Bristol Museum – 30 March 2019

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The Food Journey at Bristol Museum

Date: Saturday 30th March

Time: 1.30 pm to tour collection followed by a 2.00 pm Journey which lasts for one hour followed by one hour’s reflection and structured discussion. Close and departure at 4.15 pm latest. Museum closes at 5.00 pm.

Dress: Casual, informal, (be prepared to go barefoot, if you’d like to be really immersed!)

Attitude: open to learning!

Tickets: Free, 30 places available, book on the Bristol Museum website.

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Bristol Museum is a popular destination found after a leisurely climb at the top of Park Street, across the road and to the right on Queen’s Road. (MAP).

A building dating back to 1823, so completed before emancipation from slavery in the Caribbean in 1834, now hosts, amongst a range of Egyptian and other historical antiquities, a collection of a Scottish, Anglican Priest, the reverend, John Lindsay, who arrived in Jamaica in the mid 18th Century.

The so called ‘Pro-slavery priest’, Lindsay, produced an incomplete, unpublished five-volume work detailing the flora and fauna of Jamaica in paintings and in writing. Although he noted local use of some of these species, and wrote both his own ‘factual’ accounts and works of fiction, set in the era of enslavement, these are to be critically interrogated and the Food Journey experience enables us to further explore the context of this work and the implications of the pooling of bio-diversity and culture which constitutes Jamaican botany and lifestyle, better understood by Jamaicans as part of what constitutes ‘livity’.

Afriveg moi

Do you know the difference between the breadnut and the breadfruit? Do you know how it got to Jamaica and why? How many types of yam have you ever eaten and how do they contribute to Caribbean resilience? What are the real politics of the use of Bananas and plantains in Jamaica?

The workshop will explore Caribbean food histories and present day relations with plant foods and the natural world in dialogue with the collections at Bristol Museum.

The Food Journey

‘We will be taken on a journey which symbolises the context in which we began to tear asunder a nurturing interdependency with Mother Earth. We began to mine our own umbilicus, to produce, as we did so, the beginnings of corporate exploitation of the body of the Earth.

It began with the incorporation of its people.’

As an immersive, multi-sensory exploration of the different levels of human relationship with the planet, The Food Journey continues to surpass its initial intentions to simply provide an experience in which we can reconnect with an embodied narrative about food.

We, the participants, begin to question – everything:

Our relationship to each other

Our relationship to the idea of nature, and

Our relationship to the continuation of life on Earth and the way in which we are colonising our futures.

The Bristol museum collection, ‘Elegancies of Jamaica’, which has been described in more detail here and here, is one such narrative which can be explored through the filter of The Food Journey.

Watercolour illustration from old manuscript showing papaya fruit cut open, papaya flowers closed and open for botnaical identification and a landscape in the background with a papya tree, palm tree, water and hills.
Illustration of papaya (Carica papaya L.) by Rev John Lindsay. Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives.


Mama D Ujuaje is a community learning facilitator of Jamaican heritage, trained in tropical agriculture and also a food justice advocate who seeks to bring live, embodied learning to those who seek transformative experiences as an aid to transforming the current narratives of oppression and dispossession. She is passionate about the elevated insights and practices that can result and which rupture and disrupt coloniality moving into freedoms and collective autonomies which are necessary for a sustained life on Earth for all people.

Jason Irving is a trained medical herbalist and doctoral candidate who seeks to explore plant and people relationships further, through researching herbal tonics produced in Jamaica and their use by people of Jamaican heritage as well as the health sovereignty aspects of their use.

To take part in the Food Journey and explore ‘Elegancies of Jamaica’, please register here on Eventbrite (open soon).

Once registered, please complete this short form here (form) to ensure that we can take care of your dietary and physical wellbeing during the partly blindfolded journey. There is an upper limit to numbers that can participate (32) on this occasion, so we will be taking bookings on a first come first served basis. A returnable deposit to secure you place and ensure appropriate preparation will be taken.

Further joining instructions will be sent out two and then one week/s before the date of the Journey.

This event has been made possible thanks to funding from the British Society for the History of Science (BSHS).