Docuseries: 10 short films available to download and screen.

Ten short documentaries that illustrate the flaws of the South African food system exposed through the COVID 19 pandemic.

The ten short documentary films will raise a number of questions, that will be further debated during the impact distribution phase. These include:

  1. Do we continue with business as usual when we can see it is not working.  The current system of food production based on big profit driven agriculture, has contributed to hunger, a decrease in the nutritional value of food that is available and affordable to large sections of the population.
  2. If we prioritise a new, people-centred model of placing food distribution around rights and needs, health and wellbeing, what would that look like?
    We explore the initiatives that could be scaled up and scaled deep and ask, ‘what would this take’?
  3. What lessons can we learn from people’s collective attempts to bridge the hunger gap?
  4. What role has the government played in exacerbating the food crisis?
    What role would a responsible government play in supporting food as a public right? What policies need to be put in place? And what is the moral obligation to do this, as set out in the South Africa Constitution.

Episode 1: Feeding 5000

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, food security quickly became as much an issue as health education in Eldorado Park. The film shows how deep rooted community activists came together with local councillors, put aside political differences and organised mutual aid for the people.

Episode 2: Cape Town Together

We follow the initial phases of the Community Action Networks (CANs) in Cape Town, the rationale behind bottom up organising during the early stages of the pandemic, and some of the challenges faced at community level by the CANs, a movement that was then replicated in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga.

Episode 3: Surviving Lockdown

During the first months of Covid-19 restrictions, informal traders were banned from trading by the National Coronavirus Command Council. We follow two women street traders, and learn of the disastrous implications of lockdown on their ability to make a living. The ban also affected the lives of essential workers, including health care workers, who could not easily access healthy cooked meals at a time when they were under the most pressure.

Episode 4: Hunger, the Silent Pandemic

Prior to lockdown, things were already very difficult for Dorcas and Sarah, two migrant women living in Spruit informal settlement in Tshwane. But during the months of lockdown, the women find it almost impossible to feed themselves and their young families.

Episode 5: Who Gets to Eat?

We begin to understand more about how the South African food system works, and how big agriculture and a profit model is not able to provide the food that people need.

Episode 6: Silent Hunger

Explores the problem of under-nourishment, its impacts on child health and lays the blame squarely at the feet of the big food producers, where unhealthy diets of junk food is widely available to the mass of people, ensuring profits for the big companies, but creating huge health problems that have been highlighted during this pandemic – obesity and diabetes.

Episode 7: Farm to Fork

We go to Gugulethu and Ocean View, where we learn from two community led small scale farming groups about the possibility of using food local production to build community resilience.

Episode 8: Food Commons

Imagine what it would look like if people took control of the food system. We show several community responses to the food crisis, where groups are trying to fill the gap of a broken system.

Episode 9: We Are Hungry We Are Angry

The South African government’s response to people’s desperation and hunger, exacerbated by Covid-19, has been eloquent and reassuring – but ultimately delivered little. The voices of activists, researchers and organisations echo powerfully that it is people’s lives, and not a line on a graph, that are at risk.

Episode 10: A Socially Just Food System Post Covid 19

The system is broken. Try as we may, small-scale interventions by communities and individuals will not restore food security and sovereignty. Real change in access to land, knowledge and sustainable farming practices, along with establishing an equitable and just society, are the only ways to prevent the fabric of South Africa from tearing apart.

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