‘Who’s in our food?’ A call for proposals for an artist in residence with the Bristol Food Justice Network (University of Bristol)

Deadline: midday, Wednesday 21st April c.£4,500 available for the commission.

A word cloud of the research shared within the Bristol Researchers’ Food Justice Network.
Image: A word cloud of the research shared within the Bristol Researchers’ Food Justice Network.

What is Food Justice? This project brings a creative and academic approach to this question, interrogating the systems and inequalities that determine the food that sustains us as individuals and communities. As a collaboration between creative artists and researchers working in multiple academic disciplines, the project will generate an exchange of ideas exploring ‘food justice’ meaning and action.


We invite an artist to partner with academics from the Bristol Researchers Food Justice Network and the Brigstow Institute to explore the systems and inequalities that determine the food that sustains us . The Network is a growing group of academics and researchers concerned about disparities, inequalities, social and environmental problems inherent in industrialised food systems. It was launched in September 2020 by Lydia Medland (School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies) and Lauren Blake (Bristol Veterinary School/School of Geographical Sciences) as an active forum for researcher-researcher exchange across disciplines.

We are looking to commission an artist in residence who will join our network for the Summer Term (April-July). You will help us explore food justice as a set of issues, and as a concept in its own right. You’ll help us explore what food justice means and why it gathers the coalition of food researchers to explore the set of systemic problems that we are involved in tackling in our diverse research projects. You’ll help us explore what food justice can ‘do’ and what it can ‘mean’.

We invite you to respond to any or all of the following questions, in your response to this commission and/or in the process of working with us during its implementation.

  • What socio-ecological systems and inequalities determine the food that sustains us as individuals and communities?
  • What is food justice, and how should we negotiate the social relations embodied in the food we eat?
  • What does ‘food justice’ do? What is the connection between the idea of food justice and the discussion space within the network?
  • When the term food justice is adopted, what happens?
  • The global food system: where are we in it? Where is food?
  • How can we understand food, people and environment together?
  • Who is food?
  • Are people and food understood as one, or as part of one? Where are the separations between who and what, between ‘people’ and ‘food’?
  • Whose legacies  are within our food? What are the memories and dreams of food that haunt and excite us?
  • How does the artistic process contribute to food justice research and understanding?


  • To embed a collaborative process between artists and academics into the practice of research around food justice
  • To produce an artwork/creative intervention that will facilitate engagement between the network and the wider community, civil society groups and other researchers beyond the University. This will contribute to an event planned for July 2021 to bring together city level efforts for food system resilience with rural actors such as farmers and growers from just beyond the city of Bristol. The event will mark the tenth anniversary of the ‘Who Feeds Bristol?’ report.


Please submit to hello-brigstow@bristol.ac.uk by midday on Wednesday 21st April 2021:

  • a two-page proposal document responding to the provocations above with initial ideas, plus an indicative budget (in the region of £4500 to cover artists’ fees and materials)
  • a brief CV/portfolio (no more than two pages).

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this call before applying, please email robert.skinner@bristol.ac.uk or hello-brigstow@bristol.ac.uk and we will arrange a time to speak with Brigstow and/or the academics involved.


  • Commission announced: 1st April 2021
  • Closing date: midday 21st April 2021
  • Announcement of outcome: 27th April 2021
  • Collaboration and workshops with FJN: April-June 2021
  • Food Justice Network Seminar dates: 5-6:30pm on April 29th, May 13th, May 27th, June 10th
  • Artistic output ready: late June 2021
  • ‘Who Feeds Bristol’ event in which art will (first) be experienced: July 2021

Further details:

The event in early July is currently being planned as an in-person event, but, if circumstances change, it may have to go on-line.  

Academic project leads: Dr Robert Skinner, Dr Lydia Medland, Dr Lauren Blake.

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