Media and the Inner World

Taste, Hunger and the Media

Starts: December 12 @ 6:00pm

Address: The Apollo Lounge
The Crown Tavern
43 Clerkenwell Green
London EC1R 0EG

A Round Table and the MiW Festive Party!

This event was held on Sat 12th December 2009
Round Table 6-8pm
Drinks and Social 8-12 midnight

Discussion Points:

1. What is the relationship between taste, hunger and the media?
2. What is our emotional relationship to food and how is this represented in the media?
3. How are the pleasures of eating constructed today? How have they changed historically and what does this tell us about society?
4. What do the different images of taste tell us about culture and society?
5. How is our relationship to food shaped by class, gender and ethnicity?
6. How might we use what we know as therapists from our work within eating problems to illuminate our struggle with consumerism?
7. The accepted approach to over-eating is to go on a diet. Fat people are reviled and feared because they are seen as greedy and out of control, while anorexics are often secretly admired for their will of iron, their capacity to conquer their physical desires, mind over body. Is the fashion industry, and by extension the media, are complicit in this?
8. Diets don’t work in the long term because this route is about behavioural control and deprivation. Early unmet needs within vital early relationships may re- emerge in uncontrollable binges on food, sex or drugs, or numerous other ways in which we attempt to simultaneously get pleasure as well as kill pain.
9. If we can stop consuming the earth for a second, and listen to our collective hungers, where might we go? What is it that we so fear, and what is it that we long for? How might the media engage with this?
10. Our collective responses are very split. We are trying to tackle an obesity epidemic, yet our magazines, newspapers and TV are still enticing us back into ‘naughty’ food. As awareness of our global crisis is rightly increasing in leaps and bounds, and we are encouraged to go on a ‘green diet’ to reduce our carbon emissions… but the media is still full of enticing messages for us to spend carbon.
11. Therapists know that something rather different happens when we stop trying to control/shut down and start listening to, and unpacking, the full range of hungers within – from physical bodily hungers for taste and feeding the senses – to emotional hungers for relationship, to spiritual hungers for mystery, meaning and purpose. These hungers run through our lives from early experience to the present day, from individual through family to culture. How can we begin to support each other in listening to what will satisfy our hungers amidst our hectic and distracted lives?

Speakers included:

David Lancaster (Food Journalist)
Prof Mica Nava (University of East London)
Mary-Jayne Rust (Psychotherapist)

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