Katinka Lansink Dodero
If people have stopped talking, let food do the talking. Food Frontiers brings this wisdom to life across Europe, in places where communities have driven apart. We organize large-scale dinners with participants from conflicting sides. At this event people realize how much they share.
Macedonia - Ohrid, Bosnia - Mostar, Croatia - Kostajnica
There is need for positivity in Europe, a lot of pessimism and cynicism is floating around. People are retreating behind their own fences and easily dismiss ideals. But ideals built the Europe we know today: a place where we have found a peaceful way to engage and cooperate, where diversity and liberty are well-founded principles, despite numerous attempts to undermine these. We need to reassure people they themselves can make a difference and close the gap between themselves and ‘the others’ and show that diversity is not a source of conflict, but of source of inspiration.
Food Frontiers can spark this optimism: Despite all obstacles, one can reach out and find common ground. We build bridges by creating an intimate space where people can really meet and craft a shared destiny.
Our dream is to have meals across Europe and beyond. Where we initially take the lead, we hope that eventually people themselves approach us to help them with the design of their own reconciliation meal. The sum of these local initiatives provides a lasting and positive signal, visible in local and international media.
Food Frontiers has become a beacon of optimism (“if it is feasible there, then it is feasible here”) with volunteers and exchanging experiences and ideas. We will be a love brand for young adults, which they associate with contributing to the world in a meaningful and joyful way.
We see regular events organized by the participants themselves. There is more trust, exchange and cohesion between the local communities. People think more positively about each other.
We work with local NGOs who are expert in conflict management, community building and interethnic dialogue. Local volunteer teams will involve local community leaders and authorities. Local chefs and celebrities will endorse the event and bloggers, food journalists and mainstream media will record the event.
We are responsible for the safety of all participants and therefore avoid getting stuck in violent situations. We have the support the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE), they help us with selecting safe sites and representative candidates.
With Advocate Europe, we can kick-start Food Frontiers in Macedonia (Ohrid), Bosnia (Mostar) and Croatia (Kostajnica): Everything is ready, we just need to buy, rent and hire the stuff and people we cannot get for free.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
We welcome any ideas to make Food Frontiers more compelling and successful, in terms of the event program, follow-up, media exposure and potential sites in Europe. We also welcome ideas on how to combine a Food Frontiers event with other existing programs or events.