Something Held in the Mouth

3-6 October 2019
Artists in the programme include Jorge Menna Barreto (Brazil), Leone Contini (Italy), Amanda Couch (UK), Marta Fernández Calvo (Spain), Lucky Moyo (UK), Clare Qualmann (UK), Raju Rage (UK), Daniella Valz Gen (UK), Helen Davison (UK), Dana Olarescu (Romania/UK), Cherry Truluck (UK).

in partnership with Custom Folkestone, Creative Folkestone, Counterpoint Arts, Centre for Biocultural Diversity at the University of Kent and Folkestone Fringe

Something Held in the Mouth was a four day festival bringing together artists and creative practitioners to present a diverse programme of art, exhibitions, events, workshops and talks about the poetics of food, the politics of its migrations. The programme aimed to explore somatically the ways in which our bodies hold these food stories. The festival convened dialogues around the way food crosses boundaries and creates connections across the world. Collectively we explored the intersections between art, food and local markets to think humbly about how artists might create different kinds of alliance through geopolitical conversations.

Highlights from the program included Picnic Poetico, a collective picnic hosted by the gracious Marta Fernandez Calvo. Picnic Poetico drew on the relationship between language of food and artists in the kitchen, this event was held around a fire and each person bought food and a poem that was enlivened by the food. East End Jam explored the abundant urban Fruitfulness of the East end of Folkestone and ended with a discovery of a rouge apple tree in the wilds of the Folkestone Warren.(Be)longing ((Be)Longing) an exhibition of new work by artist Daniella Valz Gen  explored the connection of migrant bodies to the land through complex portraits of artists in UK soils

50 Years, 50 Stories 50 Farmers’ Tales is an exhibition created by the University of Kent Ethnobotany department which showed some really fascinating practices of food and land custodianship across Kent. And we cooked a community feast designed by artist Zimbabwean Lucky Moyo who performed with his band at a community meal with over 100 people in attendance.

We organised Mouthings a day of conversations, lectures and performances (Mouthings Symposium) about the intimate and global complexities of food production

Under/Valued Energetic Economies’ and ‘Recipes For Resistance’

Raju Rage

These current projects are in progress exploring value, care, sustainability, colonialism, capitalism and alternative economies and memory, migration, adaptability and resistance respectively.

Becoming with Wheat (and Other More-Than-Human Others)

Amanda Couch

‘Becoming with Wheat (and Other More-Than-Human Others)’ explores our companioning with wheat as well as the other human and more-than-human entities that are entangled within this relationship. Through cultivation, observation, conversation, filming, photography, anthotype making, etching/nature printing, wheat weaving, performance, writing, cooking and eating, Amanda Couch hopes to practice a more sensitive way of being in the world, to connect landscape, food and the body.

East End Jam

Clare Qualmann

Clare shared her experiences of East End Jam a walking, foraging, picking a preserving project that celebrates the unexpected fruitfulness of the urban environment. This followed an urban foraging expedition led by Clare in Folkestone earlier in the festival.

Casa De Comidas

Marta Fernández Calvo

Casas de Comidas is an intriguing phenomenon whereby power was seized by women through food and recipe-sharing during the dictatorship in Spain. This talk examines both the historical context as well as the current situation in which social changes are precipitating the decline of the tradition whilst the recipes it produced continue to echo through family dinners and kitchens.

Lunch – provided by Custom in conversation with Raju Rage

POTATO contours and migrations

Daniella Valz Gen

A mytho-poetic meandering through stories of the potato, exploring the potatoes ecology, based on indigenous kinship with the non-human. This is both an origin story and a hero’s journey about a root vegetable that has shaped migrations across the world

The Cucuzza Channel Drift / The Channel Drift / Channel Drift /

Leone Contini

As vessels to secure and disperse genetic information across space and time, seeds rove and germinate beyond the State borders, transmuting foreign soils into a piece of home, from the Chinese family-farms in Tuscany or the Bengalese ones in the countryside of Palermo, to the Italian gardens in the industrial periphery of Lyon. Old and new migrants, future natives.

Deprivatizing the Digestive System

Jorge Menna Barreto

The fires in the Amazon rainforest have made it to the headlines around the globe. Despite the international population’s concern, little has been said about why these fires are happening and what will become of these vast areas. What does art have to do with that and how can we engage in such issues?

Gaping Maw

Helen Davison

An intermittent performance work exploring the role of the mouth in vocal / sensorial / palpable communication. Building on previous work exploring the mouth and the voice.