How can we feed the planet while guaranteeing good, clean and fair food for everyone? According to Slow Food, the answer lies in taking biodiversity as our starting point. At Expo, we will be communicating our vision through an interactive exhibition where visitors can read, watch and play, grasping the significance of our fight to save biodiversity with every step. The “Discover Biodiversity” exhibition is divided into various sections, with large wooden tables dedicated to different themes.
The Tree of Food installation, for example, shows how food is made up of many different interweaving aspects, all communicating with each other: language, culture, place, social and environmental sustainability, the five senses, conviviality and much more. Visitors can help to expand this vision by writing down what food means to them on a label and hanging it from the tree, whose branches will become ever fuller during the six months of the event.
Another installation—the Corn Man—is based on the world’s most popular crop. It will explore the industrial foods that use this ubiquitous cereal grain, identify the names it hides behind on food labels, and examine its origins and the countries that currently produce it. Small-scale food production is now set against this giant, the flagship product of industrial agriculture and a constant presence on supermarket shelves.
A huge Hourglass will represent the increasingly accelerated pace with which we are losing biodiversity, and a series of photos will show the thousands of varieties of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cattle, goats, sheep and other animal breeds at risk of extinction.
This is just the start. Different tables will display the increasing divide between food production systems. A comparison between two photos is enough to show the difference: For example, one photo showing battery chickens, trapped in tiny cages under artificial lighting, and another showing hens able to range freely around the farmyard. Indonesian jungle cut down to make way for expanses of oil-palm plantations, or a stretch of well-preserved forest.
Visitors will also be able to follow the most important steps in the history of agriculture, tracing from when humans began to abandon hunting and gathering, up to the development of farming as an industry.
A series of gigantic objects representing some of the most common industrial foods, from sodas to snacks, will be accompanied by explanations of their consequences for our health and the environment, along with suggestions for alternative options.
We’ll also be telling many positive stories. A set of screens connected to one of the tables will show short documentaries and videos, presenting concrete experiences of the food communities, the Presidia, the Earth Markets and projects from many other organizations and associations.
Get ready to walk, to discover, to observe. Bring your friends, your colleagues and your children. The more we know, and the more people who know, the more the protection of biodiversity will be a shared battle.
Entry to the “Discover Biodiversity” exhibition is free.
Some activities have been specifically designed for children.
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