The first week of 2021, the United States provided a dramatic start when the Congress was stormed – not by another country as in 1814, but by the incumbent president’s own supporters! The United States has been hit hard by Coronas in the past year: more than 370,000 dead, the gap between rich and poor widend and nationally more than 50 million, including 17 million children, experienced food insecurity – despite the government has sent checks to the population on several occasions. Something that no other country in the world we know of has done! It seems strange to talk about food culture and trends now but food shortages are acute in many countries and if anything, the Covid crisis has shown how important culture is.
Although culture is often used to describe art, such as literature, dance, music and theater, the word, culture, is also used about a particular way of life – a common way of life. Culture influences the way we act and the norms we live by. Culture arises through our relationships with others, education, the workplace, association life, art, media and experiences. Many believe that the United States is so hard hit by Covid -19 because the government originally gave misleading information, that some do not believe in the disease and / or did not adapt their behavior to the recommendations of the Department of Health. In Denmark, most adapted their behavior, and stayed at home with baking, sourdough, movies, series, books and music as well as walks at a safe distance. To “show community spirit,” was not seen by politicians as arising from a common culture, but as a recommendation that they gave and that we followed. It was easy overlooked that the precondition for our readiness and desire to take care of each other did not arise out of a vacuum, but of a common culture.
In August, infection rates in Denmark increased, and some residential areas were hit harder than others. Now the discussion about community spirit and culture began – most often, however, to shame those who became infected – for coming from another culture and not exhibit community spirit. It turned out that the predominant reason was that many had jobs where they are more prone to the virus and live more together on a few square meters. In September, several buildings shone red as a call to politicians from various cultural actors, after many in the last six months had applied in vain for compensation for events that have been planned since November 2019. Surveys conducted in the fall showed that 30 percent of the creative employed applied for positions away from the cultural sector. Simply to avoid going bankrupt. Funds have not been disbursed since March, as no cultural events were allowed, and the government has alternately appointed the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Culture to be responsible for the dialogue with the cultural sector. If you have events with more than 350 people, it can fall under both ministries. In the case of an institution with more than one million in turnover, events with room for more than 350 people at each event or an institution that receives operating grants, compensation could be sought. Over the summer, it became possible to apply for compensation for distressed or bankrupt cultural institutions, however, the pool can only be applied for when all other options and pools have been tested, and from August new pools came in from time to time, all of which can only be applied for in one limited time. By limited actors and sectors. And still associated with complicated bureaucracy. In the meantime, it is not easy to explain to the bank and landlord that no money has gone in since February 2020. That is, close to a year ago. It is currently hard to imagine how 20221 will turn out and which ministry the government decides the culture sector belongs to.
In early 2021, the new dietary guidelines were streamed live but no one spoke about culture, even if the dietary guidelines for the first time include climate considerations and the possibility of creating a more sustainable food culture through less meat and more focus on plants. The dietary guidelines not only recommend more plants in the diet, but also to eat more varied through different color choices of the vegetables: It can help to create greater biodiversity in the Danish landscape and to eat more seasonal.The new dietary guidelines are followed by many municipalities and public institutions, thereby supporting a development that takes into account the climate, the health of the population and the future of our children by becoming a culture that we share. But who brings culture to life? That are chefs, first movers, debates, presentations, events, workshops, courses, cultural actors, cooks, nature associations, NGO’s, writers, media, artists, festivals and you.
FoodFilmFestival wish everyone a culturally and healthy 2021!