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Beyond the Free Market

Beyond The Free Market looks at the consequences of capitalist economic policies for food production and consumption. We aim to explore, through creative, critical practice issues such as: food overproduction, food insufficiency and the impact of these on developing and third world countries. Our work refers to Freeganism or Skipping, agricultural subsidies, waste and recycling.
To link here use:

Last meeting: Agenda 28th January 2008. Read the Minutes from previous meetings.

Email if you'd like to get involved or come to the next BTFM meeting...

Current people in the BTFM working group are: Spring Exprit (Eugenia Beirer), Mary Anne Francis, Trevor Giles, Grim Svingen, Ng Wei-Ho, Mike Knowlden and Chan

BTFM: News and Events

Upcoming and Previous Events

Nov 07. Spring Exprit has taken maternity leave for an undefined period. See her declaration in the Discussion Archive.

Read Spring's interview in The NEW Consumer and online Eco magazine Style will save us all, both edited by Virginia Rowe. Spring is also interviewed for Food Radio by Hattie Garlick.

BTFM: Projects

  • Rubbish goods and 'Green Gifts' - products to generate funds for the Kitchen and promote BTFM concerns.
  • Market Tour - we are developing a public tour through which we hope to contextualise and animate the concerns of the BTFM project. See fieldwork and Invitation to Dinner.
  • Active Research - encourages research through practical experience. We're working to inform ourselves of economics.
  • BTFM is a continuation, or has its 'Birth place' in "The Free Market Day" and the Free Market Kitchen run by Collide/Collabo on 26th June 2005
  • BTFM: Infrastructure

  • BTFM Aims and Objectives - this will give details of our ambitions and goals - coming soon!
  • Reference - Research material and related topics.
  • Meetings - Minutes of past meetings, details of future ones. See also Updates for BTFM WG.
  • Discussion Archive - This is to keep an archive and build a histroy of discussions around BTFM
  • Greetings from New Covent Garden market

    Last modified: 30.01.08 by Trevor  


    Poster Thread
    Posted: 2006/9/14 21:47  Updated: 2006/9/14 21:47
    Joined: 2006/6/2
    Posts: 36
     Re: Beyond the Free Market
    There's an article in the current editon of Untitled that might be useful, Eugenia and others, for you to read:

    'Counting Favours' - Merel Willemsen on Swop Network.

    Poster Thread
    Posted: 2006/9/17 14:40  Updated: 2006/9/17 14:40
    Joined: 2006/6/3
    Posts: 35
     Re: Beyond the Free Market

    Poster Thread
    Posted: 2006/9/21 12:04  Updated: 2006/9/21 12:04
    Joined: 2006/6/3
    Posts: 35
     Re: Beyond the Free Market
    This page is a bit difficult to deal with, so i've posted here. I'm not sure if these qualify as ideas or response to the work...

    I'm interested in Freeganism and Foraging, from a resourceful (urban?) survival POV and maybe the rights involved (sociologically speaking, i'm sure there's more to be extracted). There is an element of 'because waste is unacceptable' and 'because it can be done'. We have commercial waste being exploited or liberated, in this case for an art college constituency, but there is scope for an element of plunder of shared and natural resources. Are there people who already rely upon these skips for food? who are they? do they have a claim, or is it fair game? Are they invited to the kitchen, events, etc?

    This leads me to the 'Free' element of the market

    * I would like to explore/understand the Economics meaning of 'free market'

    * The relative 'need' of free food for various social groups involved - could this be 'better' placed (by what values/ethics?)

    * I was interested in the alternative economy aspect (indicated by MA's post re swap networks) - examining the claim to being 'Free' (without cost or consequence).

    * The cost of this particular free-ness (in time, work not-done and lost profit to businesses)

    ...and some flippant ideas
    * skip all the way there and back
    * have a bike-powered skipping rope on-site

    Poster Thread
    Posted: 2006/10/3 17:30  Updated: 2006/10/3 17:48
    Joined: 2006/7/8
    Posts: 10
     Re: Beyond the Free Market
    Hi Trevor,
    have been having trouble with posting and setting up pages on the wiki.
    I had replied to your last post about 2 weeks ago with the following:

    I feel I need to make clear what my interst for BTFM are, as this might not be evidnet from the proposal

    *I am seeking a clear and critical understanding of the workings of the Free Market, its history its current state etc.
    I intend and am doing this through reading and studying on web, in books etc. discussions....
    *research for other artists, musicians, activists etc working and intersted in a critical approach to the Free Market, specifically the Food Trade.
    * look into the ecological foot print that the food trade has on the world
    * look at alternatives already proposed and written by grassroots - 50page document that came out of the Seattle and Genoa protests
    * look at networks like Swop networks activily seeking to create alternatives to monetary exchanged based economies

    *then the next step is to set the gained knowledge into practice, as it is not enough to read and talk about this I feel.

    In terms of the kitchen, and your questions. Setting up the kitchen at Chelsea was to draw attention to the Food Not Bombs
    *When is got set up through out Collide/Collabo we invited other people skipping at the market to come to the kitchen and joine the meal, but non turned up.
    personaly I think it is difficult to place the kitchen into the context of Chelsea College, becasue it'S not like the students or stuff need it, like say a kitchen set up in an area of town with high homlessness and people on low income that might need to live off skipps due to their social status etc.

    *So putting the kitchen into other areas like Parliament square and other public places, woudl make more sense to me.... (parliament square is now a no free speeck zone-Scope law)

    *I want to work with others and find creative ways of dealing wth the research but also to come up with actions and projects that will not just be creative but have some sort of use in terms of society, and the creation of alternatives.
    THis is why otehr then the kitchen and the idea with the documentary film there is no other concrete proposals as I would like to keep it open to be explored in a group collaborating on this...

    thats it for now


    Poster Thread
    Posted: 2006/11/30 12:01  Updated: 2006/11/30 12:01
    Joined: 2006/6/3
    Posts: 35
     Re: Beyond the Free Market
    Eugenia - i moved the flickr link to the BTM and ATP page as i felt it cluttered what we are trying make a clean and accessible front-end to the project. Trevor

    Poster Thread
    Posted: 2007/1/7 13:08  Updated: 2007/1/7 13:50
    Joined: 2006/6/2
    Posts: 36
     Re: Beyond the Free Market
    Dear All

    Did you see the 'free' things supplement in The Guardian 6.1.07?

    I have it if anyone is interested. As far as I can see from quick skim, there's no mention of skipping - but there is an interesting page on supermarket excess - see p. 21 and also
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