Photoboook – Our Home, Our Food, Our Resilience
by guest blogger Meagan Curtis
As we go deeper into the 21st century, increasing numbers of researchers are asking questions about the trajectory of our food system. Issues abound – from nutrition, land ownership and rights, supply chain economics, to production methods – all are being analyzed in order to predict how humans may feed themselves in an environmentally uncertain future.
Current research on the ground with Vancouver Island residents who hold wisdom and knowledge in relation to our food system has begun to speak to solutions for this looming predicament. Their insights demonstrate that food security is the product of the many, not the few, and that it is forged in the connections we have between each other.
This finding is demonstrated abundantly in the newly released Alberni-Clayoquot Food Security Photobook which exhibits that the wisdom to feed ourselves is present right now in our communities. This publication was based on a joint SFU and UBC project “Our Home, Our Food, Our Resilience: A Citizen Science Approach to Food Asset Mapping and New Frontiers in Ecological Heritage Planning in Canada” and involved both food mapping and photovoice research.
Photovoice is a collaborative way of doing research that includes community members as co-researchers and photographers. It allows us to understand more comprehensively challenges related to critical issues which impact our communities – in this case, food security. The photographs produced in the Photobook definitively demonstrate the wealth of our food resources – from the land to sea to forest.
The Photobook is a visual and textual depiction of the meaning of food in our lives and our potential to be food secure. Indeed, the challenges we face getting there are real and significant, but the opportunity to realize a healthy food future is also ours to seize through making the necessary changes. What this project documents is the fact that our community members have the philosophical, experiential and historical wisdom we need to begin these adjustments. Their wise words confirm that food is not just a business, but a core part of our spiritual, cultural and social lives. Cultivating a food secure future is not just an economic question, it is just as much an ethical, historical and social one.
Two upcoming two webinars will launch the book and stimulate more discussion on food security in British Columbia. Registration for these events (May 17th at 10am PST/May 18th at 7pm PST) can be completed by emailing [email protected] All proceeds from the sales of this book go to the Alberni Farmers’ Institute. All are welcome!