open up an exploration in parallel to it; a space to begin to navigate the potential effect we can have acting as a collective entity.
In taking the offer of donation based soup participants and facilitators partake in an alternative economy and learn through experience the benefits of collectivising and acting in resistance. S.O.U.P is a form of localised activism, a project that recognises a problem in the art school environment and takes collective ownership of finding a solution, in this positivity and genuine use value it holds the potential to act as a starting point for a renewed, reimagined learning environment.
About the team
Socialising Outside University Prescriptions (S.O.U.P) is facilitated by successive generations of 3rd year students participating in the Fine Art BA course at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design, London. Taking place among a uniquely transient community this project of resistance has been sustained across three academic years and countless participants. 2017’s iteration of the project was spearheaded by Georgia Clayton-Jeeves and Daisy Shayler with support and participation from the active studio community. This brought a uniquely feminist perspective and enhanced intentions towards methods of mutual aid and self care to S.O.U.P.
Space typologyPublic Building
ActionCooking foodEating foodServing foodSharing food