Over thirty passionate food people in a nature park on a promontory in south eastern Malta. An interesting and inspiring conclusion to this round of futuring exercises. As the topic of the third round of futuring exercises, we decided upon looking at possible futures of well-being and invited our friends and colleagues from FoAM to work on a project around this topic. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they took on the question of food as a vital element of well-being and the way that it might change in reaction to many of the things that are changing in these times.
In order to investigate change, FoAM needed to understand the starting state. Thus the undertaking of fieldwork. What was initially planned as a several day voyage around the island visiting people active in the food web and sampling the wares was compressed into the process of bringing them together in one point to develop an imagination of what the current state of the Maltese food network might be. We invited them to the Xrobb l-Għaġin Nature Park in Delimara, near Marsaxlokk. Starting from a discussion and analysis of what a “thriving food culture” is perceived as, the workshop discussed what thriving, what culture and perhaps even what food is.
However the most important part of the food network are the people, organisations and iniatives that make it happen. It was clear from the turnout that there is a thriving development of food culture in Malta; the more than thirty participants were only a fraction of those who are actively creating the culture as we speak. The penultimate session in the day was an analysis of what organisations exist and how they relate to one another, starting from those in the room and expanding out to include those that we were aware of but who, for various reasons, were not present.
It became clear that this network, small as it is, is dense and dynamic, growing steadily. Many of the people in the room represented organisations that had been running for less than five years, it is clear that a positive form of growth is taking place. In order to wrap up, a simple round of sharing needs and offers was made. What does each person or group need, what can they offer? As we went around the room, there were people catching one another’s eyes and nodding. Needs were getting offers, synergies were developing.
Over some fine wine from Mar Casar, some delicious treats from JoAnna Vella, Pure, Core Green and others, we wrapped up a few intensive and productive hours. We look forward to the speculation round of the workshop in late April. And to the further developments of the Maltese food network.
“Tasting Tomorrow – Fieldwork” is part of “PRESENTS OF THE FUTURE”, a project embracing a series of activities in Malta and Gozo, which build upon one another to think out load about possible futures of Europe investigating the unique perspectives of Malta.
Presents of the Future is part of the cultural program of the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union with the support of Arts Council Malta and the Valletta 2018 Foundation.