The topic of Expo 2015, to be held in Milan from May 1 to October 31, is Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, a topic that Slow Food has been working on since its beginnings and that has always driven the way the organization reasons and works. With that in mind, Slow Food felt it was essential to make its voice heard by participating and offering its solution to the question of how to feed the planet and will approach the question raised at Expo 2015 through one of its main focuses: biodiversity.
In terms of Slow Food’s 6-month participation in the Expo 2015 spaces, Slow Food will have a 3,500m2 space designed by Herzog & de Meuron, one of the world’s most famous architecture studios. Its aim is to explain the significance of biodiversity in the context of the bigger picture of the global food system and thus to demonstrate why it is so important to preserve it, as well as linking it to the positive solutions that have already been achieved in the fields of food security, sustainability and a fairer distribution of food resources.
An additional event, Terra Madre – We Feed the Planet, will be held in Milan from October 3 to 6, and will bring several thousand young Terra Madre delegates from around the world to Milan. Terra Madre meetings have long been an important opportunity for exchange. This Milanese edition of Terra Madre is Slow Food’s political response to Expo 2015 and will give a starring role to the young people working in food production, with thousands of farmers, food artisans, fishers, nomads, Indigenous Peoples, chefs, students and activists from all over the world.
Focusing on youth has great significance: Expo 2015 asks how we will manage to feed the planet in the future, with a growing population and ever more fragile natural resources. Slow Food has thus launched an appeal aimed particularly at young food producers around the world, urging them to come to Milan.
Click here to download Slow Food president Carlo Petrini’s full appeal aimed at communities of young producers, in various languages.
Herzog & de Meuron have done an excellent job in constructing a sustainable Slow Food space that is different from most Expo structures. The Slow Food space will not be located in the Italian pavilion but at the end of the Decumano, because Slow Food, although created in Italy, now has a consolidated international presence. The Slow Food area consists of three entirely wooden structures whose shape evokes the typical farmhouses of Lombardy’s rural landscape. The structures can be easily disassembled, moved and reused somewhere else after the six-month event. The three wooden structures are arranged in a triangle and can all be visited free of charge.
The Slow Food space takes the visitor on a sensorial experience with the first area featuring abiodiversity path, an educational exhibition area that includes photos, videos, interactive games and art installations. This area presents the current problems of the food system andoffers many positive, practical solutions that are within everyone’s reach.
The second building moves from theory to practice, allowing visitors to discover biodiversity by tasting artisanal cheeses and learning more about the dairy production chain. Cheeses offer a way to get to know—and directly experience—the biodiversity of different animal breeds and species, and the diversity of cheeses: the result of the knowledge of generations of cheesemakers. Visitors can pay for a tasting of four different types of cheeses from Italy and Europe, which can be paired with one of the four wines available that day. Over the course of the six months, Slow Food will offer a selection of a total of 200 wines and 84 cheeses.
The third building hosts the Slow Food Theater, an area dedicated to workshops, conferences, exhibitions and informative meetings with producers to learn more about the food system’s pressing topics. In the central space, the courtyard, Slow Food will create a sustainable vegetable garden to present one of its main projects working on topics such as the protection of local foods and seeds, food sovereignty and sustainability. The vegetable garden also presents one of Slow Food’s main projects, 10,000 Gardens in Africa, to an international audience.