Berlin East-West Spatial Food Reenactment (1961-1989)

As part of my ongoing work in local food systems, I’m interested in reenacting historic East and West German food exchanges that took place over the Berlin Wall, thus building a contemporary spatial food narrative for the city and exposing its historic divided past as it relates to food culture.

I am matching persons who reenact an exchange of goods back and forth between East and West (Berlin). Packages are mailed from West to East containing foods that were scarce in former East Germany but in demand (like baking ingredients) Recipients use what is in the package to cook or bake something.

Although food is universally accessible all over Berlin today the project exposes the now hidden, historic relations of two vastly different yet parallel urban food systems and the different realities of food availability and thus evolving food culture as it related to East and West Germany. It also creates a narrative of how people living in one divided land were connected through food. From this we can learn about scarcity and abundance in relation to past and present distressed economic food systems.

Berlin Food Art Week 2015