Waterford Bioregion Food Manifesto

We want a world where everything is connected, from rocks to the human heart.
We want our children and grandchildren to know the taste of wild salmon.
We want to be good guardians of the soil and of our traditions.
We want to become good ancestors.

Last summer, I worked with GIY (Ireland), Wind&Bones and Dr Sarah Prosser on a little project to develop a manifesto for future foods in the Waterford Bioregion in Ireland. On a very rainy Sunday afternoon, we crowded into the upstairs room at the GIY headquarters, along with a group of local food producers, community activists and consumers, and we got our heads together to think about food, how it is produced, and the relationships between food, well-being and community.

We read some contemporary and historical manifestos (including Tania Bruguera’s wonderful Manifesto of Artists Rights, and Giacomo Balla’s enjoyably bonkers Futurist Manifesto of Men’s Clothing), and we worked together to find common ground so that we could build a manifesto of our own.

I’ve worked on manifesto-writing with groups in all kinds of places, from Bulgaria to Myanmar, and this session was particularly fruitful. By the end of the workshop, we had a rough draft that Sarah went away and worked up to a final piece, in consultation with the group members. The final document is both beautiful and moving.

The manifesto is now available on YouTube, read by Ray McGrath, who took part in the workshop.

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