Introducing Foam Magazine #63: FOOD! The Nourishing Issue
About the issue
Food fuels us, heals us and brings people together. Yet there is another side to food, which is more political and complex than it appears. Nourishment, ritual, sustainability, economy, labour, culture, ecology, community, exploitation, identity, politics: the collection of portfolios included in this issue are a testament to the variety of visual strategies addressing a few of such matters.
Next to 16 visual portfolios, we are thrilled to present an interview by Siddhartha Mitter with Anna-Alix Koffi on her work and the newly opened art space SOMETHING in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; a thoughtfully put together selection of Algerian photobooks in the bookshelf section by Awel Haouati; an essay on illegal labour in the food industry by Gustavo Duch; an account by Iroquois scholar Atlanta Grant on Indigenous ideas around food waste and recycling — and much much more.
About the cover
Selecting the cover image for a new issue of Foam Magazine is always a very intense moment. A cover image is like an amuse bouche, a teaser into the theme we are presenting at a given time, and the very first moment of contact between us and the readership - our chance to invite them to have a conversation.
Sometimes this choice comes at the very last moment of production, as only then there is the clarity to understand what visuals can summarise and convey, trigger and provoke, amuse and grab. But some other times, they are what trigger us too.
The cover of Foam Magazine #63: FOOD! shows an image from the series Eat with Great Delight by Rajyashri Goody. What do we see and how was this specific image selected?
A family, enjoying a moment together, spontaneous, joyful. A woman is feeding a man a bite of something: a piece of fruit, some cake? We find a hint in the bottom left corner: a knife, in between blobs of cream and red fruits.
The spontaneity of the moment can be seen in the bursts of laughter: of the woman, the children at her side. But also in the gesture of the man: whilst holding a child in one hand, his other moves up, in a reflex, to catch any spills that might fall down on his crisp white shirt.
The image shows a Dalit family eating and enjoying food. An honest, happy scene. But there is a more serious story to this image that may not appear at first sight. Dalit refers to the lowest caste in the Indian caste system. The prevailing image in Indian photography "links the Dalit subject with hunger and suffering." Rajyashri Goody uses her family archive of analogue photos to radically correct this.
"As the title suggests, we witness acts of consumption interlaced with joy, with great delight." —Rahee Punyashloka in FM #63.
Elisa Medde, Foam Magazine editor-in-chief:
"We had the idea of making an issue about food for quite a long time, but for some reason the project never took off.
Then one beautiful, warm day in May 2022 I joined my dear friend and incredible curator Tanvi Mishra in visiting the Rijksacademie Open Studios, here in Amsterdam. She introduced me to the work of Rajyashri Goody, and I immediately got fascinated by her research and the visual universe she created.
The work on show back then was a different series, Writing Recipes. I remember shortly after that meeting getting closer to her work, and encountering another series - Eat With Great Delight. That is when I saw this picture, and I remember thinking - simply - that’s it.
That’s the cover of the food issue.
It encompassed in its simplicity all the warmth, the joy, the nourishing that I wished to infuse in such issue. Of course then the magazine became so much more, and so many different thing. But the warmth remained, nourishing us all constantly for all those months.
It still makes me smile, and and breathe deep, to this day."
Contributing artists & writers
Carson Cole Arthur, Clara Barbal, Joan Biren, Nao Bustamente, Samuel Bradley, Breadface, Kat Chan, David Chickney, Nha San Collective, Maisie Cousins, Gustavo Duch, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Laura Feliu, Gem Fletcher, Chandra Frank, Coco Fusco, Audrey Genois, Zahara Goméz Lucini, Rajyashri Goody, Atlanta Grant, Awel Haouati, Yining He, Chieri Higa, Hiên Hoàng, Hua Jin, Patricia Kaersenhout, George H. King, Kim Knoppers, Ana-Alix Koffi, Claudia Kussel, Charmaine Li, Sébastien Lifshitz, Florian Maas, Elisa Medde, Emily Hanako Momohara, Siddhartha Mitter, Paulo Nazareth. Beaumont Newhall, Ana Núñez Rodríguez, Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira, Paola Paleari, Sarah Perks, Valeria Posada-Villada, Peter Puklus, Rahee Punyashloka, Vivien Sansour, Stephanie Sarley, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Henry Rox, Amelie Schüle, Mark Sealy, George Selley, Sunil Shah, Aurélie Joycelyn Tiffy, Henk Wildschut, Guy Woueté, Gary Zhang Zhexi, Lin Zhipeng.
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Foam Magazine has been awarded several prizes for both its high-grade graphic design and the quality of its content. Most recently, Foam Magazine was awarded Photography Magazine of the Year at the Lucie Awards 2017 and 2019.
Foam Magazine is an international photography magazine, published two times a year by Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam.
Foam is supported by the VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and the Gemeente Amsterdam.