The Latin roots for companion means sharing of bread, com meaning with and pani meaning bread. In Russia they still celebrate companionship and hospitality by greeting visitors with bread and salt. Although both Britain and the US lost its popular bread traditions and skills a few generations ago it is never too late to reclaim this ancient art form.
In The Companion Festival of Bread, that took place at Schumacher College in Dartington in 2007, I wanted to explore the baking and sharing of bread as social sculpture. The participants were actively involved in the making of the art by learning practical skills, sharing stories and participating in talks and workshops held by prolific capacities and entusiasts for bread and cultural diversity. Renowned figures like Andrew Whitley and Satish Kumar alongside authors, artists, chefs, writers and poets like Julia Ponsonby, Joy Mead, Eilis Kirby, Esther Boukema, Mark van Will and Minni Jane. My intention was that we, by baking our own bread, can activate our senses and share our cultural activism with others in the form of good and tasty bread that will nourish our bodies and souls. This is true companionship – with our fellow humans as well as our earth.
Program: Program Festival of Bread
Compendium: Festival Compendium
Talks from The Companion Festival of Bread see soundcloud links on the right.
Short doc by Clive Ardagh about the festival: