The Mediterranean Diet Revisited

Salt Beyoğlu

October 14 – December 4, 2022

CansuYildiran, Turkey Cansu Yıldıran, <i>Ödemiş</i>, 2022
Cansu Yıldıran, Ödemiş, 2022
Kitchen & Floor 1

The exhibition Foodprint: The Mediterranean Diet Revisited, organized by Anemon Productions and the Goethe-Institut in collaboration with Salt, is based on a cross-media project by six photographers focusing on the Mediterranean diet, an age-old food tradition rooted in austerity, creativity, communality, and seasonality.

Recognized by UNESCO as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” due to its unique set of qualities, the Mediterranean diet consists mostly of plant-based foods, such as vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, and fruits. It also provides solutions to some of the most critical problems facing the planet today, including the loss of biodiversity, food waste, and climate change.

The exhibition presents a selection of works by six award-winning photographers who traveled in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Cyprus, Croatia, and Turkey, capturing dramatically contrasting images from isolated fishing villages to mountainous hamlets and modern culinary schools, while exploring diverse themes such as sustainability, identity, family, community, cooking, farming, health and creativity. The resulting works seek to inspire change and discover connections between the past and the present of the Mediterranean, which offers one of the world’s healthiest and most sustainable diets.

Elena Heatherwick (United Kingdom) traveled to the island of Crete to explore the themes of family and culinary heritage, and spent time with a family running a small tavern in a remote mountainous region. Three generations participated in the production of food, such as cheese and vegetables, while collecting seasonal wild plants from the mountains.

Johann Clausen (Germany) visited Croatia to capture the landscape on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea and visually explore the usage of salt, one of the essential ingredients for cooking and food preservation. In Cyprus, Clausen shot in a futuristic farm where vegetables are cultivated and protected by the island’s extreme summer temperatures, and created a series of portraits of fruits growing in an abandoned grove, revealing their beauty in a timeless and iconic way.

Myrto Papadopoulos (Greece) photographed a community in a remote and mountainous area of Taounate in Morocco. As meat is too expensive to obtain, the people of this region rely on a seasonal, plant-based diet, embracing what is offered by their land.

Chris de Bode (the Netherlands) traveled to Spain to photograph a team of scientists at Universidad de Navarra, who carry out one of the world’s leading studies on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet called PREDIMED+. In Italy, de Bode explored the concepts of gastronomy, creativity, and innovation through a series of portraits of culinary students in the city of Brescia.

Maria Contreras Coll (Spain) visited the Portuguese island of Culatra to capture how the local community of shellfish pickers is affected by pollution, rising temperatures and overfishing, and how their way of life both affects and is affected by the health of the sea.

Cansu Yıldıran (Turkey) traveled to two towns in Turkey’s Aegean region to research the historical origins of the Mediterranean diet: In Ödemiş near the ancient city of Sardis, where Lydians invented money, she photographed a historical open-air farmers market, fed from the historically fertile land of Small Meander [Küçük Menderes] Basin. As the traditional production methods are disappearing, freshwater sources of the basin face scarcity and industrial agriculture occupies more land every year, coupled with overfishing and invasive species further endangering centuries-old practices.

This project is the result of a collaboration between Anemon Productions and the Goethe-Institut, in partnership with the Museum of Cycladic Art in Greece, the Fondazione Brescia Musei in Italy, the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation, the Cyprus Food Museum and Salt. It is supported by the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Creating connections across Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Cyprus, and Croatia, the exhibition will be on view from October 14 to December 4 at Salt Beyoğlu on Floor 1 and the Kitchen area.