Incom ist die Kommunikations-Plattform der weißensee kunsthochschule berlin

In seiner Funktionalität auf die Lehre in gestalterischen Studiengängen zugeschnitten... Schnittstelle für die moderne Lehre

Incom ist die Kommunikations-Plattform der weißensee kunsthochschule berlin mehr erfahren


nur für Incom-Mitglieder


Wednesdays 10:00 - 13:00


This course places food culture at its fore and deliberates on how the cultivation of food crops, the spaces in which and how food is cooked, as well as the spaces in which and how food is eaten are related to spatiality and spatial strategies.

Cultivation: There are no natural monocultures. Monoculture is a colonial and capitalist system of cultivation that was the driving force for the transatlantic enslavement violence and that led to the amassing of wealth for Europeans while dehumanizing, disprivileging and disenfranchising indigenous and non-Western peoples in Africa, Asia and the Americas. The plantation enterprise (sugar, coffee, cocoa, banana etc) that gave form to the idea of monoculture in the past 500+ years destroyed traditional and indigenous farming systems that were usually ecologically sustainable and diverse and built on holistic epistems that considered plant, human, soil, insects and other beings as part of a larger connected whole. The architecture of the plantation economy still has an impact on spatiality till date if one considers the forceful displacement and enslavement of people f.e. from Africa to the Americas to work on plantations, or indentured labour exploitation from India to South Africa or the Caribbeans. The environmental crisis in which the world finds itself today is also a consequence of the capitalist and colonial monoculture system that led to soil exhaustion, soil infertility, loss of indigenous crop types due to the emphasis and preference of cash crops meant for exportation, erosions etc. Another example of spatial strategies in food/plant cultivation is the greenhouse complex and how it is tied to colonialism. As Luis Berríos-Negrón points out in “Colonial Memory, Climate Change, and the role of the Greenhouse in the Colonial Project”  the invention of the Greenhouse “was the moment when man suddenly had the power to disassociate from the seasons…and transgress the hemispheres.”

Cooking: After food is cultivated it is transformed to a consumable state through cooking, drying, frying, baking or some other process. The spaces in which these transformations are done vary from geography to geography, with time and technological dispositions. One point of departure is the Achombo House in Cameroon, where puff puff and beans and pap are made. The Achombo House is a gathering spot, an eating spot, a court, a social networking space avant la lettre, a counseling space and much more. Some people, especially hard laborers, wake up, either head straight to the Achombo House if they are single or eat a bit at home, then go to the Achombo House to sit and eat, not necessarily because the food is better, but to be with others and take in the Achombo House experience. At the center of each Achombo House is a woman. She plays the unofficial role of a mediator, she knows which woman is pregnant in the kwata sometimes even before the father to be. She knows who is aspiring for what job, or who is putting papers together to travel abroad. The space of the Achombo House is a deeply political space – not only because food is political but also because ‘mamy achombo’ assumes a political role in society. The socio architecture of the space is made up, traditionally, of three stones in the middle of a hut, the big pot of oil, puff puff dough fried uninterruptedly, a pot of beans and/or pap cooked nearby. Another interesting aspect is the way food is ordered: You can order beans for 50 francs and puff puff for 75 francs and someone else orders the former for 75 francs and the latter for 100 francs… ‘Mamy achombo’s’ measurements are all in her head, no scaling, she just knows and gives you the amount. Here food preparations like fermentation, making kimchi, kombucha, bread etc will be discussed.

Consumption: The third part of this course is about the spatiality and technologies of food consumption/ eating. In some countries in West Africa like Senegal, food like the rice, vegetable fish/meat dish Thieboudienne is served on a large tray for several people to eat at once. People eat with their hands or cutlery from the same tray, with each respecting an unpronounced limit of how much and how far one can eat. A collective but disciplined way of eating together. While some people in some parts of the world sit on chairs at tables to eat, others stoop to eat. Some eat from plates and others from leaves. The technology of eating on leaves for example is shared by African peoples across the Atlantic. The main dish of the Nguembas of the North West Region of Cameroon is Achu. A dish made of pounded cocoyams wrapped up in slightly warmed banana leaves, and eaten with a palmoil-based sauce called Achu soup. The technology and aesthetics of eating Achu are very specific: A hole is made in the middle, sauce poured in, meat, fish and vegetable placed in the periphery, and Achu is eaten only with the index and middle finger, and from outside to inside in a circular movement.



Modul V: Theorie-Praxis-Projekt III: Hauptprojekt

Modul I: Theorie-Praxis-Projekt I

Modul I: Theorieseminar: Raumanalyse

Modul II: Theorieseminar: Medien und Kommunikation

Modul III: Theorie-Praxis-Projekt II


Wintersemester 2023 / 2024


Mittwoch, 10:00 – 13:00