Participatory Action Research

14: Maria Eugenia Flores Gomez and Chris Bacon on revolution, solidarity, and participatory action research in rural Nicaragua

Maria Eugenia Flores Gomez is a social psychologist and community organizer with more than 15 years of experience working in Central America and California for peace, women rights, and food security. Chris Bacon is an environmental social scientist whose work has focused on food security and food sovereignty in Northern Nicaragua, and more recently, in California.  He takes a participatory action research approach to his work, and is a professor at Santa Clara University.  Mari and Chris work together on a project called Food Security and Sovereignty in Las Segovias in collaboration with the Community Agroecology Network and the PRODECOOP cooperatives in the mountains of Northern Nicaragua.  Mari and Chris talk to Devon about their collaboration born of revolution, solidarity, and participatory action research in rural Nicaragua.

2: Amanda Eicher on art and food, OPENrestraurant, and places where we can re-imagine food systems

In this episode, Chelsea meets up with Amanda Eicher at Southern Exposure in San Francisco to talk about food and eating in the context of art and activism; about the OPENrestaurant project, and her long-term community-based art project in rural El Salvador.

Amanda’s projects investigate the roles artists play in development processes; the ways groups engage in creative thinking; and intersections between traditional community-based art practices and contemporary approaches to social engagement in art, relational aesthetics, and dialogic practices. Her work often touches food, especially in the OPENrestaurant project, which experiments with the daily activities of food and restaurant workers in art spaces.

Her work has been shown and/or supported by SFMOMA, Berkeley Art Museum, UC Berkeley's Arts Research Center and the UC Futures Working Group, the Botkyrka Konsthall in Tumba, Sweden and their residence in Fittja, the Fittja Pavilion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, in projects at CCA's Wattis Center for Contemporary Art, and in an upcoming residency at the Di Rosa Preserve and Stag's Leap Winery in 2015.