Land & Freedom: Talking Food Systems


Documenting the growth of urban agriculture and local food systems in several underserved San Diego neighborhoods, including some populated by recent refugees, this interactive multimedia project will examine how communities are developing creative responses to the issues of hunger, limited access to healthy food, underemployment, and urban blight.

Short video stories narrated by urban gardeners were produced and uploaded to a website; the website and its contents, including a “storymap,” is accessible by mobile devices through QR codes. A public program during the summer harvest season in 2014 launched the website and provided additional opportunities for community engagement.

Media Arts Center San Diego partnering with Project New Village, Bayside Community Center, Humanities advisor A.L. Anderson-Lazo, Ph.D., community advisor Lace Watkins, and local residents from San Diego’s City Heights, Linda Vista, and Southeastern San Diego communities will addresses the history and present-day growth of urban agriculture and neighborhood scale food systems through location based first person visual stories. The project will compile diverse stories of residents from underserved San Diego urban communities in an online interactive multimedia map; to offer a genuine look at where the food system falls short; and at the same time to provide a model of empowerment that envisions a healthier community of greater access and equity.


Explore the stories here:


This project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit

Additional support provided by Kaiser Permanente.