237.130 Week 11 – Publishable Blog Post

What do I want to say?

Being a global citizen means an awareness and care for issues and being able to see wider implications for everyone, as well as different points of view. In terms of my project, the purpose is to make people aware of the effects of their own small, seemingly insignificant actions on the lives of others.

Wealthy nations need to curb the amount of food being wasted after production – within supermarkets and in the home. We need to be able to feed 9 billion people by 2050 and this will be possible if we can curb waste at all points in the production process. GMOs cannot fix all of our problems and theres a simpler fix. At the moment, around 25-50% of all food is wasted, globally. We do not need to produce more, but waste less to feed more.

Why do we have such an imbalance? US imports 400% of necessary amount of food and wastes around 30-40% of that, while 795 million people remain hungry.

Use of sculpture – makes the audience think about symbolism of objects within the piece. Use Michael parekowhai as an example – ambiguous and grand approach to which the viewer brings their own experiences and eyes. Makes people think.

237.130 Week 12/13 – Final Blog Post

 

We produce enough food calories to feed every single person on this earth (MIT). Yet, 795 million people do not have enough food (World Food Programme), because so much is wasted. In New Zealand we throw away enough food annually to feed Dunedin for 2 years (Love Food Hate Waste NZ). This is a common trend in wealthy countries, and globally between 25-50% of all food is wasted (MIT). The waste goes further than just the food; in each bite is the labour, land, water and CO2 emissions associated with growing and throwing away that food. 9 Billion people are expected to inhabit this earth by 2050 (MIT), while the distribution of farmable land is expected to drop significantly around Africa, India, Australia and the Caribbean (F.A.O 10). Climate change will create a future where croppable land is lessened, livestock mortality rates increase, droughts are rampant and water is scarce (F.A.O. 10). Food security will suffer, particularly in underdeveloped nations. Reducing world hunger in the coming years is going to require us to reduce consumption and waste.

My work essentially focuses on the imbalance of food distribution in the world, and the unnecessary wastage by wealthy countries that can be easily fixed. The concept of the sculpture is based upon the Statue of Liberty; it mimics the upholding of certain values, but replaces the upholding of liberty with the control of food and resources. The figure is representative of wealthy nations. I also looked at Michael Parekowhai’s work, Te Ao Hurihuri, as an example of how sculpture can work symbolically. By using the elephant as a symbol, it creates an ambiguity in the work and allows the viewer to bring their own assumptions to the symbols, and then have to question those against what the work is saying. I used this idea in my own work through the use of cows to represent food and the immense resources behind it; the meat and dairy industry has become a symbol for the West’s food and resource control since documentaries like Cowspiracy (2014) revealed the water, land and carbon footprint behind beef and dairy. The other hand, holding water, represents the interconnected nature of food waste and water waste, and the importance of curbing this waste as climate change approaches and the potential for drought increases. With this work I aimed to make people see and think on their own terms – to bring their own thoughts to what was in front of them and have to read and think about the work and what it represents and sculpture was a good way to do this. It also gives a material, tangible front to an issue people often ignore; it forces them to confront it.

This project has a purpose; being a global citizen (Mirzoeff 289), means we must find ways to represent ourselves (Mirzoeff 293). It means being aware of our own world, of many points of view, and being able to represent our values. This often occurs through ‘visual activism’ (Mirzoeff 289), and uses a growing visual culture to incite change. In a world where most are connected it is hard to distance yourself from others. Working to see the world differently, and change the world is key to being a global citizen, and making sure the world is being represented and changed the way we want it to be.

Works Cited

    1. Mission 2014: Feeding the World. Inadequate Food Distribution Systems. Michigan Institute of Technology (MIT) 2014. Web 23/05/2016.
    2. WFP. Hunger Statistics. World Food Programme, 2016. Web.  
    3. Food Waste. Love Food Hate Waste NZ 2016. Website.
    4. FAO. Coping with climate change – the roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture. Rome 2015. Web 19/05/2016.
    5. Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Afterword”. How to See the World. London, Pelican 2015. 289-298. Print.

 

 

 

237.130 Week 9 – Concept Proposal

For my project I intend to look at the problem of food and resource management in the face of climate change and world hunger. This encompasses the potential of drought with coming climate change, and the amount of water and resources used to produce meat for wealthy countries, as well as the amount of surplus food being wasted in wealthy countries. I would like to challenge the idea that we are going to face a world food shortage, when the solution is right in front us: stop wasting so much food. This solution, though, requires a lot more research and change in the way wealthy countries think. Doing this requires becoming a global citizen. Mirzoeff highlights that this requires thinking about things globally. This video is also a good way to think about global citizenship, and about how key changing thinking and taking action is:

Another video I found on TED was this talk by Tristam Stuart about the global food waste scandal and the ways we can change our thinking.

As well as this, there are issues regarding the monopolization of agriculture, and how that is affecting the growth of food in underdeveloped countries, and the controversy around GMOs. This topic is really important to me because thinking globally has made me realise that wealthy countries’ actions have had an adverse effect on climate change, the effects of which poor countries will feel the most. It’s not fair.