The Guiding Principles and Beliefs of Social Potluck
Social Potluck is a belief more than anything else. It is the belief that the heart of culture, art and society is located at the dinner table. Social Potluck states that:
· The dinner table (or family/communal eating venue) is the most important performance venue in the world.
· All people rehearse and perform themselves at the dinner table, in particular by using the universal art form of storytelling.
· These mealtime performances do more to reinforce identity and communities than any other influence.
· Through the communal act of eating performances change from the "official" persona we present to the "unofficial" persona we are.
· By sharing meals and sharing stories with strangers or people from another culture boundaries can be dissolved and understandings created.
· While both food and stories have become commodities the rewards for sharing/trading/bartering them is far greater socially than in capital.
· Everyone has something to bring to the table
The artists follow a few key rules in implementing the Social Potluck projects
· Bartering for stories and food is integral to the process
· The meals must have a safe and casual atmosphere. If the mood is not natural then participants will feel uncomfortable.
· All stories must be included in the final performance in one way or another.
· Stories can be stylized but the artists must keep to the truth of the stories (no adding details)
· The teller owns their stories. Once the project is over the artists cannot use those stories for other purposes.
· There is always a degree of self exposure for the artists. The artists must be themselves.
· Note to the artists: It is not about you (this is the hard one). You are just the conduit for the stories. The whole process, the stories and the performance is a celebration of the stories and the place. Stick to this and people will love you for it.
· How the stories are interpreted depending on the participating artists. Use your strengths to honour the stories.