Tate Modern Talk

The Democratic Table

Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party, 1979 ARS NY and DACS, London 2015 Photography by Donald Woodman © Judy Chicago

What does the twenty-first century dining table look like? Discuss changing attitudes to family life and food in the world today

What does the twenty-first century dining table look like? 

With dinner table sales in rapid decline, over 30 million of us now share meals virtually with strangers rather than our families. 

Come and take a seat at one of the three tables to explore the relationship between participatory democracy and food (from local perspectives to global consequences of food trade and industrialised farming) through a series of staged culinary encounters.  

Democratic Table : Speed-Dating: Food For Thought

13:00 – 16:00

An intimate one-to-one dialogue around issues of democracy and food. Pick up a fortune cookie, read the message to your ‘date’ and discuss. Your date is over when sand timer is finished. 

Democratic Table : What’s Cooking?

13:00 – 16:00

Come to this table for a hands on session with Jana Valencic where you as a ‘democratic chef’ share and discuss how you eat and your attitudes to food through visualising these on plates, chefs hats and decorations.

Democratic Table: Round Table Conversation

13:00 – 16:00

What do you bring to the table? Alternating heads of the table, including special guests from anti-poverty organisations, sustainable city farms and academic researchers facilitate a round table conversation on food democratising. Thank you to Carol Mancke for lending her work, Table 18, 2015.

Sessions include:

13:00-13:30 Food Inequality

Facilitated by Dominika Jarosz (Feedback: Feeding the 5000)

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares the right for healthy and nutritious food for everyone, yet there are around 1 billion people around the world who do not have enough to eat. When it comes to food production and distribution, what does food inequality mean to you? 

13: 45-14:15 Sustainability: Grow Your Own

Facilitated by Ian Solomon Kawall (May Project Gardens)

What exactly is on my food? How can I grow my own? Opening up the dialogue between the general public and grass roots organisations working with food. What can we learn from each other? 

14:30- 15:00 Food And Memory

Facilitated by Prof. Harry West

The table seen as a place of gathering that nurtures relationality. How do personal memories of food experiences affect the way we develop our sense of self, our sense of community. Who do you eat with and who would you bring to the table?

15:15- 15:45 Alienation: ‘You Are What You Eat’

Facilitated by Dr. Amina-Aitsi Selmi

Food as a reflection of our cultural, historical and political economy values. How does the way we produce and distribute food affect the way we eat and socialise?

The Democratic Table is hosted by Anna Kontopoulou and Jana Valencic.

Tate Modern

Tate Exchange

Blavatnik Building, Level 5

London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

28 November 2016 at 13.00–16.00

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