Food Circle/Collective Kitchen is a participatory project created by Cohabitation Strategies co-founder Lucia Babina in collaboration with Solid’Arles, a non profit association facilitating inhabitants accessibility to local affordable food, and Petit à Petit: Coopérer pour Vivre Ensemble, a local nonprofit who engages Arles inhabitants to cooperate for a better environment and cohabitation. Lucia Babina developed this project in the neighborhood of Griffeuille during her residence at Atelier LUMA (2017-2018). The project is an exploratory investigation using food-related knowledge and edible resources. Engaging local experts from this Arlesian neighborhood, the project tests several ideas around food waste, food cycles, local gardening, food accessibility, and shared kitchens.
Griffeuille is a Quartier Prioritaire de la Politique de la Ville (QPPV) in the Municipality of Arles, along with Barriol and Le Trébon. In 2015, Quartier Prioritaires replaced de Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS) and the Zones de Redynamisation Urbain (ZRU), which were urban areas defined by the public authorities to be the priority target for policy-making by the city considering local issues. Griffeuille is a working class neighborhood located in the eastern part of Arles where French and immigrant communities live together. Unemployment is one of the most pressing issues in this neighborhood leading to poverty and lack of food accessibility.
Food Circle/Collaborative Kitchen started as an empowering project to share food knowledge with inhabitants and facilitate accessibility to healthy food. Together with the botanist Benedicte Hossenlopp we created a series of foraging and cooking workshops discovering local wild plants, co-creating new zero-waste recipes considering local food resources, and taking care of the natural and urban environment. The workshops led to the creation of two dinner events where local wild plants were creatively used as ingredients for the LUMA Days Event in 2017 and 2018. More than 100 guests were invited to each dinner. The success of these workshops and events have been the motivation to develop an ecological, collective, and collaborative kitchen in the neighborhood of Griffeuille. This kitchen is planned to be developed in the coming years as a cooperative of local inhabitants and organizations producing healthy and affordable food, facilitating accessible cooking workshops, and organizing professional cooking education with the goal of producing zero-waste food. For more information about this project, click here.