The Living Memories is a digital platform that highlights the importance of memories in regenerating agriculture and supporting food autonomy. The project is an interactive collection of stories and recipes harvested by Ammar Seeds, which is available for free online on www.ammarseeds.org.
The archive contains stories from people around the world, stories connected to plants that form part of their memories of nourishment and care. Similar to a seed bank, which collects seeds in order to conserve them for the future, the Living Archive of Nourishment aims to collect stories as time capsules to keep food traditions and knowledge alive for future generations, and to highlight the vibrant interconnectedness of food across continents.
The interactive digital archive is a work in progress consisting of illustrations created by artists based on the stories, memories and recipes shared with us. The archive allows users to access a host of information, including academic, botanical and nutritional details as well as a curated selection of photos, films, recipes and methods of cultivation related to a particular plant, shared by people from across the globe. The Living Archive of Nourishment consists of stories gathered by the Ammar Seeds team on their travels from performances by "The Messenger of Memories", through the creation of Mothers’ Gardens, and by our designated “ambassadors of stories” - people local to the places and cultures that Ammar Seeds will be working with, as well as from content submitted by users of the digital platform. Content from the first three years of the Living Archive will be used to create an embroidered map illustrating the displacement of humans and plants. This map will be embroidered in co-creation with the Atelier Lésage Embroidery School, Paris, and will include an experiential audio track with local sounds, stories, memories and recipes shared by people during the first phase of the co-creation of this comprehensive cartography of nourishment.
Cooking is a bio-cultural process that differentiates us from all other living beings and differentiates one human culture from another. Seeds and recipes carry culture, and cooking is one of the few expressions that help humans quickly reconnect with their culture in times of forced human displacement.
Growing and preparing food is a dialogue between humans, the soil, and the food it provides. These dialogues are maps to better ways of living for us all.