STORY FOR FOOD
>> an alternative economy based on stories “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Philip Pullman In the current era of displacement and digital disruption, we often lack grounding and belonging. We need stories to lead us through, to empower us and often to humanise us. Stories are our intangible wealth. They carry a transformative and potentially healing power. Our own stories form part of our personal and cultural identity, while the stories of others can inspire and guide us. STORY FOR FOOD (SFF) aspires to address our need for stories: encourage story-sharing, train our listening skills and contribute to the collecting and archiving of undocumented stories. Concretely, SFF will be a story-house: a unique coffee shop in Europe where you can trade your story for food and drinks. The stories will be recorded to help enable the cafe shop to become an audio archive for anyone interested in accessing the stories for educational and research purposes or just for artistic inspiration. It will include a cafe space, a recording studio for sharing stories and an archive room for listening to stories. Storytelling and listening workshops will be held, as well as FOODBACK, SWEETBACK, ARTBACK, MUSICBACK and AROMABACK events where a selection of stories are translated into specific food, object, melody or perfume. Through this, STORY FOR FOOD will become the platform that permits stories to travel from a chosen memory or imagination to somebody else's reflection or creation. Finally, it will focus partly on stories of particular groups (Alzheimer, blind, homeless, refugee, children, old people etc) in an attempt to foster healing, integration and inclusiveness. It aspires to promote oral storytelling and collect undocumented stories, stories that otherwise would be lost. Its’ mission is to help value stories in society by encouraging the practise of sharing them and, of course, foster the culture of listening to them. The initiative STORY FOR FOOD has a triple benefit: empowerment, inspiration and the potential for an alternative economy. Firstly, the act of sharing empowers the person who offers the story and enables him/her to (re)connect with it, and experience emotional relief. Secondly, encountering stories from diverse experiences or cultural traditions is inspiring for those engaged in any kind of artistic creation, while it may become useful material for scientific research. Thirdly, this concept offers a model for an alternative economy: trading the intangible for the tangible. It hopes to expand to similar initiatives in the future and in different parts of the world, e.g. STORY FOR TAXI, STORY FOR LAUNDRY, STORY FOR TICKET etc We are interested in the stories only YOU can tell, the unheard voices. We want to find out about the quality of our listening and see if it is possible to develop our listening skills. We want to know what happens both to the teller and listener when they share a story and how a memory can be translated into food, object, a perfume or a melody. We wonder why we are eager to share personal stories with strangers, if time affects the quality of a story and how it could be used creatively. We would like to find out what makes a good archive and to investigate the kinds of stories that artists, writers, researchers are missing. How do our stories travel through the bodies of others, inspire new creations, or provide the ground for new emotional experiences? Imagine if the waiting room of a hospital or a train station could be filled with the stories or if the lonely could hear the voices of others in headphones attached to park benches. Finally, we aspire to create both a virtual and a physical community, with an aim to bring people together through their individual stories. Wealth is associated with money. Let’s challenge that! Let’s associate wealth with stories. Let’s trade our stories! What would the world look like if we introduced a parallel intangible currency? Is it possible to trade story for food? How It Works We record your story and it becomes part of our story-archive. The story can be true or fictitious, or true with fictitious elements, like a fictionalised memory etc. Any story, in any language, theme and duration is welcome, provided it is previously undocumented. For every story you offer to our story-archive, you get a token that is exchanged for food or drinks. Anyone who is interested will be given access to our story-archive, where the stories are displayed anonymously and with tags. On special occasions, together either with your permission or after your request, we translate your story into food (FOODBACK), sweets (SWEETBACK), music (MUSICBACK), object (ARTBACK) or perfume (AROMABACK), as a way to create a conduit to allow your story to travel from your memory or imagination to the inspiration and creation of another person.
>> In the current prototype phase (2017), we are collaborating with existing establishments (coffee shops, bookshops, ice-cream shops, cinemas etc), where we offer an item connected with the establishment (a coffee, an ice-cream, a reduced ticket etc) for every story.
The initiative STORY FOR FOOD is based on the concept STORY FOR # an alternative economy based on stories, as developed by Christina Kyriazidi in 2016, and it has the following mission: >> to create a physical space where stories are treated as a new kind of currency, providing an example for an alternative economy based on stories >> to build an audio story archive of previously undocumented stories: personal and fictitious >> to promote oral storytelling >> to encourage people to imagine and share stories, connect with their cultural background and benefit from the healing power of sharing and listening >> to become the platform that permits stories to travel from someone’s memory or imagination to someone’s else reflection or creation through events like “FOODBACK”, "SWEETBACK", “ARTBACK”, “MUSICBACK” and "AROMABACK", where stories are translated into specific food, object, melody and perfume. >> to focus partly on stories of particular groups (Alzheimer, blind, homeless, refugee, children, old people etc) in an attempt to foster healing, integration and inclusiveness >> to help value stories in society by encouraging the practise of sharing them and foster the culture of listening to them >> to create both a virtual and a physical community, and bring people together through their individual stories