{ in-digestion }


Indigestion is the guttural knowledge of something not sitting well; an elusive intuition of discomfort; a visceral unsettling twitch that pushes you to reprocess something which has not yet been metabolized. Indigestion represents a break in an automated system, and a moment of gained alertness in an otherwise unconscious process. Indigestion can also be the sounding of the alarm, a physical reaction to a poisonous food or a dangerous substance, to which our bodies have been exposed to without our awareness nor consent. A physical reaction to an act of unconscious bodily violence, perhaps a chemical ingested through the process of modern innovation and agricultural development.
In Nourishing Conversations, we understand indigestion as a reaction to the modern/colonial food production system, a lens which sheds light on the entanglements of pains and discomforts we experience within the current order. Thus, it enables us to respond with spaces of care. During Nourishing Conversations, we combined collective conversation with a participatory salsa workshop as a way to understand contemporary forms of slavery in Italian tomato cultivation. We held reflections on wheat by stretching the boundaries of the “Italian culinary tradition”, creating an inclusive recipe through profanation. We walked through the garden of a Sicilian commune which asserts the right to inhabit the land through its caring.
Hence, Nourishing Conversations is a practice which reacts to the feeling of discomfort towards the colonial past rooted in our food system, and responds to the colonial heritage that is still stuck in our throats. It is the collective habitation of spaces where both artistic, theoretical and cultural creation are intertwined with daily practices; where the need to take care of our bodies before joining in conversation is in itself a fundamental moment of reflection. Our understanding of the value produced during convivial moments prompted us to engage with these happenings both as a research methodology and as the topic of our investigations. When gathering around the kitchen table, the cultural, political, economic implications of food have become the focus of our inquiries.


Steffie De Gaetano, Francesca Gattello, Silvia Susanna