Celebrating 10 years of Flatbread Society
Far and wide frequencies were sent out to signal a celebration of 10 years since the first Flatbread Society Bakehouse was built at the waterfront in Oslo. Over the course of three days, a coming together of many hands and hearts assembled, from early participants (who turned an idea into a reality) to current actors cultivating new ideas and communities. Futuring Frequencies was a celebration and a series of maintenance actions created to nurture the site and continued durability of the project. The days were punctuated with moments of reflection and future visioning designed to facilitate entanglements between present and future frequencies; programs, people, actions and funding.
A broad community of organizations, artists, urban farmers, private individuals and others have animated Losæter with life over the last 10 years, both during and after Futurefarmers and Bjørvika Infrastruktur had established the place; weekly dinners, donation cafes, monthly art events, performances, bee hives, vineyards, compost toilets, demonstrations, courses, lectures, film screenings and more. Oslo municipality now manages the outdoor areas with a part time coordinator, paid seasonal workers and employs the urban farmer who is responsible for the arable areas. The program and other content have been based on voluntary involvement among the aforementioned actors. These have filled the place with life, invited the public to come, and contributed to more people discovering this public space. Oslo municipality’s urban environment agency and the Lodging Association support the program and invited an updated vision, so together with Growlab, CafeTeatret, OsloMet, Art in Public Space/KHiO and Wilder Kitchen, a coordinated effort to demonstrate the vision we want unfolded in a ten year celebration program:
Maintenance as Commons
Drawing upon the Norwegian tradition of the Dugnad, (a custom of communal work that has existed in most agricultural societies around the world) a hive of bodies were sanding, sawing, painting, oiling, weeding and preparing for the evening feast. Inside the bakehouse, dough was being formed by resident bakers, flower petals being carefully plucked in various stacks of color for salads and discussions hummed about art, farming and the social fabric of Losæter. Outside amidst the greater Losæter, tables were being repaired and assembled, unexpected guests were given tours, and a large tarpaulin flatbread was prepared for a collective visioning of the future of this place.
A Visioning Toolkit: SOCIAL - ART - FARM
Many frequencies are present at Losæter. Some overlap and some move in and out quite autonomously. Futuring Frequencies was a toolkit prepared by Futurefarmers and Growlab to imagine and draw together a vision and action plan for Losæter. Starting inside the bakehouse as a discussion and mind map that evolved over the course of the day. Upon the table, people were invited to wildly imagine future projects. Clusters emerged around the themes of art, farming and social projects.
Outside of the bakehouse pieces of wood were placed into three groups and painted with a specific color for each theme. People were invited to write ideas onto pieces of wood in each theme (ART, FARM, SOCIAL). Before the feast, everyone was invited to gather around a large flatbread-shaped tarpaulin held tight above the ground by the gathered bodies. The various ideas written on colored pieces of wood were passed out, read aloud and tossed into the middle of the tarp. Once all the ideas were read and tossed, the tarp was shaken up and down to mix the ideas to see what came to the top…“BUILD MORE Losæter’s around Norway and the world” and “Winter projects” were among many of the suggestions.
Memories & Welcoming
JOHAN SWÄRD & KIA VULGARIS
While tied together around the tarpaulin, people were invited to share stories and reflections. A special moment was given to honor farmer, grain grower, baker and collaborator Johan Swärd.Johan and his family are dear friends and supporters of Flatbread Society and Losæter. We were honored to have Kristin Swärd and family join us and bless us with their words and presence on this evening of celebration just two weeks after Johan passed unexpectedly while running in the forest - something he loved to do.
Welcome Kia "Vulgaris", the third city farmer for Losæter. Kia reinforces the notion of the “commons” in their name change for this job by changing her surname from Vejrup to "Vulgaris". The species name vulgaris means “common”, and is often used for plants that fit into all ecosystems, something she recognizes herself in - fitting in everywhere and being able to talk to everyone.
The Wild Immersion Feast
‘When you have more than you need, build a longer table not a higher fence.’*
A long and winding table set the stage for The Wild Immersion Feast. Weaving its way around the trees in the apple orchard, the abundance of the season was arranged as a series of colorful dishes, fermented wild edibles and drinks. Guests moved up and down and around the table, meeting one another and falling under the influence of chef, artist and founder of 'Wilder Kitchen', Rebecca Hawkes’ careful scenography. Each dish of the feast was dedicated to a plant of the season with a focus on their importance across cultures, the nutritional benefits of consuming these plants, and the stories gathered around them. Rebecca’s coordination of the feast shed light on her deep connection to Losæter. She has devoted much of her time sharing her knowledge plants with the neighbors who often gather in her “donation cafe,” Human Kind Project, a weekly meal held in the Flatbread Society Bakehouse.
Full Moon Gathering
FLATBREADS AS STORYBOOK
On the eve of the full moon, Jad el Khoury invited friends and guests to make Lebanese Man'oushe as a medium for sharing stories and recipes. A table prepared with mounds of rising dough covered in kitchen cloth was the visual cue that lured people into conversation and mingling. Small pieces of the dough were passed around to sculpt into "pages" of a collective flatbread storybook . Later, a bonfire was lit in the apple orchard outside the Bakehouse where guests gathered around storyteller and herbalist Mari Jerstad, listening to a story about human kinship with trees, reminding us that Losæter is a multi-species collaboration.
Thank you to our collaborators for making this beautiful celebration happen: Mads Hårstad Pålsrud/Growlab, CafeTeatret, OsloMet, Art in Public Space/KHiO and Wilder Kitchen