MUTUAL EFFECTS: food, care and the commons in Sheffield

Mutual Effects is art as social research, a tapestry of sound drawing on interests in deep mapping and the Mass Observation movement to connect spaces of care, co-operation and conviviality in a northern British city during COVID-19.

Through historical and contemporary prisms of grassroots food activism, a loose narrative moves between field recordings of a pedestrian pilgrimage to Edward Carpenter’s former Derbyshire farm commune, to the sound of 45kg of rescued peas being shelled in a communal kitchen, and through a range of conversations that lay out stark realities of austerity and hostility in the shadow of the monolithic post-European state. Woven through the recordings is music from the sonic commons of DIY music collectives from Sheffield (and beyond in some cases), all made and released during lockdown.

The project is a collaboration between Out.Side.Film and Al McGregor, with support from Ivor Davies, and focuses on the work of Foodhall, Open Kitchen Social Club and National Food Service.

Mutual Effects was commissioned by the Radio Commons project.

The work can be listened to here.