We explored  the Cost of Food creatively  through  different  workshops, following a  keynote speech by Dr. habil. Ulrich Hoffmann, UNCTAD



Infographics are a powerful, yet dangerous tool: They turn stats into stories, data into drama and numbers into narratives – but can also misrepresent data. We explored different food stories told by infographics and created our own. The participants visualized the same data set into quite different pictures about the bright or bleak past and future of our food. Interactive Presentation

For similar workshops look up Green Challenge Accepted.


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Visual Art

2014-02-22 16.41.50A group of 12 students reflected about the Cost of Food topic and had the aim to create a work of art during the Visual Arts Workshop that took place on Saturday the 22nd of February. The whole group collected ideas on the topic and selected 3 themes to depict on 3 pairs of canvases. On each pair of canvases the participants represented the current and an imagined future situation of the food system. The titles of the works of art were: “Transparency?”, “Environment” and “Out of balance”.
20140222_120516The workshop provided the space to imagine alternative ways (not conventional in academic circles) to communicate such a controversial topic as the food system. The messages expressed in the artworks were deep and showed the power of images in awareness raising.

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The theatre workshop on Saturday morning started with a brief exercise to stimulate participants‘ creativity and identify a topic for the theatre play.  Each participant shared their personal views  on the „cost of food“ by presenting an object they had brought with them to the workshop. The objects included  traditional food from Ghana, a glass of water, a toy tractor, a poster on the good principles of regional and ecological agriculture, an apple, and plastic waste.

Two topics for theatre plays were selected through this process: plastic waste and consumption patterns. The workshop participants split into two groups to develop their plays with the assistance of a moderator. Of course, there was time to have a proper lunch featuring local food from Freiburg!

Finally, the two plays were enacted before all those who were present at the venue. The feedback from the workshop participants and audience demonstrated the strength of this medium in dealing with critical environmental issues in an entertaining, reflective and creative way.

Group 1: Plastic waste
“The life-cycle of plastic finds its end in Peter’s stomach and causes his death.“ The group used this drastic statement to explore the questions: Who is responsible for Peter‘s death? The users of plastic bags, the shop that gives them away for free or even Peter himself?

Group 2: Consumption patterns
The group questioned the practices of eco-labelling and „healthy“ consumption patterns that accelerate global trade patterns e.g. transporting German apples to Ghana.

Science Slam

Can you present the cost of food in an entertaining and inspirational way ?

Challenge accepted for the 9 participants of the Science Slam workshop.

After a brief introduction on how to best use Science Slam, the participants presented their ideas on the topic and gathered in groups to work on an unconventional presentation.

With presentations on “Let the bee be: John Lennon revival to the actual topic of pollinators’ disappearing”, “Fututarians: time is required to make conscious decisions about food” and “Waste of food & opportunity costs”, the participants succeed in communicating complex ideas in an entertaining way to an enthusiast audience !


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