Friday, June 11, 2010

MAMAZ workshop in Austin

In conjunction with the Maiz es Nuestra Vida/Maize is our life exhibit, we members of the Mujeres Artistas y el Maiz (MAMAZ) collective offer workshops. Primarily, the workshops strive to raise awareness.

We discuss industrial food, its health hazards and the cultural significance of naturally grown food. The people of the United States, to a greater extent than those in other nations, are slowly losing their connection and the memory of food. The bodies and minds of younger generations no longer know what fresh eggs, chicken, ground beef or milk taste like. Some have grown up with fast food and junk food and consider its appearance, smell and taste “normal” and inevitable. They are unaware of alternatives. During the workshop, we provide them with some.

First we screen "The Story of STUFF” by Annie Leonard, “a 20-minunte web-film that explores the often hidden environmental and social consequences of the America’s love affair with its stuff.

Then, we ask participants to recall a family recipe of which they were fond as youths. These recipes usually include produce and meat that were produced in their community at the time, and can tell us a lot about locale and traditions, such as in what season the dish was prepared and for what occasion. In the past, food was part of our identity, and it continues to shape who we are. We consider what industrial food says about us now.

We also summarize the development of the food industry in México and the US over the last ten years. This helps emphasize the importance of traditional farming, saving native seeds and regaining back control of what we eat.

Workshops are for women of all ages and social backgrounds.