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Memefest 013 Festival Outlines: FOOD DEMOCRACY!

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In the era of privatisation of everything fundamental human needs get colonised through corporate strategies. The food system becomes a machine, which excludes people. We have almost no chance to participate in the production and distribution of food. The consumption is to a big degree predefined as well- our desires to achieve pleasure with food are in many ways the product of the prevailing food related libidinal economy- the way society organises desire. Food is designed and so are its representations. Here again, we are not only excluded but manipulated to form a specific relation to food.

Big corporations are putting exclusive copy rights on seeds- the very source of life, a public knowledge bank as seeds were cultivated through centuries in a close relation between human and nature. Predictions show that the amount of food produced at the end of the century will be 50% of what we produce now. As world population numbers are rising, food will become the biggest issue of survival and geopolitical dominance very, very soon.

Neoliberal society is strictly regulated and heavily over coded. We have troubles to leave our private self and create a distance to social mechanisms that impose this private position in the first place. But this is crucial. In the age of privatisation of everything, occupying a common space, creating an intimacy of relations that form around public matters is key to break out of the simulacrum of imposed pleasure. Respect- collaboration- imagination- intervention.

So what can Communication/Design and Art do in order to contribute to FOOD DEMOCRACY? In realising that FOOD DEMOCRACY is about a shared fate, shared resources, shared risks and shared solutions, creating publics, nurturing the commons through involved, inclusive and dialogic communication is at the core of socially responsive strategies and in opposition to the exclusionary delusions of marketing. But our semiotic landscape, the ecology of the image, the technologies of communications, the credibility of art, are all changing rapidly. How can we respond and gain autonomy through communication and art today? How can we contribute to FOOD DEMOCRACY and what are the specifics of socially responsive communication and art in relation to it?

The contradictions of inequitable arrangements of power and the rhetoric of liberal democracies are at hand, but we need to make them visible. Making them visible is more than an image. It is a social relation- one that above all is not mediated by the image of imposed pleasure and desire, one that leaves the image behind in an engaged conversation and unfolds in communicative action. FOOD DEMOCRACY will be key for our survival in the future. No less than that.

Do respond to our call in the Memefest 2013 Friendly Competition. This years theme is FOOD DEMOCRACY!
See here for the outlines: http://www.memefest.org/en/competition/intro_2013/

You can participate in the categories Visual Communication practice, critical writing and a special participatory Art/Communication category is open as well!

Deadline for your submissions is May 20th. Participation is free of charge and there is no age limit or any other restriction. We will post more soon. For now it is your turn.

With Love, Conflict and Imagination,
Oliver-Memefest Kolektiv




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