The politics of food

The politics of food

The politics of food

Deutsches SchauSpielHaus, Riad Mahmood Education and Arts Foundation and Indian Ensemble are soon going to be present Thook, a theatrical exposition of motifs related to food security and the international trade of food and hunger.

The play, written in Hindi and Urdu by Irawati Karnik and Sandeep Shikhar, is a part of the ‘Hunger for Trade’ project commissioned by SchauSpielHaus Hamburg.

Performed by Heeba Shah, Faezeh Jalali, Ashwini Kumar Chakre, Abhinav Kimothi and Gopal Datt Tiwari with Veena Basavrajaiah as movement director, it comprises of a series of vignettes that range from the satirical to documentary.

Also incorporated into the play are interviews of people from different fields – economists, food security analysts, Right to Food activists, students, etc.

Thook also explores the impact of neo-liberal reforms on the economic policy-making of India and offers a glimpse into the conditions that led to the severely under-reported food riots in West Bengal in 2008.

“It took us about a year and a half to research after it was commissioned because we wanted to bring out the relationship between hunger and trade from both a global and local perspective. For an issue like this, you can’t zero in on one class of people to represent the issue and capturing that diversity was a challenge. We started off trying to make it a linear narrative but that changed along the process and it now consists of four stories that are connected thematically. In between those are interviews with different experts, which is where the documentary aspect comes in,” informs Irawati, co-writer of the play.

“The subject itself is something you can’t be frivolous about. But there’s also a lot of satire and playing around with the script,” she adds.

So what does she expect from the play’s opening shows?

“We engage with food everyday but rarely think about where it came from and the implications of that. So after watching Thook, if one starts wondering about the politics of food every time he or she eats, it will have done its job,” replies Irawati.

The 90-minute play will be held on May 27 and 28, 7.30 pm at Ranga Shankara and on May 30 and 31, 7.30 pm at Goethe Institut.

Tickets are available at Ranga Shankara and on For details, call 9845530323.