The Farmer’s Odyssey

From the Field to Our Table: An Untold Story
by Andreas Palfinger, Can Denzer, Lara Huz, Lena Reutenauer — DESIGN INVESTIGATIONS
Industrial Design 2

The “Farmer’s Odyssey” is a shadowplay about the obstacles Austrian farmers have to face in our current food system. The main protagonist in the play is a vegetable farmer, who wakes up in a dream as one of his own carrots. This protagonist-carrot’s tortuous odyssey to the supermarket is full of challenging problems that mirror the troubles faced by the farmer when he takes his produce to the market. The journey ends in the supermarket, where the carrot finds himself next to an imported carrot, from far, far away. It’s left up to the customer in the supermarket to decide which carrot to pick, and, in parallel, for those viewing the shadowplay to decide whether the farmer’s odyssey ends on a high, or becomes a nightmare.

Following in-depth conversations with Austrian farmers, this play was scripted and performed to tell the stories of their struggles in a highly competitive, unsustainable and bureaucratic food industry.