2 February 2023
By Cocina CoLaboratorio – Emilio Hernández and Daniela Sclavo

Tierra Sostenible was a series of four gatherings, initiated by Delfina resident Emilio Hernández, part of the collective Cocina CoLaboratorio, in the context of the Politics of Food, Season 5 programme at Delfina Foundation, which took place during the autumn of 2022.

These meetings were part of an active research on transformative pedagogy and socially engaged art, which aimed to create a space to question and explore the interconnections between food and community organisation as a mechanism to reflect and push for actions to cope with the ecological and other global issues.

Over the course of the gatherings, participants took part in an open exploration of “enunciation” – a process to think through and name the causes we care about as a starting point for enacting local change. Together, they developed a collection of formulas, gestures, and practices that went beyond the mind and connected with hearts and actions. From these encounters derived these notes and reflections.


Tierra Sostenible gatherings were inspired by the practice of Comunalidad, exploring alternatives to build situations to establish dialogues with other ways of learning, proposing a trans-local learning environment around the kitchen table and through the acts of cooking, eating, and sharing.

Comunalidad is a set of collective practices enacted by the indigenous communities of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico: it is a way of living and working that emerges from a specific relationship with nature propo- sing other organising mechanisms and an alternative to sustainability.

It emerges from the oral tradition and is a collective attitude that manifests itself in day-to-day experiences. It is based on cooperative agreements, a construction based on daily sharing that goes beyond the individualization of processes, constantly being built and rebuilt for the overall community welfare.

The elements that define comunalidad are:

  • The soil, as mother earth and as territory.
  • Consensus in assembly for decision making.
  • Service and hospitality, as an exercise of authority.
  • Collective work, as an act of recreation and learning.
  • The celebrations, as an expression of comunalidad.

We proposed the kitchen table as a starting point to reunite and visualize a possible framework of action that can help us overco- me current and future global crises, establishing a space built on solidarity, equal distribution of goods, celebration of diversity and cooperative modes of organisation and decision-making. The hearth of the gathering was food, representing the source of energy that nourishes us and that connects us directly with the soil under us.

– Emilio Hernández, part of the collective Cocina CoLaboratorio (Mexico), was an international resident at Delfina Foundation as part of the Politics of Food, Season 5, which took place during the autumn of 2022 in partnership with Gaia Art Foundation. Emilio’s residency was supported by Delfina Foundation’s Network of Latin America and the Caribbean Patrons.

Illustrations by: Michaela Schlosser


An outcome of Delfina Foundation’s fifth season of the Politics of Food, in partnership with Gaia Art Foundation and with additional support from a range of individuals and partners.