Foodscapes at ESA 2020

The European Sociological Association’s (ESA) midterm conference for the consumption research network kicked off late August on Zoom, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

FOOD2GATGHER had a designated roundtable to discuss the use of foodscapes in researching migration and public spaces.

The roundtable started with some presentations of FOOD2GATHER members (Gun Roos, Laura Terragni and Helene Teigen), and Ecem Erol, Turkey, who has experience with foodscapes and public spaces from an architecture perspective.

Gun gave an overview of the FOOD2GATHER project and uses of foodscapes as a concept. Then Laura followed up by talking about mapping the regulations and assistance programs, providing an overview of the systems that refugees meet when arriving in Norway and how they may use food as a tool. Helene complemented Laura’s presentation by presenting a media analysis. The presentation looked at how Norwegian media covered the refugee crisis of 2015, using food as a lenses for investigation. Lastly, Ecem’s presentation was focused on children and foodscapes, and how to create foodscapes in cities through architecture.

The discussion revolved mostly around the concept of foodscapes. What it actually is, how we are using it in FOOD2GATHER, and how it can be used in other research settings. For some in the session, the concept was perceived to include everything, and as such may as well include nothing. It was pointed out that in FOOD2GATHER, it is a concept in development.

Although the online format of the session was unfamiliar for most of us, it worked surprisingly well. All in all, it was a very interesting and interactive session, where some questions and topics was aired for further discussion and exploration in the time to come.

Examples of Syrian food which was the focus of Helene’s media analysis.

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