Smaking - a project developed during Holis '18 Sobole

Maxim Dedushkov

February 11, 2020

Team facilitator: Michala Lipkova

Team participants: Archana Mani Srinivasan, Luca Elek, Maciej Budzisz, Meijin Li, Zsófia Rutkai

The challenge

We worked on keeping the food traditions of the Radzyn County alive because we felt that the best way to experience a culture was through their food. The Radzyn culture is dying because of it lack of popularity amongst visitors, young entrepreneurs and locals. Thus placing the local dishes in jeopardy of extinction.

Through our research into the community and culture we have discovered 2 key problems: (1) there is a low visibility and recognition of Radzyn County within Poland and amongst the locals. This is because there isn’t a strong brand for locals to stand behind and additionally there are no clear communication channels within members of the community. (2) Secondly, Radzyn is an agricultural rich county yet there is no way to experience the local foods. This is because there is a lack of interest amongst the locals to retain their traditions as it is not a popular construct.

Photo ©️ Holis / Julia Karczewska

The idea

SMAKING is a regular pop up event in the Radzyn County to exchange recipes with stories along with one or more home grown/made ingredients. These stories represent a personalized view of the history of the region. Thus, rekindling the love and knowledge of the region.

We wanted to design a solution that was popular and can attract a wide group of individuals across age groups and interests. Through a quick test, we discovered that many locals grew their own produce or made their own products.

Photo ©️ Holis / Michala Lipkova

The how

We designed mystery around the entry and at the event by gamifying the process. Thus, building interest and keeping individuals invested. We also designed a strong rebellious brand that can help build passion amongst the locals. Thus, creating a community which will help the event thrive.

Or solution is for locals who like to grow or make their own ingredients and those who love to cook. It traverses age groups and connects them to the local heritage and traditions.

Photo ©️ Holis / Michala Lipkova

We believe that activists or/and entrepreneurs with the help of the LGD Zapiecek (local action group) can run or host these events. A prime example would be Kuba Jakubowski; owner of Kofi & Ti cafe, cultural animator, social activist, and President of the “Akcja Działa” foundation. With the support of Radzyń County Office, a community can be built and hence, grow the event.

In first year we want to remind locals of their story by creating a community that converses with each other at organized meetups that are promoted on the facebook fanpage. In the second year we will kindle interest in Radzyn from outside and within by developing an online platform with an established brand that promotes the events and experiments of participants. In the third year we want Radzyn to become its own brand by setting up an online shop on the website to scale production and generate peer to peer sales.

See the presentation of the project here.

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Holis 2018 was co-financed by the Governments of the Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.