Maps have intrigued us from the start. Our name – Foodscape Collective – draws on the idea of the “food land-scape”. This spatial awareness of our food stories, food system, and our relationships to food, has prompted us to ask how different spaces and places – for living, working, resting, wishing – bear imprints on our bodies and choices. Have a look at several of the Collective’s works, that have spun out of this ongoing interest.
Our earliest mapping work evolved in March 2015, as we were asked what food security in Singapore could mean. Faced with the “impossible question” (why can’t Singapore grow more food of its own?), people often responded with the same answer about land scarcity. Yet how could we make sense of this phrase – “we have no land” – when we walk past empty “state land” daily, see an empty grass patch at ground level below our windows, or see the creative gardens neighbours sometimes set up?
So our first map was an attempt to find others, and make community visible for all of us: to find out who was growing, what, and where.
You can also add to the map! We do periodic updates of the map with this crowdsourced information, so that everyone can see and explore what’s been contributed so far.
- Mark your spot in our crowdsourcing form: tiny.cc/markyourfoodscape
There are 2 online maps below. The Google Map below is prepared by Huiying, and the ArcGIS Online map is by Cuifen. Both are created using free online tools. For both, click on the button at the top left corner of the map. Check out the legend to see what the points represent. Click on the individual points in the maps to read more.
Mapping Our Neighbourhoods
The idea: Maps and the capacity to think and see spatially, have been an interesting part of Foodscape Collective’s identity. The idea to map Singapore’s food land-scape, the people, their interactions, what we love about a place, what we feel is missing in a place has always been there. Some of us use digital tools to map; others use physical objects; still others use hand-drawn pictures, photographs, audio or other means.
When we first started mapping as a Collective, the focus was always at the national scale. What is there in Singapore? What do we know or care about? As we began to go into details, we realised that maps at a smaller geographic scale may often paint a different picture. Singapore may have food markets, supermarkets and coffee shops in every town, yet there are areas of ‘food deserts’ (relative lack of access to nutritious food). What is happening here?
Neighbourhoods are spaces we live our daily lives in. More often than not, we hesitate to invite people to our own ‘hood because we don’t actually know it well. Who are the people who live and work there? Are there people or spaces worth celebrating? What is missing? What is not obvious, and worth more time to come back to, unearth and understand? What might we additionally notice if we wear different lenses, e.g. that of being sustainable or inclusive?
We did a couple of pilot workshops. Each workshop is a 3-part series: walk, draw & share; collect data / stories; make digital map. The intention is to share these maps (of various forms) that people create, and make them accessible on public platforms, of which some could be showcased as a travelling art installation.
Stage that we are at: Exploratory / Co-creation
To get involved: We are looking for people who would like to organise and conduct these workshops with us. If you would like to know more, please write to us at the Collective’s email, firstname.lastname@example.org