Austerity Bites: Food Exhibition opens in Lewisham

Pic: Austerity Bites

Pic: Austerity Bites

Anthropologists have collaborated with local primary schools, community kitchens and restaurants in an exhibition to explore food in Lewisham.

The anthropologists from Goldsmiths University believe Lewisham is a place where the politics of austerity and social change can be seen in its food.

The exhibition starts on May 25 with a barbecue and drinks reception and will be open until June 6.

Lewisham is a borough full of food banks and artisan farmers’ markets, and has seen a rise in the number soup kitchens and independent coffee shops.

Dr Henrike Donner, senior lecturer from Goldsmiths, Department of Anthropology, said: “Food is materially and symbolically at the heart of the anxieties and challenges that are symptomatic of austerity.”

The exhibition, called Austerity Bites, will be based on previous interviews, workshops, collections of artefacts and discussions with local residents conducted by the anthropologists.

Austerity Bites is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of a community engagement initiative documenting food habits and changes in Lewisham.

“The London Borough of Lewisham is one of the most culturally diverse but also one of the most deprived areas of London and has been particularly affected by the politics of austerity that have compounded the effects of a deep economic recession,” said Dr Donner.

Involved in the exhibition is Grinling Gibbons and Lucas Vale Federation of Primary Schools, the community kitchen run by the Field Community Centre, Age Exchange, local restaurants and the Hill Café.

Dr Gabriela Nicolescu and Dr Dominique Santos from the anthropology department said: “Austerity is not an easy topic to discuss, and even less easy to put on display.

“We feel that all the years we’ve spent doing PhDs in Social and Visual Anthropology in Goldsmiths helped us to capture some images which articulate the complex experience of austerity. “

Venue: Weston Atrium, Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths

Private View: 24th May, 17.30

Dates: 25th May – 6th of June

Opening Times: Mon-Sat 9.00-21.00

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