Edible Responses

Edible Responses is a congregation of minds, practices, and ideas that are striving to transform food systems in times of environmental crisis. The afternoon of activities includes talks, a film screening, and a lecture performance; that brings together artists and researchers, who use food as the lens through which to think about systemic injustice and responses to it, especially in light of the climate emergency.  Conceived collaboratively by CLIMAVORE and Art Jameel, its contributors include Cooking Sections (Alon Schwabe and Daniel Fernández Pascual), Devlin Kuyek, Habib Ayeb, Munem Wasif, Nida Sinnokrot and Sahar Qawasmi.

Edible Responses is a gathering of cultural practitioners, artists, and ideas that are striving to implement systemic change in society. It results from a cross-fertilisation of CLIMAVORE’s mission to propose how to eat as humans are changing the climate by creating the space to envision transformative food production, distribution, and consumption, and Art Jameel’s recent investigations into food politics in ‘Staple; what’s on your plate?’, an exhibition that explores food and its entanglement with memory, ecology, and place, considering our relationship with food as a vantage point to address the climate emergency.

This introductory day of activities will share a variety of interdisciplinary research and responses that engage and promote the reimagining of food systems in different geographies. It will address issues including the impacts of extractivism, colonialism, capitalism, plutocracy and the way they affect agricultural knowledge and production globally. This will be contextualised within the rise of counter-movements engaged in struggles of decolonisation and food sovereignty.

This event is supported by the British Council

The event has limited seats.
Please RSVP to attend the event taking place at the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai
This event will also be live-streamed on Art Jameel’s youtube channel



Programme Schedule :

Welcome and introduction to Edible Responses
4:05 pm – 4:15 pm

Heirloom seeds, farmers wisdom and food sovereignty in Tunisia
4:15 pm – 5:15 pm
Film screening of ‘Couscous: Seeds of Dignity’ by Habib Ayeb

Couscous, with its various recipes, constitutes the staple food of all of the populations of the Maghreb, including Tunisia. Almost self-sufficient in cereals until the beginning of the 20th century, Tunisia now imports more than half of its food needs as dependency increases year on year. ‘Couscous: Seeds of Dignity’, focuses on the political, social, economic, and ecological conditions of cereal and couscous production. The film explores how issues including heritage seeds, farming practices, and agrarian culture directly relate to the nurturing of individual and collective human dignity, which is at the heart of the food sovereignty movement.

The film will also be screened in Gallery 9 at the Jameel Arts Centre on February 27th and 28th, 2022

Corporate capture of access to seeds, farmers resistance, and seed sovereignty
5:15 pm – 6:15 pm
Devlin Kuyek from GRAIN and Munem Wasif in conversation with Dani Burrows

In this conversation Devlin, Munem and Dani will unpack issues contained in Munem’s work, Seeds Shall Set Us Free, which juxtaposes his cyanotypes of rice grains and plants with archive documents and photographs from one of the largest community grain banks in the country. The conversation will interweave issues of heritage seed practices alongside neoliberal paradigms of seed ownership, rights, and distribution within the context of Bangladesh and elsewhere, and will focus on the work of UBINIG, and the Naya Krishi Andolan agricultural movement.

Speakers in this panel will be appearing virtually.

6:15 pm – 6:30 pm

Instituting at the intersection of agrarian and pedagogical practices
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Conversation between Sahar Qawasmi and Nida Sinnokrot from Sakiya, Ramallah, and Cooking Sections moderated by Nora Razian

In this conversation Sahar and Nida, Daniel and Alon discuss with Nora, how informed by their respective practices, they have initiated organisations responding to local agrarian and coastal practices.  Sakiya, co-directed by Sahar, is a progressive academy for experimental knowledge production and sharing, grafting local traditions of self-sufficiency with contemporary art and ecological practices based close to Ramallah, Palestine. The CLIMAVORE Station, an organisation founded by Daniel and Alon, based on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, works in collaboration with local communities running three strands of activities including learning, building, and growing that focus on regenerative aquacultures.

Speakers in this panel will be appearing virtually.

Tea Break
7:30 pm – 7:45 pm

When [Salmon Salmon [Salmon]]
7:45 pm – 8:45 pm
Lecture-Performance by Cooking Sections

Cooking Sections trace the construction of salmon — the colour of a wild fish, which is neither wild nor fish (nor even salmon). Colour is a vector that composes forms, entwines species, and signals environmental changes. From the Isle of Skye, Cooking Sections document how industries are changing the planet’s metabolism, redefining the shades we live in, censoring our sensitivity to the Earth and its hues while constructing new extractivist territories. Salmon usually feed on red-pink crustaceans, like shrimp and krill, making them metabolise the colour that tints salmon. But farmed salmon have become [salmon], which are deprived of the substances that should otherwise salmon their bodies. These fading colours are just another signal of the new architecture of the climate emergency.

This is an in-person performance. Attendees are advised to be seated by 7:45.

Closing remarks
8:45 pm – 8:50 pm

Contributor Biographies

Habib Ayeb, born in Tunisia, is a social geographer, researcher, and Associate Professor at the University Paris in Saint-Denis since 1992. His research interests include competitions over resources, including water and land, in rural and agricultural areas, poverty and marginalisation dynamics and processes, social changes, resistances and uprisings (Arab spring), development, environment, and climate changes, and food sovereignty.

Devlin Kuyek is a researcher at GRAIN, a small international non-profit organisation that supports small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. Devlin joined GRAIN in 2003, after working with NGOs and peasant organisations in Malaysia and the Philippines. He is GRAIN’s most active researcher, focusing on monitoring and analysing global agribusiness, including land grabs. Devlin is based in Montreal, Canada, and spends time supporting partners and staff around the world as much as possible.

Sahar Qawasmi is Co-Founder and Director of Sakiya, a progressive academy for experimental knowledge production and sharing, grafting local traditions of self-sufficiency with contemporary art and ecological practices. Sahar worked as an architect, restorer, planner, and cultural heritage expert with Riwaq, Centre for Engineering and Planning, and other local and private institutions. In 2012, she coordinated the first edition of Qalandiya International and co-wrote the first of Riwaq’s Re-Walk Heritage Guidebook Series. In 2016, she co-curated the Ramallah Municipality’s exhibition for Qalandiya International III.

Nida Sinnokrot is Co-Founded Sakiya. As an artist, much of Nida’s work aims to subvert various technologies of control that give rise to shifting social, political, and geographic instabilities. Nida Sinnokrot received his BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MFA from Bard College. In 2001 he participated the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Nida Sinnokrot is a 2002 Rockefeller Foundation Media Arts Fellow. His work has received support from Darat al Funun, Akademie Schloss Solitude, the Merz Akademie, the Sharjah Biennial, and the Al Mamal arts centre. Nida lives and works in Jerusalem and Boston and teaches in the Art Culture and Technology (ACT) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Cooking Sections examines the systems that organise the world through food. Using site-responsive installation, performance, and video, they explore the overlapping boundaries between art, architecture, ecology, and geopolitics. Established in London in 2013 by Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe, their practice uses food as a lens and tool to observe landscapes in transformation. They have worked on multiple iterations of the long-term site-responsive CLIMAVORE project since 2015, exploring how to eat as humans change climates. 

Munem Wasif’s photography and film investigate complex social and political issues with a  humanistic language, by getting close to the people, physically and psychologically, dealing with multiple questions and contradictions. Expressionistic in style and long-term in method,  Wasif often experiments beyond the tradition, tests the possibilities of fiction, by borrowing a  familiar documentary language.  His work Seeds Shall Set Us Free II, which juxtaposes his cyanotypes of rice grains and plants with archive documents and photographs from one of the largest community grain banks in the country, is currently on show as part of ‘Staple, What’s on your plate?’, at Hayy Jameel in Jeddah.