Shooting video on the streets of Coventry

“Our Food” is a project which we have been co-producing with Solidarity Hull, the Coventry Men’s Shed with the support of CAWR to use food as a lens to explore social justice issues in the UK.

NOMAD has always showed an interest in using food to help break down barriers and assist us in bringing people together to share stories and learn about different cultures. We have been really passionate about food justice because of how disadvantaged young people from refugee backgrounds are affected by the food system, a lack of resources and the environment they live in can have an impact on the health and wellbeing of the communities we work in.

We believe in looking at the food system through the experiences of members of the communities which live in and around the environment surrounded by chicken shops, betting shops and pawn shops. This project will create a platform for people to engage in a real dialogue about food justice by starting with their own experiences and communities first to understand the wider impact of the food system locally and globally. This is very valuable as people are able to look at the impact food has on their own health and wellbeing as a community.

Since our involvement in the Our Food project NOMAD has been able to create a platform for dialogue which introduces food justice to communities who do not have opportunities to engage in these issues.

Phase 1

Harrow Food Justice Event–   We brought together 35 young people who participated in a 1 day event with workshops exploring food justice. We ran creative workshop’s looking at food through our own experiences as well as injustice around the world. We engaged people in debates and discussions which looked at how colonisation abroad has had an impact on food systems.

Vox box filming day in Harrow– We publically interviewed 9 different members of the public from harrow to find out different people’s 0pinions on our food system.

Filming and workshop in harrow– Interactive workshop looking at food, discrimination, money and the environment in small groups where people could have a deeper discussion about their own journeys and what food justice means to us as an individuals and a community.

Here is short film of our findings of the phase 1 of the project.

In December Javier from Solidarity Hull, Asha, Hinda, Fatma and Tom from Coventry University presented an interactive theatre performance at City Food Symposium 2016 and a Performance and Audience at City University  around issues exploring identity, culture, gentrification, food trends and the injustice of fair trade in Colombia.  The aim of this was to get a reaction from the audience to have a better understanding and awareness of the issues directly affecting the people they are researching and writing about in their communities.

Phase 2

Get fit with NOMAD

Over the last 5 years Asha who is one of our co-founder herself lost 10 stone in weight, which has been part of a long journey of building on her own confidence, understanding nutrition and rebuilding her knowledge around food. Her passion for fitness and health grew which changed her life whilst having a huge influence on the community of young women around her she used NOMAD as a platform to support other young women in the community understanding and challenging our community’s relationships with our food system.  Nomad was a platform where she used health and fitness training people together to build on self-esteem and confidence but it also became a space we challenging the issues we faced as young women and men in society together. We also would find spaces where we would teach people about nutrition and how to make healthy alternative meals cheap whilst looking at the relationship we all have with food in a positive way.

This project engaged young people from all over London exploring food through fun and challenging the chicken and chips culture we are exposed to by making affordable smoothies and cooking weekly healthy meals together. This space was conscious of the process engaging young people in the social issues we faced in our community such as poverty and crime which was related to our food system.

It also raised awareness about where we brought our foods such as the impact was we started to go to local fruit markets rather than supermarkets which was cheaper and supporting local smaller business.

Phase 3 – OUR FOOD Event

In the past year we’ve worked on putting together all our findings and learning of this project into a film.

“The Power of Food” is a special news report exploring our experiences and the relationship we have with food. This news report is the conclusion of our year long research project about food justice. What the term means to us and what type of food is available in our local area. This report is the result of encouraging people who aren’t “foodie’s to take action and generate their own opinions about Food Justice.