Accepted Paper:

Visualizing food as cultural heritage  


Yrsa Lindqvist (The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland)

Paper short abstract:

The trend in society shows an awaken interest towards preindustrial housekeeping. We are encouraged to grow vegetables and to pick wild berries. Shaping purity, authenticity and locality is central when visually presenting food and illustrating recipes.

Paper long abstract:

A hundred years ago cookery books or booklets with recipes was all about written descriptions. It was up to the reader to imagine how the dish will end up, if trying to prepare it. In the twentieth century however, the importance of visual interpretation increased at a steady rate. Today visual communication is a major part of daily life, often appealing to emotions in being narrative in a more abstract manner. When it comes to presenting food, we have moved on from presenting the actual products or the final result, to visualizing moods, milieus and generally wellbeing. In a picture of a cow, or of a sunset in the archipelago, we read in a story about roots, traditions and locality.

In the North nature is a natural part of the cultural tradition and it is imaginary connected to a vision of an unspoiled environment and therefore a better life. I intend to look at how the visual communication is used in the context local food connected to nature, roots and heritage. Is it a new concept, or is there also a connection to previous cookery book illustrations to be found?

Panel Food001
Culinary heritage as an island of well-being (Panel of SIEF working groups 'Historical approaches in cultural analysis' and 'Food research')