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Spaces of Nourishment

A project of the Qualities of Life Working Group

The role of nutrition in the age of chronic disease raises new questions for health care professionals and demands innovative approaches to both therapy and medical education

This is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project between American and African scholars and medical professionals which seeks to pose questions about practices of nourishment and relations of health. The project grows out of the long-standing relationships between Cornell’s Global Health Program and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC), one of the leading teaching and research hospitals in Tanzania.

The growing body of research linking chronic disease with food has opened up a critical space for assessing the role of nutrition in medicine and asking how human and ecolocial health are inextricable intertwined. This project is an argument for a 21st century nutrition that exceeds the critical crisis-oriented responses of calorie counts and the targeted work of specific nutrient deficiencies, and strives to cultivate enduring interventions into the environments of health.

Together we are conceptualizing and designing a garden which will serve as both a therapeutic space for patients and a learning space for students – a healing garden and educational space. This installation, “Spaces of Nourishment,” is meant to invite an exploration of the connections among the vitality of people, seeds and soil as well as consideration of healing “beyond the body proper” by opening up conceptions of nourishment to the relations that make certain kinds of life (and experience) possible.

This plant-based installation will strive to make more palapable the implications of shifting modes of attention to life and death, bodies and environments, knowledge and livilihoods. In so doing, it will provoke questions about relations of nourishment, sites of depletion, and interventions into healing and growth.

– Stacey A. Langwick, coordinator
Qualities of Life Working Group