If grandmothers around the world had a rallying cry, it would probably sound something like “You need to eat!”
Photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s grandmother said something similar to him before one of his many globetrotting work trips. To ensure he had at least one good meal, she prepared for him a dish of ravioli before he departed on one of his adventures.
“In that occasion I said to my grandma ‘You know, Grandma, there are many other grandmas around the world and most of them are really good cooks,” Galimberti wrote via email. “I’m going to meet them and ask them to cook for me so I can show you that you don’t have to be worried for me and the food that I will eat!’ This is the way my project was born!”
The project, “Delicatessen With Love”, took Galimberti to 58 countries where he photographed grandmothers with both the ingredients and finished signature dishes.
He acted as photographer and stylist during each shoot with the grandmothers, taking a portrait of both the women and the food they made for him.
From top to bottom:
Inara Runtule, 68, Kekava, Latvia. Silke (herring with potatoes and cottage cheese).
Grace Estibero, 82, Mumbai, India. Chicken vindaloo.
Susann Soresen, 81, Homer, Alaska. Moose steak.
Serette Charles, 63, Saint-Jean du Sud, Haiti. Lambi in creole sauce.
The photographer’s grandmother Marisa Batini, 80, Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy. Swiss chard and ricotta Ravioli with meat sauce.
Normita Sambu Arap, 65, Oltepessi (Masaai Mara), Kenya. Mboga and orgali (white corn polenta with vegetables and goat).
Julia Enaigua, 71, La Paz, Bolivia. Queso Humacha (vegetables and fresh cheese soup).
“Creative Cloud changes everything”, says Adobe and it got me thinking. I work almost daily with Adobe’s software and I’m not saying that I will not ever succumb to their new subscription system of paying a lifetime of monthly fees to a company that has quite the monopoly on “industry standards”. It’s more that all this got me thinking about creativity in places, cities, everywhere. And how this kind of software development is somehow really creating a creative class, as in separating globally those who can afford to become the creative types familiar with them “industry standards”.
In essence, you have to buy your way into the cloud of creativity in every meaning of the word: iPhone, MacBook, data plan, broadband, the works. And only then, can you become the carelessly free quirky creative type with access to your work everywhere, free to collaborate, free to create. But. With Adobe’s Creative Cloud, if you stop paying, the access to your work is discontinued.
At the same time Creative Cities are being touted as the thing by organizations such as UNESCO. Almost everything we create is nowadays, if not made with, but at least marketed with creative software and digital tools. But if you can’t afford the tools, how do you become creative? How do you design that community meeting flyer? How do you build a website? How do you use the apps?
Well, of course creativity as a human quality and a means to survive is not tied to a piece of software. But so much around the creative buzz is these days related to digital ecosystems. As an increasing number of these systems are going subscriptions-only, we are becoming oblivious to the fact how much we are paying for all kinds of things we haven’t really collectively decided upon. Today, our democratically collected tax dollars might get us something like healthcare or education in return (depending on where you live in the world), but they don’t give us creative tools that allow us to work on the level that matters. Instead, we’ve ended up paying quite a lot for creative software in schools and the government. And in our private lives.
So, when did software become such a lifelong burden? If you’re a designer, photographer, editor, artist etc., you may want to be those things for the rest of your life. But now, it seems you are becoming obliged to pay a monthly fee for these professions, a fee that globally speaking is beyond the reach of many. Paying the fees is no problem for big companies with big needs already spending large amounts of money to “computer stuff”. Small creatives and the ones trying to make do with old versions of Photoshops or lesser known open-source alternatives are being dropped out. In the end it seems, the world is becoming less diverse, again.