One of the streams of Branch Nebula’s work is inclusion – creating participatory works that actively engage community to be part of the artwork as the main protagonists. Branch Nebula offer ourselves as artists/art makers in residence. We have the experience and the strategies to create new works with local communities.
Food Fight: The Battle for Food Security was a unique live art event that took a socially engaged approach to raising awareness and stimulating conversations about a hidden issue: food security and access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food for everyone in Liverpool and South Western Sydney. The project collaborated with local community champions and food heroes that were led by Sydney artists Diego Bonetto and Branch Nebula, in partnership with Liverpool City Council and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. As part of the project development, we conducted a series of community engagement workshops with local partners such as the Liverpool Girls High School, Inspire Community Services and the Liverpool Community Kitchen, Food Bank, OzHarvest and Youth Food Movement Australia – to name a few.
The event took place in Bigge Park, Liverpool, on Saturday 30 April, it opened with night food markets, live cooking demonstrations from local participants, a DJ set, soap box performances by ‘Food Warriors’, and roaming ‘Food Security Guards’ engaging audience members in discussions about food security. The four-hour program was hosted by performance artist Mish Grigor, who interviewed participants in front of an audience of over 2,000 members of the general public who attended throughout the evening. Leaders in the food security sector, in costumes, designed by Carlos Gomes, reflecting their individual causes, were carried through the crowd by their teams and chanting slogans. These ‘Food Warriors’ then led the audience to the Food Fight arena, a large transparent inflatable structure designed by Genevieve Murray of Future Method Studio, which gradually rose from the ground.
Over three rounds, the Food Warriors’ teams entered the inflatable arena, taking part in a fight with rotten tomatoes, beans and strawberries – a spectacular enaction of food waste. This was witnessed by a 100-seat al-fresco banquet designed by the artists and cooked from recipes provided by local ‘Food Heroes’ from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds – giving policy makers, stakeholders, recipients of food relief and community champions a chance to engage in meaningful dialogue. Over the course of the evening, over 150 people participated in, and more than 2,000 people witnessed the spectacular live art event.
“Working poor families are now the largest single group seeking food assistance. Alarmingly, this group is more in need than the unemployed and single parent households.”
Anne Loxley for MCA C3West
Museum of Contemporary Art
Liverpool City Council
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Pastor Mick Agius
Food Security Guards
“We want to celebrate the everyday heroes who fight for food security in the local area, one meal at a time”
– Diego Bonetto
Big Park, Liverpool