Stone Soup -
Revisiting / retelling the story of Stone soup [Soupe Au Caillou / Sopa Da Pedra / Steinsuppe / Πετρόσουπα] while researching an eco-sustainable recipe and the geological history of how the island of Cyprus was created.
The [Greek version] story goes like this: “There was a village whose inhabitants were very poor. Food was limited and everyone tried to preserve what they had. Until one day a wise stranger placed a large pot in the middle of the village square and boiled a large stone in the water and stirred...When the people of the village asked him what he was cooking there, he told them a stone soup. Little by little, the villagers started adding something to the soup: another a carrot, another an onion, a pumpkin, some celery, until the pot was full and the stone soup became delicious and they all ate together a soup that remained unforgettable”.
Stone Soup tells a story of human creativity that explores and gives insight to the shared ideas and issues that have defined our common humanity from the past to the present.
Stone Soup story resonates so strongly today, and the story has been retold in so many countries and languages with little amendments. Apart from being “a classic folk story” that tries to teach valuable lessons on how we can live together, it is also about using curiosity to connect, the value of sharing of intangible assets, and the power of eating together, especially with strangers. Above all, it narrates our basic need to connect with each other.
My research began during lockdown, with a food diary, in which I narrated my thoughts on the extended meaning of this story and turning it into a journey to collect ingredients for its making (as seen below).
Over and above the stone soup is a pretext to think about the bigger picture, Gaia, our earth, our ecosystem, and as Donna Haraway (who was one of my professors while studying Environmental Issues at UCSanta Cruz), Donna in a provocative study at the time “Staying with the Trouble: Making kin”, she urges us into making oddkin, that is we require eachother in unexpected collaborations and combinations, in hot compost piles.
Subtitles in recipe notebook ...
Prelude to stone soup.
Revisiting the story with an eco- recipe….
There is something infinitely healing
in the repeated refrains of nature
but man is part of nature,
and his war against nature,
is a war,
inevitable against himself.
How to sustain endangered stories.
Η πέτρινη σούπα αφηγείται μία ιστορία της ανθρώπινης δημιουργικότητας που διερευνά τις κοινές ιδέες και ζητήματα που έχουν καθορίσει την κοινή μας ανθρωπότητα από την προϊστορία έως σήμερα.
Η [ελληνική] ιστορία είναι ως εξής: « Υπήρχε ένα χωριό του οποίου οι κάτοικοι ήταν πολύ φτωχοί. Το φαγητό ήταν περιορισμένο και ο καθένας προσπαθούσε να διαφυλάξει ότι είχε. Ώσπου μια μέρα ένας σοφός ξένος τοποθέτησε μια μεγάλη κατσαρόλα στη μέση της πλατείας του χωριού και έβαλε να βράζει μια μεγάλη πέτρα στο νερό και να ανακατεύει...
Όταν ο κόσμος του χωριού τον ρωτούσε τι μαγειρεύει εκεί, αυτός τους έλεγα μια πετροσουπα. Σιγά - σιγά οι χωριανοί άρχισαν να προσθέτουν στη σούπα κι από κάτι: άλλος ένα καρότο, άλλος ένα κρεμμύδι, ένα κολοκύθι, λίγο σέλινο, ώσπου η κατσαρόλα γέμισε και η πετροσουπα έγινε πεντανόστιμη και φάγανε όλοι μαζί μιά σούπα που τους έμεινε αξέχαστη...»
The sedge is withered from the lake and no birds sing.
The House Next Door.
Making Ruins Habitable.
The Art of Noticing.
Strategies of Attention about human and non- human.
This is made with terra-cotta.
Cyprus geology is unique in that it gives us
the impossible perspective of
viewing the Earth’s crust from upside-down.
This perspective is not only to be viewed in theory but even lived in real time,
as the Earth’s crust
while rising from the sea
was turned upside down, inside out,
so the higher one goes to the peak,
are in fact,
the deepest layers of the Earths crust.
La Soupe au Caillou
Σούπα της Πέτρας
Sopa da Pedra
from the Holocene to the Anthropocene to the Capitalocene.
Immersion of the stone.
I put my Land on the Table.
Η Κύπρος ήταν μιά πέτρα, ένα ηφαίστειο που βγήκε από την θάλασσα, οπως την πέτρα που κογλάζει στην πετροσουπα, μια σούπα μαγιάς και χημείας.
A small act of hospitality and generosity.
This recipe is convivial,
and a bit feminine,
and it’s giving rather than trying to impress.
Every plant has a story.
The seaweed plants.
Under the sea.
While most people see the world in a horizontal way,
Sea people see the world in different levels,
They see the world in a Vertical level.
Climate crisis is a also a crisis of the imagination.
Plants eat light and are sociable.
So this is the table with the stone soup ingredients.
Locally sourced. Communal cooking.
To make the soup:
This is the diary.
Seaweed. Seawater. Fossils.Black salt.
Simmer for 20 minutes?
An inverted earth.
When the Earth turned upside down.
Gaia, a personification of the Earth as Goddess.
Mother/ wife of Uranus.
She is Earth.
Revived in 1979 by Lovelock, Gaia: A new look at life on earth.
New age environmentalists followed in the 1990’s.
List of works I’m working on for the past two years:
Preserving Cultural Heritage
The anxiety of influence.
It’s Her-story. It’s the cooking in silence.
Women silenced by history...
Silently cooking in her kitchen.
The birth of Cyprus.
Today 10 million cubic meters of lava, this very kind of lava,
spews forth onto floors of the world’s oceans every year.
Old ancient ocean floor of an ocean that exists a hundred million years ago...
On the path to environmental archaeology.
Life on earth is about coexistence.
Climate emergency is one of the greatest challenges of our time.
Questioning how to,protect our environment?
The vanishing face of Gaia.
Reading a Landscape.
The world we live in versus the world we live from.
Camille stories, consciousness, invisible world.
Gaia is a tough bitch.
Can I eat my soup now?
Yes, you can have a sensual encounter with it.
Where is the tipping point?
It’s a collective consciousness.
This a a narrative, a speculative narrative.
It’s not so much about facts. It’s about stories.
It’s about narratives.
We need a good story for the human enterprise of the 21stC.
The story with the soup. The Gaia soup.
First we collect the stone.
Othiolite. Plutonic. Dunite. Chromite.
See how it shines.
Then the fossils.
Outreach. Edulis. Bellanus.
Telling stories for Earthly survivals.
The assumption is that, somehow, within the ecology we will find a causal explanation for social structures, to build political systems in a conscious fashion with solidarity and empathy.
Politics of interconnectedNess
Technological evolution versus ecological changes
Disrupt - Cast Out - Resistance.
And the pot [ordered glass for solar oven]
Care and Concern
Margulis quote again: Gaia is a tough bitch
Notes from ZKM panel discussions
A future that never happened.
A soup that was never made.