Social Potluck Guiding Principals and Rules

The Guiding Principles and Beliefs of Social Potluck

Social Potluck is a belief more than anything else. It is the belief that the heart of culture, art and society is located at the dinner table. Social Potluck states that:
·         The dinner table (or family/communal eating venue) is the most important performance venue in the world.
·         All people rehearse and perform themselves at the dinner table, in particular by using the universal art form of storytelling.
·         These mealtime performances do more to reinforce identity and communities than any other influence.
·         Through the communal act of eating performances change from the "official" persona we present to the "unofficial" persona we are.
·         By sharing meals and sharing stories with strangers or people from another culture boundaries can be dissolved and understandings created.
·         While both food and stories have become commodities the rewards for sharing/trading/bartering them is far greater socially than in capital.
·         Everyone has something to bring to the table

The artists follow a few key rules in implementing the Social Potluck projects

·         Bartering for stories and food is integral to the process
·         The meals must have a safe and casual atmosphere. If the mood is not natural then participants will feel uncomfortable.
·         All stories must be included in the final performance in one way or another.
·         Stories can be stylized but the artists must keep to the truth of the stories (no adding details)
·         The teller owns their stories. Once the project is over the artists cannot use those stories for other purposes.
·         There is always a degree of self exposure for the artists. The artists must be themselves.
·         Note to the artists: It is not about you (this is the hard one). You are just the conduit for the stories. The whole process, the stories and the performance is a celebration of the stories and the place. Stick to this and people will love you for it.
·         How the stories are interpreted depending on the participating artists. Use your strengths to honour the stories.