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  • ‘Cooking Potato Stories’ by Ana Núñez Rodríguez

    Ana Núñez Rodríguez is a research-based photographer living and working between Spain and Colombia. In her work, she delves into the politics of identity, connecting her own experience of navigating between both cultural realities with other voices. Through the use of images, she establishes new forms of collaboration and knowledge production that reveal forgotten colonial legacies and question the impacts of collective memory and cultural heritage on identity.”

    What can a potato tell us about ourselves? What does it say about the construction of national identity? What role can new narratives around it play in how a society imagines itself and other worlds? How can translocal stories and food cultures be connected as an inroad to address forgotten colonial legacies and the wider context of political, social, and emotional relationships? These are some of the questions that lead to the harvesting of stories around the potato that forms Cooking Potato Stories.

    This work has its roots in the tension between personal and social identity and the historical and cultural influences on its formation. Using the role of the potato as a conductive narrative, I question the power structures behind the construction of identity, based on my own experience moving between Latin America and Europe. It is a transatlantic recipe that mixes the “here” and “there”, which includes different ingredients such as heritage, history, imaginary, tradition and autobiography to reflect on how a society imagines itself and other worlds based in the stories they tell each other.
    We all make sense of our lives through a combination of narratives, a blurred system of ideas that inspires reactions, determines values, judgments, opinions and behaviors. Today a region does not necessarily have to be a space defined politically or geographically, but a specific space for common stories and experiences, a state of mind rather than a place on the map. Therefore, finding our place means finding our place in a story and where the plot of these photographs intersect is where my place is located. I propose an encounter of narratives around the potato that grows an alternative story that questions the ideologies, power and subjectivities behind the narratives. I develop recipes of knowledge that unfold different aspects of the potato’s history to push a new social memory about it. Cooking Potato Stories drives us in the complex process of how we construct, understand and make sense of ourselves individually and as a collective.