World Cuisine, Public Libraries and Cultural Inclusion
On April 29, 2019, Mariona Chavarria Domingo has published an article entitled “From “Cuines del Món” Gastronomic BiblioLab to “Cuinem Santa Coloma”: Cooking cultures and social cohesion at Fondo Public Library (Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Barcelona)” in Open Information Science.
A Blog Post by Pablo Markin.
In his article, Mariona Chavarria Domingo has concentrated on Cuines del Món (CdM), a gastronomic library service provided by the Library of Fondo in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, in order to explore its effects on “promoting the knowledge and the visibility of cultural diversity, and implementing measures to ensure equity, egalitarian access to information and culture” (88). The library service that Domingo has researched constitutes a “project which includes both reading habits and youth-oriented services” (88). Furthermore, this project has been explored in relation to its aims of developing “strong relationships between the many nationalities that coexist in the neighbourhood of Fondo with an emphasis on the tradition, language and customs that they carry with them” (89)
According to this research, “during its first four years of existence [2014-2018], and without any other similar project from which to learn or take ideas, the programme Cuines del Món has been a success” (92). As this authors notes, “Cuines del Món, on one hand addressed the fact of integrating foreign migrants with their participation; and on the other hand, its mission was broader, taking into account the neighbourhood as a whole” (94). Consequently, this paper poses the following question: “[W]hat is the role of the library and what relation does it have with its own mission as a public library?” (95)
This article, thus, concludes that this project has demonstrated that “World Cuisine (=Cuines del Món) includes the local cooking traditions from the Barcelona area, Catalonia and different provinces of Spain, since the neighbourhood was built in the 1950s-70s to accommodate the workers from different Spanish origins” (96). On the one hand, among its other aims, this project has sought to “achieve a culturally diverse participation; promoting the knowledge and the visibility of cultural diversity; and implementing measures to ensure equity” (96). On the other hand, this project could only succeed through “different kinds of partnerships (town hall services, university and sociocultural charities, as well as with simple neighbours/users)” (97).
By Pablo Markin
Featured Image Credits: Cuines del Món 2010, June 27, 2010 | © Courtesy of Xavier Blanquer (Jeanloui)/Flickr.