Food Fight: The Battle for Food Security was a unique live art event that took a socially engaged approach to raising awareness and stimulating conversations about a hidden issue: food security and access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food for everyone in Liverpool and South Western Sydney. The project collaborated with local community champions and food heroes that were led by Sydney artists Diego Bonetto and Branch Nebula (Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters), in partnership with Liverpool City Council and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. As part of the project development, the artists conducted a series of community engagement workshops with local partners such as the Liverpool Girls High School, Inspire Community Services and the Liverpool Community Kitchen, Food Bank, OzHarvest and Youth Food Movement Australia – to name a few.
The event itself took place in Bigge Park, Liverpool, on Saturday 30 April (5-9pm), it opened with night food markets, live cooking demonstrations from local participants, a DJ set, soap box performances by ‘Food Warriors’, and roaming ‘Food Security Guards’ engaging audience members in discussions about food security. The four-hour program was hosted by performance artist Mish Grigor, who interviewed participants in front of an audience of over 2,000 members of the general public who attended throughout the evening. leaders in the food security sector, in costumes reflecting their individual causes, were carried through the crowd by their teams and chanting slogans. These ‘Food Warriors’ then led the audience to the Food Fight arena, a large transparent inflatable structure designed by Genevieve Murray of Future Method Studio, which gradually rose from the ground. Over three rounds, the Food Warriors’ teams entered the inflatable arena, taking part in a fight with rotten tomatoes, beans and strawberries – a spectacular enaction of food waste. This was witnessed by a 100-seat al-fresco banquet designed by the artists and cooked from recipes provided by local food heroes from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds – giving policy makers, stakeholders, recipients of food relief and community champions a chance to engage in meaningful dialogue. Over the course of the evening, over 150 people participated in, and more than 2,000 people witnessed the spectacular live art event.
Food Fight: The Battle for Food Security built on Liverpool City Council’s long-standing commitment to facilitating equitable access to food. This has been demonstrated through initiatives such as the Liverpool Community Kitchen and Hub and the Bill Crews Charitable Trust food van. Council was a member of the Right to Food Coalition that organised the inaugural Right to Food Conference in October 2014. The conference involved over 200 people including local and national policy makers, academics, health promoters and community development workers. The conference was successful in highlighting food insecurity at a national policy level.
In 2016, artists Branch Nebula (Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters) and Diego Bonetto created ‘Food Fight: The Battle for Food Security’, an art event in Liverpool, NSW. ‘Food Fight’ increased awareness of the important issue of food security – the right of everyone to access affordable and nutritious food. Artist Educators from the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia worked closely with students from Liverpool Girls High School during ‘Food Fight’, exploring food security and the power of contemporary art. This video captures a subsequent program in 2017, which built on the themes and activities of ‘Food Fight’. For more information visit https://www.mca.com.au/artists-and-works/c3west/food-fight-battle-food-security/
Food Fight social (#foodfightliverpool)