« COMBAT & Résistance » is the gallery’s second exhibition.
Seven series of images are on display.
They are the fruit of the efforts of 9 artists, working alone or in collaboration, revealing their own struggle, or that of others, to open wide our eyes and minds…
« COMBAT & Résistance » is the gallery’s second exhibition.
Seven series of images are on display.
They are the fruit of the efforts of 9 artists, working alone or in collaboration, revealing their own struggle, or that of others, to open wide our eyes and minds…
SKY, WIND, EARTH, HUMANITY – Thomas Dhellemmes –
I would like to have a conversation about an idea of the land in which all the elements that make it up – sky, wind, earth, humanity – are interconnected.
“I had the pleasure of discovering the region of Chef Jean Sulpice, the double Michelin-starred chef of the Auberge du Père Bise, located in Talloires on the shores of Lake Annecy, while I was taking the photographs for his latest book Le Chef, l’Auberge et le lac *.
After long walks in the mountains with Jean, I would bring back to the Auberge “my finds, my treasures, my gatherings” – memories of these walks. I would take great pleasure in associating the chef’s products with these prizes, to signify that cooking is linked to its land”.
« Combat et Résistance » :
I am aware that the effort to eat locally sourced food is familiar to those who have been doing it for a long time. But by repeating it over and over, many more become aware of this act, and little by little, adopt this principle of consuming locally sourced, seasonal products.
These days, most people agree to consume locally whenever possible…
But we still need to learn about the products of our regions!
I hope that my playful approach will make as many people as possible take the time to discover new local products and to meet local producers, market gardeners and breeders who fight and resist every day with great conviction to defend an identity, a region and nature herself.
I would like us to walk in the forests more often (many of our towns are surrounded by them) and bring back to our kitchens the hidden treasures of nature.
I am delighted that my own children have embraced this way of consuming, and they do it with great pleasure.
This philosophy, this fight, this resistance, is also that of Chef Jean Sulpice, who has been applying it for many years to his beautiful Michelin-starred cooking.
*Jean Sulpice – Le Chef, l’Auberge & le lac – Photography: Thomas Dhellemmes – Authors: Jean Sulpice & Jacky Durand – Editions Glénat, France 2020
BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS – by Van Santen and Bolleurs –
This series depicts the unfair fight between the global food industry and our precious planet.
It shows the hardships people worldwide have to suffer to get delicious foods on our tables. We visualize the fight and struggle between the foods and the global industry that is abusing their power to enslave farmers and factory workers. They raid the planet’s natural resources to get the lowest possible price in the supermarket.
DELICACIES & DIFFICULTIES – Guillaume Czerw –
Every one of us suffers simply by watching a removal man carry a table on his shoulders; a delivery man hauling dozens of boxes; a construction worker stacking bricks, cinder blocks or bags of cement. We can picture them in old age, getting up with difficulty in the morning, their bodies bruised by years of hard work and bad posture.
But who thinks about the strawberry picker’s lumbago, the slaughterhouse worker’s arthrosis, the grape picker’s sciatica, the salad harvester’s tendinitis, or the cockle picker’s herniated disc ?
To illustrate these afflictions that silently gnaw at men and women, the photographer Guillaume Czerw followed, in the Bay of the Somme, several hard labouring shellfish pickers, for whom the body is merely a tool that they hardly notice. In season, there are between 100 and 300 of them every day, down in the foreshore when the tide is out. Their names are Henri, Freddy, Bernard, Roger. Their backs bent over their flat cockle baskets, their hands plunged in salt water, they scrape, gather, size, heap up and finally tie their harvest to bicycles without saddles that they push with difficulty through the sand. Their bodies feel nothing but pain – and the denial of suffering, a defence mechanism.
To understand the suffering these men endure in order to feed others, Guillaume Czerw photographed their “bad” postures; then he asked orthopaedic surgeon and traumatologist Cécile Laterza to decipher, through X-ray images, the pains they suffer now, and those they will suffer in the future.
Writen by Philippe Toinard (180°c/12°5)
ZOONOSE – Philippe Vaurès Santamaria –
The retort to human domination over animals – exploited or endangered species – could be, like a biological boomerang, new diseases transmissible to the human race.
Philippe Vaurès Santamaria continues his photographic research on this theme utilizing images in their barest, most descriptive form. He thus draws up a kind of inventory of man’s impact on his environment. By portraying details of animal physiognomy and giving them names of diseases – coded zoonoses – Vaurès Santamaria shows how, in a short span of time, yesterday’s necessities have become today’s excesses.
In our hands – Studio Cui Cui – Aude Boissaye & Cyril Burget
Small counterfeit shining stones, microplastic junk, scattered within the womb of the sea and of its inhabitants. In particular the mussels that – in their shell – suck up, filter and accumulate all the pollutants, thus exercising their role of “watchdog” of the sea. They bode a dark, sinister future for the oceans of the world, a swarm of skeletons evolving in the water, destined to disappear.
How does this junk fit within the cracks of the seashells ? What does this tell us ? Doesn’t this apparent beauty hide an evil outcome ?
The photographic series “In our hands” is a prayer. It builds on apparitions which embellish insidiously the essence of life, compresses the question of existence in the manner of a hand shooting dice. To seize these visions is to underline the brevity of our passage.
The wet-collodion technique allows us to restore and confront these new apparitions, through a sensitive technique of which the effect and lifespan surpass us.
I’M ONLY GOING THERE TO SHAVE THE NUTS – Laetitia d’Aboville –
I’m only going there to shave the nuts is a series of 28 images and a 3-minute film on the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. A personal story, halfway between a documentary and an artwork. In a moment when words were losing their meaning, I was able to bond with my father through images.
2015. Diagnosis. Neither he nor anyone else wants to hear about it, because at first it doesn’t even look like illness. At first, it just looks like old age. We don’t have the word “Alzheimer” in our vocabulary.
2016. I stage objects that make up his everyday life. Without realising it, I am photographing a piece of his departure.
2017. Every morning, he walks around the house. Time stands still. Or perhaps rather it is his mind. Imperceptibly, everything tilts.
2018. Admission to a closed medical unit.
My mother will never live under the same roof as her husband again.
She will no longer check to see if he has his shoes on when he goes out.
She will no longer notice that he has put his pyjamas over his coat.
She won’t have to put his teeth in anymore.
She won’t get any more calls from the police like “your husband was found at the bus station”.
She won’t have to hide his car keys anymore. Or grandfather’s sabres. She will be able to sleep soundly.
But my mother will never live under the same roof as her husband again.
2019. This time, it’s her I am photographing. My mother in all her loneliness and guilt. My mother as much relieved as abandoned.
I also spend time at the nursing home, but very soon I can’t bring myself to photograph him anymore. All the same, I need to continue. So I record our conversations.
My son was born at the same time as Alzheimer’s appeared in my father’s head. One was growing. The other was shrinking. A plate of alphabet pasta is like Proust’s madeleine. And this disease that eats words. The confusion is there.
The punctuality of the postman became a primordial thing in my father’s life. Fresh news. An obsession. Although actually reading the news no longer mattered.
Walnuts. Collecting them. Counting them. Drying them. Every year. His pride. And forcing us to eat them.
Two walnut shells, that symbolise their lives. Fragile. My parents. Two little boats in the storm. And my shadow, helpless, watching them sink.
Routine settles in, the days pass. They come again. And sweets are gobbled down as much as pills. On the sly.
SPECIMENS – Stéphane Bahic –
Specimen : Individual, item, or element which gives an idea of the species.
Every great struggle has its representatives, its examples to follow.
Individuals who express their convictions more strongly than others.
Absolute sincerity, boundless enthusiasm, rational necessity, and personal conviction are among the components of their approach.
Each makes a personal commitment, with their own personality, their words, their work and their actions: and each strives for a responsible, principled, cuisine that respects nature and humanity. Thanks to them, a better world seems possible…
This series of images expresses my desire to participate in these struggles through my chosen medium, photography.
I approached these women and men to take their portraits, exposing them to a strong light, without compromise, without artifice, just as they are. Revisiting the convention of ID photos, with texts written by themselves – or by journalists who have decided to accompany me on this journey.
A forum that I invite you to discover here: Act One of an artistic approach that can transform itself and emerge in other places and so bring the combat to many fronts.
“Cooking is a great means for breaking down stereotypes and discovering the richness and diversity that refugees bring us”
« When we left college, we set off to travel widely. We had a plan: to share a daily meal with local people, wherever we were.
Cooking is the best gateway to the world, and the most intimate. Everywhere we went, we were welcomed unconditionally, with warmth, generosity, and simplicity.
We were moved by the fate of women – girls, mothers, and grandmothers, feeding their loved ones. In their eyes we saw their pride in their families, their lands, their cultures, their countries.
In 2015, we were shocked by the refugee crisis, and outraged by the way it was reported: hysterical and abject, against a backdrop of threats of invasion. Yet we felt a personal resonance with the refugees’ journeys, because one of us grew up in India, and the other has a Romanian father who is himself a political refugee.
We felt anger and disbelief towards European apathy, and particularly towards France, the so-called land of Human Rights, which was forgetting her duty to welcome people fleeing their countries to save their lives. When we thought of how generously we had been welcomed, we saw that we were falling short.
The first thing we did was to take in Mamadou, an asylum seeker from Guinea. He is an excellent cook: and we soon realized that we had to come together around cooking.
Cooking is a great means for breaking down stereotypes and discovering the richness and diversity that refugees bring us. And this is how the Refugee Food Festival was born. Seeing people who were isolated, who had lost everything, and who had experienced huge trauma, both personal and professional, we strove to support these talents, at the level of what they were giving. We organised cooking events with French chefs, and we organised training courses that would enable them to enter the job market here in France.
There is still a long way to go. For things to truly change, we need real political action. Currently, an asylum seeker has no right to work in France, which is outrageous. A new sense of altruism needs to grow in French society. Opening our doors, our hearts, and our kitchens to others, to give them a chance to rebuild themselves.
The Coronavirus pandemic is a big challenge to our task: but in a peculiar twist of fate, at a time when so many restaurant owners run the risk of losing everything, these refugees are sharing the richness of their journeys with us. They have had to find the resources to start over from nothing and demonstrate remarkable resilience.»
Writen by Stéphane Méjanès (Food journaliste)
« To resist, as a chef, is to become part of the process of taking back control of our daily meals, in ethical collaboration with farmers and everyone in the world of food. »
Emmanuelle Riboud, Ressources
“In the wake of the financial crisis, we have reinvented ourselves as cooks.”
Is it a grocery store? Is it a fresh produce retailer? Is it a caterer? There’s no catch-all term to describe this curious all-glass boutique on rue Bréa in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. In this glass box, there is chopping and simmering, and there are crates overflowing with organic vegetables…
“When I launched in 2016, this was just a kitchen open to the street, with no menu and no description. It was a terrarium where we cooked extemporaneously, completely exposed to passers-by and customers who watched us. I don’t really like labels, such as sustainable or healthy food, which have become empty words in marketing campaigns: I prefer doing things rather than talking about them.”
This former lawyer took a basic professional cooking certificate at the age of 30 and has been the chef-owner of several establishments, particularly in the Vendée region on the Atlantic coast, hence her commitment to sustainable fishing – she is a member of the strategic committee of the Ethic Ocean association.
“Food is at the centre of the world: it is essential in our relationship with the environment, but also in our relationship with others. By choosing to work differently, outside the conventions of traditional catering, we can change the whole balance of the system.” From the outset, Ressources is “a sustainable kitchen, and a tool for meal preparation, in direct contact with consumers.”
Their bentos, made with 100% organic and seasonal products, are snapped up by the neighbourhood’s workforce; and in the evenings, locals stop by to grab hot, fresh lasagne. Schools and businesses are also big fans of Emmanuelle’s products, for whom she has become a remote canteen, and even an event caterer. She was even considering producing larger quantities at another location and turning the boutique into a simple point of sale…
Fortunately (yes, fortunately), the Coronavirus pandemic upended Emmanuelle’s plans. “In August 2020, my Executive Chef Gaetan Berthelot and I had to turn on a dime and refocus on the essentials. I now wanted to cook simply what was being harvested at the time, and not order ingredients to make recipes.”
Emmanuelle is keen to work with the ethical food producers’ group Bio Loire Océan; and with the farm “Champ des Hérissons”, which explores alternative ways of producing “by working together while keeping independence” and has become “a farmer’s market where we also cook”. The week is punctuated by two deliveries: “customers purchase the freshest and purest produce. We are happy to use what is left and which is most fragile!” Emmanuelle is a patron sponsor of the Ecotable Label and board member of the Ecotable Community: zero waste in the kitchen, where the least amount of juice is valued, where one day’s stew gives birth to the next day’s macaroni gratin with marrow bone, “in a lively and joyful creative loop, which becomes the recipe of the recipe of the recipe…”. A whole neighbourhood with well-fed bodies and minds, full of resources.
The daily meal is their battleground: “Cooking today is about working with the available calories, rather than choosing the best to enhance a plate or a vision of taste.
We put our experience at the service of consumers: whether by explaining how to prepare the raw product, or by cooking it for them.
An act of resistance, as a chef, is to become part of the process of taking back control of our daily meals, in ethical collaboration with farmers and everyone in the world of food.”
Writen by Estérelle Payany, (journalist)
«We can have an impact on the world by paying attention to what we put into our bodies. »
Frédéric Marr does not describe himself as a militant. If he is fighting a war, it is just part of counting himself among the living.
Which is coherent. At the time he dwelt in the darker side of his nature, he worked for the dark side of the food industry. And it made sense to him at the time. One being integral with the other.
Then life began shedding light on the contradictions in his behaviour. He had no choice but to see it and be changed. He was 38 years old when he hit the tipping point. And it was drastic.
Through chance, and what he wove together from Buddhist teachings, as well as his expertise in nutrition, he was led to the way of cocoa.
And rather than condemning existing chocolate treatment practices, Frédéric asked himself the question “how?”. How to go beyond current systems, and do better, for the land that sustains us, and for the people who harvest it.
As no one believed his vision of excellence, he created his own machines, his own specifications, and, by adding the notion of “raw”, laid the foundations of a new food ethics.
“We can have an impact on the world by paying attention to what we put into our bodies.”
Taking care of oneself in order to give to others sums up the dedication of this intuitive being, for whom nutritional understanding opens the way to ethical understanding. In the producing countries, farmers are paid eight times more than they can usually get, and even if the small tonnage has a relatively moderate impact on their annual income, they know that the cocoa they grow is a valuable product. Here in France, the craftsmen know that making exceptional chocolate has become a choice of a clear conscience.
Writen by Caroline Wietzel (Author)
« Since I first became an activist, my struggle has always and ever been to speak out, open up, and disrupt. » – Camille
« Professional cuisine is an industry that continues to justify violence in the name of excellence, and exploitation in the name of passion, grinding down women and men .» – Nora
Camille Aumont / @jedisnonchef @jemenbatsleclito
The French gastronomy and restaurant scene is primarily dominated by white males over 50.
Unfortunately, their favourite phrases are: “the code of silence”, “do or die”, and “do as I say not as I do”. I am a 24-year-old black French woman, and these expressions are not my definition of excellence – they are more like my definition of mediocrity.
When you run up against this scene, you’re not just taking on French gastronomy, first among world cuisines registered on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists; you’re also taking on a cultural symbol, and what that symbol yields for France, for tourism and for the state.
Do you really think that so many tourists would book tables in the greatest French restaurants, two years ahead of their arrival, if they knew these places were full of rapists, rather than the kings and queens of gastronomy? I doubt it very much.
The Coronavirus pandemic has shown how much tourists contribute to the attendance figures of restaurants. During the partial reopening between two confinements, ¾ Michelin-starred and gastronomic labelled restaurants stayed shuttered due to lack of customers. These restaurants cannot operate without tourists.
The great revelation of #MeToo is that it proves this is a systemic problem. We are dealing with chefs who manage, plan, and weigh things up in order to be able to rape, harass and dominate others, without anyone knowing. And this is more than a few isolated cases.
Since I first became an activist, my struggle has always and ever been to speak out, open up, and disrupt. I say out loud what others go through in silence. But I won’t keep quiet, because cooking has always been my profession: it’s what I trained in when I graduated from high school. I’ve worked in some of the most famous French kitchens; and victims know they can trust me, and that there’s no way you can pull one over on me.
And here’s where the drama starts (or better still, the feast, if you’ll pardon the pun). By planting seeds of doubt and letting fear and panic set in; and, without even doing anything, we are forcing institutions, professional schools, and establishments, to take a good look at themselves, and for once to take action and address these problems.
It is also about strengthening and embodying the MeToo Movement in professional kitchens and repeating over and over: “Fuck yeah, your voice counts, it is valid and credible!” It is important to be encouraging, and to bring truths from the restaurant basement to the general public.
We need to force the media, who often knowingly protect perpetrators, to talk about violence in professional kitchens.
We need to reinvent the great names, the historic establishments, and create new references.
I can’t fucking wait.
I’m going to eat: this is making me hungry.
Nora Bouazzouni / Journaliste et auteure de Faiminisme aux éditions Nouriturfu
In our patriarchal societies, sexism is systemic: it is an oppressive structure designed to block or deter women from attaining positions of responsibility, and from exerting political, economic, and intellectual influence. In other words, it is all about men holding onto their privileges, by every possible means.
Harassment, and sexist or sexual violence, are just the symptoms and the mechanisms of this well-oiled system in which the oppressors support and protect each other.
But just like the entertainment industry, and the construction and publishing sectors, why should the food service industry be spared? The lesson of the #MeToo movement is in the words, “me too”. Why should we be surprised that so few female cooks survive this boy’s club, preferring to throw in the towel before moving up in rank? In France, professional kitchens have inherited a military-style organisation in “brigades”, “ready for battle” and for the “coup de feu” (“the rush”). This is a place where the chef reigns as an absolute monarch over employees standing to attention. This is an industry that continues to justify violence in the name of excellence, and exploitation in the name of passion, grinding down women and men.
As the profession has grown in prestige, the code of silence has intensified. The media is partly responsible, since the 1980s they have praised “rock star” chefs, and even glorified them as “gods” of food. Cooks have become artists, but we need to differentiate the men from their dishes. Still, the time has come to denounce them. I hear you. I believe you.
« When we reveal the links between our food and the history of life on Earth, children begin to realize where they have come from, what they are eating, the abundance of biodiversity and the strength and fragility of nature. »
Because we are convinced that the way we eat can change the world, we believe that food education must go back to school. Food is today at the heart of contemporary issues. Its quality is declining. One French person in five admits to having difficulty eating healthy food. There is an urgent need for action.
We dream of a world where everyone has the right to eat well, and where all children have access to good, clean and fair food education.
We dream of a school in which children cultivate vegetable gardens, observe the cycle of the seasons and of life; and where they learn to cook, and to enjoy sharing what they have prepared with their loved ones.
We dream of healthy and tasty canteens, connecting meal preparation with vegetable gardens, in support of ethical networks of local producers, and which educate against waste, respect the catering trade, and make every meal a feast.
We dream of teachers, community leaders, and local elected officials who know how to incorporate healthy eating into essential learning.
In the land of culinary excellence, we are not starting from scratch. The French National Education system recognises that it has a “strategic role” to play. It encourages bringing taste education into school curricula. The National Food Council recommends “supporting nutrition education through cooking practice, exploring the sense of taste and learning gardens”.
Our organisation, L’Ecole comestible*, aims to reinforce these objectives, in school, in extra-curricular activities, and in the children’s daily lives.
When we reveal the links between our food and the history of life on Earth, children begin to realize where they have come from, what they are eating, the abundance of biodiversity and the strength and fragility of nature.
By creating gardens in schools, on rooftops, in yards and streets, and even mobile vegetable gardens, we are helping to green and refresh our surroundings. By working together and sharing recipes and vegetable gardening knowledge with families, we help strengthen social ties and encourage the involvement of adults in the daily lives of their children.
By learning how to eat better, we rekindle enthusiasm for eating, whether at home or in the canteen, and help to repair social divisions. Also, when children are gardening or cooking, they are playing, calculating, reading, studying a chemical reaction, observing geography, learning about history, touching, smelling, listening, and developing critical thinking skills… all their senses are awakened, and all school subjects are covered.
As other associations, movements and initiatives, the Edible School participates in the inevitable evolution of society.
With our patron sponsors Alice Waters, Olivier Roellinger, Michel Guérard and Françoise Nyssen, we invite you to a Delicious Revolution, from a very young age.
* The action of L’Ecole comestible is based on the setting up of sensory, cultural, and cooking workshops, the creation of vegetable gardens in schools and beyond, and work towards the improvement of canteens. Between November 2019 and June 2021, 300 workshops and more than 1,000 pupils have been involved with this program.
« Our battle is to take our destiny into our own hands and seize from the grip of industrialists the treasure of humanity, which is food. »
Like many among you, I have faced adversities. (…)
At the peak of my career, I was struck by a health problem that opened my eyes to a new responsibility: the struggle for a cause that is close to my heart – protecting talented small food producers around the world so they can make a decent living from their work. And to help these guardians of biodiversity continue preserving the heritage of food.
Many virtuous circles exist already, and often they only need a simple act to establish and save people, nature and food for us all.
Since politicians are not willing to fight, we citizens are the ones who are going to stand up for this delicious revolution.
I want to carry forward this peaceful and joyful food uprising with you all together, in unity. Our battle is to take our destiny into our own hands and seize from the grip of industrialists the treasure of humanity, which is food. Because food is our first medicine, our heritage, and our culture.
It is essential to pass on the taste for ecologically healthy cooking to our children, just as we teach them to walk, to read and to count.
Given the state of the planet, cooking is one of the keys to the ecological transition that our society is undergoing.
Olivier Roellinger – from Pour une révolution délicieuse – Editions Fayard, Paris 2019