Kinookus Association and City of Dubrovnik Development Agency DURA in cooperation with Dubrovnik Natural History Museum organize the City Breadwinners exhibition on Friday, November 22nd at 6 pm, an original attempt to divert the attention of the City Government and citizens to extremely rich, but still insufficiently and inadequately valorized gastro-cultural heritage of Dubrovnik area.

Dubrovnik boasts another pioneer project on national and European level: five Central European cities (Venice, Brno, Kecskemét, Krakow and Dubrovnik) collaborate on creating a transnational model for valorization of intangible gastro-cultural heritage, supported by the extensive experience and methodology of scientists from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, founded by Slow Food in 2004.

Extreme climate change, which brought the partner city of Venice to its knees and brought stormy southern wind to Dubrovnik causing the highest wave ever measured in the Adriatic with 10.87 meters, just in the days of preparing this exhibition, puts a series of challenges in front of all city governments, among which is rethinking food policies. The two-day program of partners’ meeting, besides exhibition and study visit to Ston, also foresees a transnational workshop for project stakeholders. The guests at the workshop are Cristina Sossan from the Food Policy Office, City of Milan and David Matchett, Head of Food Policy Development of the famous Borough Market in London.

The backbone of the exhibition are video interviews with people who inherit history and stories about local gastronomic culture in different ways, as well as knowledge and skills related to traditional products. Interviews are the result of a detailed desk and field research which Kinookus Association and DURA teams conducted in the area of the former Dubrovnik Republic. According to Slow Food approach, apart from basic information about each speaker, the exhibition will also emphasize the complexity of the territory of the former Dubrovnik Republic, its peculiarities and interactions with other cultures. Special attention will be given to the language component, i.e. phrases in local dialect regarding production, tasting, cultivation and other food related activities. From an anthropological point of view, the attention of the audience will be diverted to faces of the speakers, which encourages immediate relationship and getting to know people who feed us, thus establishing a long term relationship of trust and mutual respect. The exhibition also seeks to inspire thinking about the dignity of food producers, their image and position in a modern society and its dynamics. The food whose producer and the way of production is known to us becomes food with a face.

Exhibition organizers expect concrete steps from the local government in terms of preservation and evaluation of this heritage, as well as its greater presence in tours of local tour guides, dishes of local restaurants, shop windows of local shops, and more interest from the local scientific community for this type of heritage and corresponding research area. The exhibition will be made available to all interested museums and institutions which would like to host it, and numerous high-value monuments could get new, adequate content.

The opening of the exhibition will be followed by tasting some of the products mentioned in the interviews, but traditional dishes will be interpreted in a contemporary way.