February 18, 2016
At the start of our program, we convene on a scenic site. The site acts as a ‘common ground’, a place where old stereotypes are relinquished and new cooperative rules apply. The collective meal, through its rituals and participatory design, invariably draws people together. Breaking with the past and reestablishing dialogue is challenging enough, with traumas echoing from generation to generation, but how to rally people around a new, common perspective?
We gather at a magnificent site for a reason: The beauty of the site and the food at the table reminds people of the riches nature has bestowed upon them. People may not unite behind a common flag or a common view of their past but they can unite behind the idea of stewardship of their land. Fronterra is a call to reappraise what constitutes the most tangible shared asset: the land, the landscape, its produce and the crafts that have evolved over the ages.
In modern times, people have not just become alienated from each other, but also from their environment. They migrate in mass numbers to the metropolitan centers, hoping to be part of the affluent urban tribe. Many grow disillusioned once they discover this perspective is out of their reach. Instead of answering to the call of populist leaders who claim this future is their natural right and their right alone, people should realize their best bet is all around them. At the scenic site, the notion of stewardship, of together nurturing the local natural and cultural resources, will dawn naturally on the participants.
The goal of climbing big mountains should be to attain some sort of spiritual and personal growth, but this won’t happen if you compromise away the entire process.
Yvon Chouinard, Founder Patagonia
We truly think your money is well spent here. And if your grant is substantial, your are welcome to witness how it works.
“Food, at the moment, seems to be the only unifying force in this highly fractured place” Ottolenghi