Dee Woods and Leslie Barson talk to Lani Parker of Sideways Times about their experiences of working in the award-winning Granville Community Kitchen.
Food is politics. Every time we eat something or we go to a shop and we decide to buy say chocolate versus locally made bread, we are making a political choice that impacts on someone somewhere in the world.
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Lani: Welcome to Sideways Times; a UK based podcast in which we talk about the politics of disability and disability justice. Through this podcast I hope to have many conversations which broaden, deepen and challenge our understandings of how to work against ableism and how this connects to other struggles. I am Lani Parker and in this edition I talk to Dee Woods and Leslie Barson about their work in Granville Community Kitchen. We talk about themes such as community infrastructure, food sovereignty and gentrification. You’ll hear more at the very beginning of the podcast. Relax and enjoy this round the table discussion.
Yeah so if you want to introduce yourself… We’re laughing because I – we had some of this conversation and I thought I was recording it and I wasn’t so now take two.
Leslie: Take two.
Dee: [Laughs] This is not live radio! thank goodness yeah.
Leslie: Er. Right I’m Leslie Barson and I’ve helped – I’ve been working in the Granville Community Centre for a long time on South Guildford estate and I, along with my friend, helped to found an organisation called Granville Community Kitchen, which is about – for me it’s very much about community and community building through food issues or community issues too, around…
Leslie: Yeah, yeah.
Dee: And I’m Leslie’s friend. [They laugh] Dee Woods, I’ve been involved with the Granville Community Centre, which has gone through various iterations and sort of co-founded Granville Community Kitchen, which is now an award-winning –
Dee: – yeah, project was recently named as one of London’s fifty Urban Food Heroes.
Lani: Yeah, yeah. Very proud. So yeah, it’s made me feel slightly stilted again now because [laughs] we’ve had like a twenty minute conversation already. But, as you might know, my name’s Lani Parker. This is Sideways Times and I’ve brought these two wonderful people around the table because I think the work they’re doing is brilliant and I like them both very much –
Dee: Thank you. [Laughs]
Lani: – and I wanted to have some conversations with them about food and community and infrastructure, what we need for survival and how we get to actually build what we need and in the context of the UK as a colonial nation at a time of Brexit and all of those sort of things. So I just wanted to, yeah have this conversation. So I hope you enjoy it; the people who are listening.
Dee: How long do we have?
Lani: We have however long we like –
Lani: – but about forty-five minutes [laughs]. So yeah… tell us a bit more about whatever you want to tell us for a bit.
Dee: Granville Community Kitchen was set up to sort of meet the needs of a community that was in sort of deprivation; long-term and entrenched deprivation. So our sort of tag-line or whatever is empowering community through food and within that we saw that we have a community – a very diverse community and people who have skills, knowledge, especially coming from various countries, that they could pass on with regards to food and food growing and cooking. But you know as Leslie just said, it was also about community building because the area has been under regeneration again. We saw that the community was being divided and we wanted a way to bring community back and to build those bonds again and yeah, just sort of community resilience, basically using food as a way to build that.