School Lunch 2050
A project that presents food system and climate change research through four realistic looking lunch set displays allowing the viewer to immerse and wonder “which future do I want to eat?”
Japan | 1 April 2019 – ongoing
The difference between a 1.5- and a more than 2-degree world is enormous in terms of potential impact on our lives and those of future generations, yet this insight and its urgency has still not been fully acknowledged in the media landscape and public consciousness in Japan. Furthermore, “future food” continues to evoke images of silver-bullet, high-tech innovations yet to be developed, while in the shades of Japan’s reality productive climate-friendly alternatives already exist on the ground and go unnoticed and unsupported.
Against this backdrop, FEAST created in 2019/20 the science-based art installation “School Lunch 2050” to raise awareness and engage the public in discussions about present food systems, possible futures, and food imaginaries in light of the Paris goals. The chance to physically, mentally and emotionally confront what possible consequences policy decisions taken today could have on climate change and vice versa gave an opportunity to mindfully challenge widely-held values, worldviews, and understandings of futures and food system trajectories.
Four scenarios emerged from the assumptions of whether global temperature will be limited to 1.5-degrees Celsius or increase beyond 2-degrees, and whether the food provisioning will be localized or globalized. Japan’s current lifestyle, trade-dynamics, climate change models, environmental issues, and known social and technological developments in the food sector provided the basis for the scenarios upon which four school lunch menus, and then finally realistic looking food samples with hand-drawn explanatory panels were created. Complementary to the installation, the bilingual homepage school-lunch2050.org (and “kyushoku2050.org” in Japanese) was launched in March 2021 to allow for interactive online exploration of the scenarios by tapping, scrolling and clicking, as well as provide references for each scenario, and survey users’ understanding of food futures.
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