Tuesday 13 October 2015, 17:00 - 18:00

Strange Fruit di Aspra.mente

Gian Ferrari Room 

An encounter devoted to the presentation of the Strange Fruit project, conceived for The Independent_Food and born out of an initiative by the Aspra.mente collective that has called designers, artists and association to work on the project.

Alessandra Saviotti of Aspra.mente will be illustrating the group’s working methods, describing some of the projects realised to date. All the parties involved will be invited to speak: the artist Luigi Coppola and Donato Nuzzo (Casa delle Agricolture, Castiglione d’Otranto), the designers Luigi Greco & Mattia Paco Rizzi and Luigi Ricciardi (Cooperativa Diaconia, Frosinone).

The project

Botanically it is a fruit, in common usage it is considered a vegetable, the tomato left Central America and completed a protracted journey east, through to Europe. Here it bullishly rooted itself in the culinary culture, becoming an emblem of the Mediterranean diet, part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, as proclaimed by UNESCO in 2009.

As a migrant, the tomato has been discriminated against, mistreated, condemned, accused of being poisonous, useless for nutrition and merely ornamental…

Strange Fruit reprises the theme of travel, shifting the investigation from the tomato to the people who cultivate it today in the Italian countryside. The contemporary agricultural labourers are frequently migrants who leave homelands torment by famine and war. The products they harvest are often then exported to the very placed where they themselves have fled. This short-circuit of commercial and migratory routes and personal stories collides with agro-industrial policies that – for overwhelmingly economic motives – do not take into account the wellbeing of the workers and the land.

The Aspra-mente collection has designed a mobile kitchen, located at the centre of the space and destined to become the setting for numerous activities, including a training course for cooks designed for migrants (in collaboration with the Diaconia centre of Frosinone) and tasting sessions.

Project developed in collaboration with Luigi Greco & Matteo Paco Rizzi, Luigi Coppola and Donato Nuzzo – Casa delle Agricolture, Castiglione (LE). Coproduced by MAXXI.

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