Les Aliments Refusés. A political history of superfoods is a performance charting the history of 5 foods of American origin –quinoa, amaranth, chia, cacao and maca- from their role in pre-Columbian societies, their prohibition during colonial times, to their celebration today as superfoods (marketing term indicating high nutritive values of a food). The performance articulates an itinerary through 5 spots in the space, each associated to one of the foods, in which a critical tasting narrating the complexity of stories they contain is offered.
The action maps orally the social history and circulation of these foods, disclosing how the social, economic, cultural and political conditions related to their history from the 16th century have amounted to nowadays taste and gastronomy. The project approaches each food as an index of stories and a histories archive, in which each food travels from being a ritual objects, a war weapon, a commodity in the global trade, or a natural good in different ecosystems.
The five foods explored had a prominent role in pre-Columbian societies; be that their economic role as taxes, production or consumption, or their use in medicine, cosmetics or ritual. When the Spanish colonizers arrived to America they understood that the control, prohibition or eradication of this elements meant another tool in the conquest of the territory. This implied the dramatic reduction and subsequent disappearance of the crops, which fell into oblivion. Five hundred years later, in the contemporary wave of interest in food encompassed by wild global market trends, has rocketed their production and market demand, thus provoking new economic, ecological and social conflicts in the expropriation of the north to the souths. In short, the performance is a critical experience through taste and history, which aims to re-signify these now acclaimed foods in a wider socio-cultural horizon.
Les Aliments Refusés. A political history of superfoods is a project by Magnetic Declination and Baba au Rhum, which took place in Matadero Madrid on the 21st of November 2014. The oral tellers were María Arranz, Suraia Abud, José Manuel Bueso, Lili Cabrera and Diego del Pozo. It would not have been possible without the collaboration of Raquel Fernández Núñez, Clara Morandeira and Santos Henarejos.