Food has always been central to the SAEA Conferences, with meals sourced from local, organic farms. Decolonizing Foodways aims to take our engagement with food beyond procurement to delve into the cultural, political, and economic history of food, understanding food itself as a site for colonial/decolonial struggles. The symposium will engage with the process of learning, using decolonization education approaches. Through the pedagogical medium of cooking, eating, and storytelling, participants will grapple with what it means to liberate our diets from colonial relationships of production and consumption both in theory and in practice. We will emphasize educational methods and ideas that participants will ‘get a taste of’ and can bring home for further sharing.
Building off the work of scholar/activists Luz Calvo and Catriona Esquibel, authors of “Decolonize Your Diet: A Manifesto,” we’ll explore and question what the process of decolonizing foodways means. We may ask, for example: How do we increase the vitality of oppressed and indigenous peoples, maintain the integrity of our ancestral traditions, and embrace food and ways of cooking/eating that resist subjugation and instead nourish our palates, bodies, and lives? How do we make sense of the different realities of lived food experiences across time and space, taking into account the influences of power and privilege? How might we think through the intersections of diaspora, colonialism, assimilation, generational differences, and food gentrification/cultural appropriation? Utilizing an intersectional,audience-participatory, and multi-sensory approach, this dinner-learning symposium will include a panel of activists and scholars and a freshly-prepared meal by local chefs who cook up decolonizing possibilities.