Hunger Pangs and Bio-Navigating the Counter-Intuitive Food System with Jennifer Arlia

Jennifer Arlia and passion fruit

Jennifer Arlia and passion fruit

Jennifer Arlia writes in her thesis, “I love to eat. But anyone who knows me, even if just for an hour, knows this.” Food, an intricate part of culture and identity, especially since for Jennifer, who is part of an Italian family, but she also suffered from food allergies, some  triggered by the very foods that was part and parcel of her daily life and Italian heritage.

Her experience led her to study what it means to eat intuitively for health and

One of Jennifer's portraits of dinner with her happy reflection

One of Jennifer’s portraits of dinner with her happy reflection

life. At the same time, she was was also drawn toward her roots as a visual artist, particularly as a photographer. What do do with all she wrote, read, researched, and photographed? She found her answer in creating a website for her thesis project, Hunger Pants: Bio-Navigating the Counter-Intuitive Food System.

Her website explores three major interdisciplinary areas related to her topic, which she nicknames ComFet (Commodity Fetishism related to food), MoPro (Modes of Production, Skill and Food Origins), and Intuit (Intuitive Perception related to eating). Throughout her thesis, she interweaves slide shows of her startling and vivid photography, occasional recipes for dishes such as “Chicken Soul Soup,” and ample research combined with life expeirence. She also shares her bibliography and annotated bibliography, and thoughtful reflection on writing her thesis. In her powerful photo essay, “Life and Death on the Farm,” she writes:

Another of Jennifer's photos

Another of Jennifer’s photos


The farm, also true for other platforms in nature, takes on a broad spectrum of life and death. It is utilitarian and functional, giving to while being part of the wider ecosystem. It is a set of unwritten rules, formed out of systematic (and aesthetic) relationships. Basking in the sunlight or shrouded in fog, the allure of the farm stems from its declaration of life – erotic, vibrant, sentient – and its welcoming of death.

See Jennifer’s whole project right here.

This entry was posted in Activism, Cultural & Cross-Cultural Studies, Embodiment Studies & Body Image, Environmental, Sustainability & Place Studies, Food Studies, Nutrition and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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