Share your food stories: join in the Food Dialogues

We want to hear your food stories!

The Food Dialogues are gathering and amplifying local voices of ordinary residents willing to share their own perspectives and experiences with food. The pandemic and lockdown have made most South Africans aware of food insecurity across the nation, especially in our cities. While many struggle with hunger, others have had to alter their diet, change where and how they shop and cook, shift their gatherings around the table with family and friends, or think more carefully about how what they eat affects their health. Everybody eats, and everybody has had an experience with food during these difficult times. We want to hear your story.

How to share your story:

We invite anyone registered for the free Food Dialogues event to record and send in their own 30-60 second story inspired by or in response to one of the Local Voices interviews. We also have a set of questions that may inspire you.
Record your own short video email it to localvoices@fooddialogues.info between 6 – 30 September.

Selected submissions will be shared on the fooddialogues.info event platform and through other channels to help broaden the perspectives and diversify the voices contributing to dialogues about food.

Thank you for sharing your story!


Some ideas to help inspire a story that you might share:

• What are some of your strongest memories of food from when you were growing up? Are things different for kids now?

• Is there a special relationship you have with food that few others have, or that most people don’t know about? What is it, and what role does it play in your life? Is it central to your identity as a person, in your family, or in your community?

• In your relationships with your family or with friends, what is the importance of food? What is your role, personally, in that – are you the cook, the one who eats the most, who eats last or least? Is there a story from your life that you can think of with food and friends or food and family that stands out in your mind?

• When people in your life are sick is food part of the care that you give to them? How? Are there ways that the pandemic and lockdown has changed this?

• Have you eaten less or gone without food so that others could eat instead? Was this in a time when there wasn’t enough food, or was it when there was something special that was more important for someone else to eat than for you to eat it, or for some other reason? Is that kind of thing common, or unusual? Can you share about one of the times you did this?

• Are people in your community generally helping when others don’t have enough to eat? Is hunger something people notice? Do they talk about it? Are responses to hunger mainly made by individuals or are there ways the community works together?

• How has your awareness of food around you in your home, in your community or elsewhere changed in recent months? What do you think is behind that?

• Have there been any changes in the ways that food is available in your community over the past year or so, maybe changes in shops, community kitchens, food gardens, or in other ways? Do you think it will go back to what it used to be? Is that a good thing? How would you like it to change in the future?


Tips for telling your story:

• Think of a story that is personal and specific to you, a story no one else could tell.

• Share your feelings: is your story sad, funny, surprising, or…?

• Put the story in context: where does it take place and when?

• Speak in the language you prefer.

• Settle yourself in a quiet place with plenty of (natural) light before recording your story.

• Practice telling your story once or twice before recording it.

• Check the length of your story. Longer than one minute will not be accepted.

• Check the quality of the audio and video to be sure both are clear.

• Record your story a few times and pick the version you like the best to submit.


What to avoid in your story:

• Pitching a commercial product or service (e.g., a restaurant, hot sauce, cooking school, Instagram account, website, etc.). Feel free to mention one if it is *central* to your story, but stories that are even vaguely promotional in intent will not make the cut.

• Rating or slating a food experience at a specific restaurant or place. If such an experience is central to your story, then you will need to not name the establishment/place, or allude to it a way that makes it easy to figure out.

• Overtly self-promoting stories.

• Graphic, vulgar or other content meant primarily to shock or offend.

Review of submitted videos will err on the side of caution, so best to stick to the spirit of the event and the guidelines above. Final decisions about whether or not to share any video submitted lies solely with the SA Urban Food & Farming Trust.

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