Today, I have two very different, but yet similar videos on our food system for you. I am curious about your impressions and reactions.
The first is an art installation called “Sirens of the Lambs” by the street artist Banksy, also known for his socio-critical and beautiful graffiti art. He has a slaughterhouse delivery truck full of large, squealing stuffed animals driving around New York (first in the Meatpacking District, for the next two weeks around New York at large).
According to the (immensely entertaining) audio tour to be found on Banksy’s website, the piece is a commentary on the “casual cruelty” embedded in our food system – and for me, it’s also an interesting reminder of the division we make in our heads between cute, cuddly farm animals perfect for petting zoos and the meat that lands on our plate.
This leads us to the second video, which is a bit more serious, but just as thought-provoking. It’s an excerpt from a film called “Samsara“, described as “non-verbal documentary” and “guided meditation” that “illuminates the links between humanity and the rest of nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet.” It reminds me a bit of Our Daily Bread in its uncommented, unapologetic showing of what the industrial food system actually looks like.
As I saw both, I wondered – which is more effective to lift the veil of ignorance of consumers about the way food is being produced and how they fit in? The emotional avenue of Banksy (note the little child crying at the end of the video – it’s heartbreaking) or the simplistic, pure (and even somewhat poetic) “this is what it is” approach of Samsara?
What do you think?