Austerity Bites: Food Stories from Lewisham

Via Gabriela Nicolescu, Goldsmiths

Exhibition organised by the Goldsmith’sDepartment of Anthropology

Venue: Weston Atrium, Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths
Private View: 24th May, 17.30 
Dates: 25th May – 6th of June 
Opening Times: Mon-Sat 9.00-21.00

The exhibition presents the result of our ethnographic project Austerity Bites conducted by the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The exhibition is based on an extensive phase of interviews, workshops, collections of objects and artefacts and interactions with different groups of local residents, to hear their stories, talk about their routines, and discuss the many meanings of everyday food consumption for these residents of Lewisham.   The London Borough of Lewisham is one of the most culturally diverse but also one of the most deprived areas of London and has been particularly affected by the politics of austerity that have compounded the effects of a deep economic recession.  Food is materially and symbolically at the heart of the anxieties and challenges that are symptomatic of austerity. Thus, across the borough we are seeing the emergence of new spaces that signify some of the most visible forms of cultural resistance to austerity, such as grass-roots initiatives for growing, preparing and distributing food in the community, including food banks, allotments, cooperatives and community kitchens. Austerity is not an easy topic to discuss, and even less easy to put on display.  We feel that all the years we’ve spent doing PhDs in Social and Visual Anthropology in Goldsmiths helped us to capture some images which articulate the complex experience of austerity.  Abundance and lack are much closer than we initially imagined.

You can find more information about the Austerity Bites project at lewishamfoodstories.wordpress.com/about/

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