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Social Soups is a program for social transformation through art focusing on food as elementary component. The project Social Soups combines artistic and social activities regarding the cultural and social development in specific contexts of urban areas, which hosts cultural and social diversities. Furthermore, the project aims to include aspects of food in relation to territory, science and environment as well as to call attention to socio-political topics. Social Soups intend to be an open and free participatory and disposable platform with which can be collaborate spontaneously. The project invites artists to “prepare a social soup”; artists who focus in their researches and artistic operations on food and formulate divers social, cultural, economical, environmental and political interpretations. By using food and through multiple techniques and expressions the artists deal with important subjects related to nutrition: from food as means of survival and dependencies to food as condition of social injustice and obsessions.
The mixture of different cultural approaches, problems and destinies are like a soup in which diverse ingredients have to amalgamate in order to offer everyone the opportunity to be “fed”. Through food can be realized strong and multi-sensorial relations with the audience and the territory. Beyond feeding our bodies, food enriches our minds and – when becoming an instrument of artistic operations – is an agent through which the audience can make the acquaintance with cultural and traditional aspects as well as customs of other countries. Furthermore the artists create a strong relation with the audience, which become actively part of the artistic operations. Based on their knowledge and personal research, the artists reflect through their own poesis on the multitude of critical relations moreover as result of exchanges the contemporary human being has with its habitat.
Public engagement is a core issue of Social Soups aiming to address artistic activities directly to the citizen as audience as well as active participant in order to increase awareness of social justice and foster critical regionalism.
We are living in times in which societies undergo massive changes caused by economical and environmental crisis, geopolitical conflicts as well as by new technologies and capitalization of resources. Societies and urban areas are signed by mobility and agglomeration built by different interests. The refugee flow and the occurring humanitarian crisis are the most eminent facts communities have to envisage, moreover urges to react and to reconsider policies as racism and xenophobia are enhancing through activism and politics. Artistic activities of the Social Soups project aims to invite the audience to overtake an active role pointing to democratic values within the well-being of everyone. This can happen through artistic operation as they are expression of critical position and driven by utopia mission regarding the social, spiritual, natural and intellectual aspects of human life. Therefore art becomes an antagonistic space in societies, a turning point of awareness towards social and environmental issues. As the specification of the artistic operations are food, which is a universal “language” and part of human life, Social Soups is able to create a platform where different activities of social life can meet, be reflected on, communicate and elaborated. With the Social Soups projects can be created models of community policy, which are showcased by different means.
Social Soups è una piattaforma per l’estetica delle pratiche sociali con una particolare attenzione alle implicazioni culturali del cibo. Il progetto nasce da un’idea di Rachela Abbate e Maria Rebecca Ballestra. Social Soups raccoglie progetti creativi, eventi e residenze d’artisti, divisi in edizioni annuali e includendo i vari aspetti della vita della comunità e dello spazio pubblico.
Il progetto desidera, infatti, aprire attraverso l’arte uno spazio di trasformazione sociale e si concentra sull’elemento cibo in grado di realizzare forti e multisensoriali relazioni con il fruitore e il territorio. Il cibo, oltre a nutrire i nostri corpi, arricchisce la mente e, diventando strumento di un’azione artistica, si rivela essere il mezzo tramite il quale lo spettatore può venire a conoscenza di aspetti culturali e tradizionali e di abitudini di altri paesi; in un quartiere, in cui una moltitudine di culture differenti si confronta quotidianamente, l’incontro culinario potrebbe essere la chiave per creare legami invece che conflitti.
Lo scopo di Social Soups è di realizzare una piattaforma aperta e di libera fruizione e utilizzo, in cui la collaborazione avvenga in modo spontaneo. Perciò, attraverso la “preparazione di una zuppa sociale” il progetto ha l’obiettivo di invitare artisti che collocano al centro della propria ricerca il tema del cibo declinato in varie interpretazioni artistiche, sociali, culturali, economiche e politiche. Attraverso tecniche e linguaggi diversi, gli artisti attraverso il cibo sono in grado di affrontare temi importanti come il rapporto con la nutrizione, la sopravvivenza, le diseguaglianze sociali, le fobie e le dipendenze alimentari, oltre a creare una forte relazione con lo spettatore che diventa parte attiva e reattiva dell’atto artistico.