SPUD: Jiwar Barcelona

Research  residency with Jiwar Creation and Society, Barcelona.

The residency provided an opportunity to make a performative event and hold SPUD workshops and public presentations that reflected upon the parallels between the violence that structured the economic and social conditions of the Irish Famine and the economic consequences of globalization playing out through migration today.

Parmentier Feast 21st May 2015

This was the first of a series of food events that will re-enact the actions of the French pharmacist Antoine Augustine Parmentier.

Parmentier changed cultural attitudes towards the potato in France during a period of continuous famine in the 18th century. The performative dinner provided a frame for discussion on sustainable food production, the migration of seeds and people, food security and the interconnected nature of rural urban relationships. 

The guests all have a particular interest in food and culture and the event was an opportunity to share views on the role of durational, socially engaged cultural activism as a necessary counterpoint to ‘branded’, spectacle and festival-based cultural tourism and consider the role that ‘unbranded’ culture can play in unpacking complexities around food production, social justice and sustainability today.

See menu  Jiwar_Menu_for_Parmentier_Feast.jpg

sm Chario soup

Chairo is a traditional soup made with chuño, (dried potatoes), meat, and vegetables and is one of the most beloved of Bolivian soups. It is also traditional in southern regions of Peru such as Arequipa and Puno.

Great Group shoy

Participants anticlockwise from forground: Antoni Miralda Artist/food activist. Since the 1970s Miralda has questioned whether both food memory and alternative modes of conceiving our relationship to food, nature and the environment can represent forms of resistance and survival thus making room for something different and unknown. Started Food CulturaRaquelFernández, Computational linguist carrying out research at the interface of cognitive science and artificial intelligence. She  is  assistant  professor at  the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam, and a founding editor of the open-access journal "Dialogue & Discourses”. Eduard Miralles, Chair of the Interarts Foundation focused on international cultural cooperation. Cultural relations advisor at the Barcelona Provincial Council in which he managed the Cultural Studies and Resources Center (1996-­‐2004) and the biennial “Interacció” on cultural policies (1996-­‐2002). He is also a consultant on culture, cooperation and development for several international organisations. Paula Gicovate (Rio de Janeiro) Brazilian novelist and screenwriter who has published four books, one of which is currently being translated into Spanish; Pau Catà, cultural researcher and coordinator of CeRCCa Center for Research and Creativity Casamarles, and a PhD Fellow at the university of Edinburgh; Rosi Morales is a cultural manager working in the development, management, production, coordination and communication of artistic and cultural projects. From 2005 to 2008 she was the general manager of the FoodCultura Foundation. In 2010 she created Diógenes an independent cultural center. Ahmed Ghazali is a Moroccan/Canadian expert in cultural engineering and the director of the company K.NOUR, dedicated to the design and construction of museums and exhibitions. He is also an award winning playwright whose plays have been translated and widely staged in different countries; Norlynne Coar, resident visual artist from the USA; Pius Alibek has a degree in English Philology by the Al-­‐Mustanssiriea University in Baghdad and UB (Universitat de Barcelona). He spends part of his time on lecturing, cooking, writing and some translation. Mireia Estrada Gelabert Cultural Producer, intercultural activist and cofounder of Jiwar Creation and Society, which welcomes artists, designers and thinkers from around the world and she has many years of professional experience in cultural projects and plans related to immigration, integration and social inclusion in Catalonia, Spain and Morocco. Deirdre O’Mahony SPUD initiator and Artist/Producer. O’Mahony is an occasional writer, a lecturer at CCAM, GMIT Galway and an artist researcher based in the rural in the West of Ireland.

smhachis Parmentier with colcannon

Hachis Parmentier is one of the many dishes that Parmentier is credited with inventing here it was topped with Colcannon, an Irish dish traditionally eaten during the ‘hungry’ months, before the new potatoes are ready. 

Speaking about the Famine Irish Migration and Philip Cheveron

Music and poetry and readings punctuated the dinner, bringing voices from the artist’s own history into the discursive frame, a necessary insertion of the emotional and subjective memories prompted by food. 

small Chuno and Spud Pamphlet 

SPUD Container Planting Workshop 11:00 - 2:00 Jiwar Gardens Sat 16th May

 Planting: Using “found” containers, i.e.  shopping bags and larger building site containers. The workshops demonstrated the use-value of potato container planting which produces a large crop within limited spaces and is very relevant for small urban gardens, apartment balconys and patios.

IMG 0055 



sm workshop 


SPUD Container workshop and public presentation at the Farmer's Market, Mercat de Pagès

Facilitated and funded by Espai Avinyo,  on 9th May 2015. 

Jiwar 4

Demonstration of how to plant in building material containers. The white bags are planted with 3-4 seed potatoes, as they grow more soil is added until the bag is full. Potatoes will form along along the entire buried stem.

They are ready for harvesting when the majority of the tops have withered; this can be from 12 to 20 weeks after planting, depending on the variety.

mixing compost

Coconut bricks were rehydrated and mixed with worm compost 60/40 for planting.

planting bags

Shopping bags with holes in the bottom being planted with seed potatos.

SPUD Bags and leaflets

A Pdf of a 'How to grow potatoes in containers in Catalan, Spanish and English is available here


Stall and bags   Many thanks to Mireia, Francesc who did an amazing job of translation and Guillim for the great organisation and care.