Looking back, looking forward

A field report on the Earth to Tables Legacies multimedia educational package


  • Alexandra Gelis
  • Deborah Barndt York University




food sovereignty;, food justice, intergenerational and intercultural exchange, interactive websites, collaborative production, multimedia storytelling, multimedia storytelling, participatory arts-based research, Indigenous ways of knowing, Indigenous-settler relations, all our relations, video and photography, hyperlinks or visual footnotes, digital gaps, facilitator's guides


The Earth to Tables Legacies Project emerged in 2015, growing out of personal relationships, but also built on a long trajectory of participatory research, multimedia arts production and popular education. We created an intergenerational and intercultural exchange of food activists working for food justice and food sovereignty with the initial goal of producing a feature length documentary. However, the project evolved over five years to culminate in a multimedia educational package with 10 short videos and 11 photo essays, all accompanied by facilitator’s guides. A web series on the pandemic is in production and a forthcoming book is to be published in 2021.


The intergenerational production team included Deborah Barndt (co-director and co-editor), Lauren Baker (co-editor) and Alexandra Gelis (co-director). In this ‘report from the field,’ the two co-directors Alexandra and Deborah look back on the process of co-producing the visual materials for the interactive website and look forward to its potential use in university classes, schools, and social and environmental justice organizations. Parts of the essay include our zoom dialogue as we revisit our process over the past five years and try to elucidate our way of working, while reflecting on the challenges of the collaborative production and use of multimedia educational tools.


Note that this essay utilizes the same kind of text with hyperlinks that are featured in our website and book. The reader is encouraged to click on the links to learn more about the people and their practices as well as the concept of a non-linear multimedia educational tool and process.




How to Cite

Gelis, A., & Barndt, D. (2022). Looking back, looking forward: A field report on the Earth to Tables Legacies multimedia educational package. Canadian Food Studies La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur l’alimentation, 8(4). https://doi.org/10.15353/cfs-rcea.v8i4.465



Field Report or Narrative