Decolonizing Foodways, Oct 1

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Food, Identity and Representation Working Group at UC Berkeley and University of the Pacific Food Studies program invite you to participate in an evening of critical thinking and tasting at the Decolonizing Foodways Symposium. Understanding food as a site for de/colonial struggles and strategies in the ways it is produced, consumed, circulated, prepared, and represented within a transnational advanced capitalist economy, this interactive workshop grapples with what it means to liberate our diets from colonial relationships of production and consumption both in theory and in practice. Building off the work of scholar/activists Luz Calvo and Catriona Esquibel, authors of “Decolonize Your Diet: A Manifesto,” we explore and continue to question what the process of decolonizing foodways means. We ask, for example: How do we increase the vitality of oppressed and indigenous peoples, maintain the integrity of our ancestral traditions, and embrace food and ways of cooking/eating that resist subjugation and instead nourish our palates, bodies, and lives? How do we make sense of the different realities of lived food experiences across time and space, taking into account the influences of power and privilege? How might we think through the intersections of diaspora, colonialism, assimilation, generational differences, and food gentrification/cultural appropriation? Utilizing an intersectional, audience-participatory, and multi-sensory approach, this symposium will include a panel of activists and scholars and a freshly-prepared meal by local chefs that cooks up decolonizing possibilities.

The Decolonizing Foodways Symposium is a project of the “Food, Identity, and Representation Working Group” at UC Berkeley, a consortium of cross-disciplinary scholars joined together to learn, share, and create public events around the intersection of culture, race, gender, class, sexuality, and colonialism in food systems studies.

Cosponsored by the Berkeley Food Institute; Department of Sociology; Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management; Department of Geography; Department of Gender and Women’s Studies; Center for Research on Social Change; Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues; and University of the Pacific Food Studies Program.


4:10pm – Introduction
Food, Identity and Representation Working Group members

4:15pm – Decolonizing Foodways Panel
Moderator: Catriona Rueda Esquibel,
Associate Professor of Race and Resistance Studies, San Francisco State University
Gail Myers, Founder, Farm to Grow, Inc. and Freedom Farmers Market
Ron Reed, Co-Founder, Karuk-UC Berkeley Collaborative; Cultural Biologist, Karuk Tribe
Lok Siu, Associate Professor, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, UC Berkeley
Dawn Weleski, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Conflict Kitchen, Pittsburgh

5:15pm – A Sensory Experience in Three Courses
Each chef will introduce their course and its relation to the topic of decolonizing foodways, and participants will discuss a set framing questions with each course.

Saqib Keval,
Founder, People’s Kitchen, Oakland
Aileen Suzara, Chef and Food and Agriculture Editor, Hyphen Magazine
Bryant Terry, Chef, Educator, and Author

6:15pm – Closing
Report back from actionables/take away experiences

7 – 7:30pm – Holding space for lingering discussion, networking, and booksigning