Biodiversity House will be located in the Cortile delle scuole maschili, just as in previous editions.
The activities here are a chance to explore the theme of Cheese 2021: Consider the Animals by speaking to herders, cheesemakers and experts about their work. The activities also complete a cycle of conferences that begins on online on September 16.
But that’s not all: at Biodiversity House we’ll have film screenings too, with a series of cinematic aperitifs that explore the theme of our relationship with the animal kingdom from multiple points of view.
In line with current regulations, events at Biodiversity House at Cheese 2021 are reserved exclusively for visitors in possession of a Digital COVID Certificate (also known as a Green Pass). Each event has a maximum attendance of 50 people, and is organized on a first come, first served basis. Arriving at least 15 minutes before the beginning of the event is advised in order to ensure a place.
Every day Biodiversity House hosts conferences to explore different aspects of the animal kingdom, from wild animals to the habitats for dairy animals, natural meadows that are reservoirs of biodiversity. From the work of herders and cheesemakers who take care of their animals and have chosen a difficult craft that is able to provide great satisfaction, and a wide discussion and of the meaning of “animal welfare”
Before cured meat, consider the animals – September 17
Cured meat is among the most commonly-eaten foods in the west. Nutritious, easy to eat, delicious… there also among the most important European exports, with an image of artisanal excellence (often certified by the European union) across global markets. But how can the quality of cured meats be measured? How much do we know about the animals whose meat is used to make them, what additives are used to allow these meats to last for months of even years? We present a Slow Food research project into the PDO and PGI of European cured meats.
If natural meadows disappear – September 18
Natural meadows are not ploughed or tilled, only need light fertilization, and, if mowed a few times a year, they reward us with hay rich in grasses, legumes and flowers of the sunflower family (including daisies, dandelions, thistles and cornflowers). They’re a reservoir of biodiversity for our countryside, because they host numerous species of vegetables, insects, birds, many of which are at risk of extinction. Up until a few decades ago these were common habitats, but today they’re ever-rarer; in the plains because the terrain is tilled, fertilized and use for the cultivation of monocultures (e.g. corn), and in the hills and mountains because of their gradual abandonment.
Women cheesemakers – September 19
in the past the division of labor in lots of farming communities was very clear: the men raised the animals, while the women processed the milk and aged the cheeses. today being a cheesemaker has become a courageous and conscious choice for lots of young women. women cheesemakers are herders, farmers and entrepreneurs who follow every phase of the production process: from the animals on the pasture to the making of hay, milking to the cheesemaking itself, sales and marketing. Women cheesemakers have decided to take on this difficult occupation with passion and commitment, and an awareness of the importance of their role as guardians of the land and traditional knowledge.
Cinematic Aperitif at Biodiversity House
As part of Progetto Cine there are film screenings which widen our horizon and introduce us to the experiences of small-scale heroes working to make the planet a better place.
The Biggest Little Farm – September 17
The incredible true story of John and Molly Chester, a couple who escaped the city to realize their dream of starting an organic and environmentally-sustainable farm. Through a thousand difficulties, moments of exhilaration and disappointments the two protagonists learn to understand the rhythms of nature, and thus succeed in their task. Now their farm, Apricot Lane, extends over 200 acres and is home to around 850 animals and 75 biodynamically-cultivated crops.
Tomorrow (Demain) – September 19
The predictions for the future that science and the media paint are increasingly worrying, if not catastrophic. Yet there are lots of examples from recent times of concrete solutions to some of the problems we face with agriculture, energy, the economy, education and politics. One such solution is permaculture as practiced by Charles and Perrine Hervé-Gruyer, while another is agroecology, which is explained here by journalist Marie-Monique Robin, or the struggle against the caste system in India as recounted by Elango Rangaswamy: virtuous model that are able to give us hope and optimism for tomorrow. Winner of the César Award for Best Documentary in 2016.