Leo Kouklanakis

Hello, my name is Leo, and I chose to use a combination of collaging and drawing to make my triptych. The three panels are not really an evolution of an issue through time, but instead are a representation of different scenes regarding the same issue. This triptych is about food deserts, which can be described as areas where access to affordable, healthy food are limited or nonexistent because of a lack of grocery stores within reasonable traveling distance. The top panel is a scene of a household that has access to healthy food. A family is sitting at a table that has plenty of food, and they have a fully stocked fridge. Through the window you can see a worker pulling a Fresh Direct order up the desert hill to deliver healthy food to families like these. Because they’re called food deserts, I found pictures of sand so I could create a real desert for people to walk through. The central image in the bottom panel is the hospital, and this is in reference to the health issues that occur as a result of not having access to healthy food. Wealthy districts have three times more grocery stores than poorer districts do, and even in grocery stores in poor neighborhoods, the healthiest items are usually the most expensive. When the only realistic option for food is fast food or what you can buy from the deli, you are exposed to a long term lack of nutrition that can lead to higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, diet-related cancers, and even a life span that is up to 15 years lower than the national average. That’s why people are shown on a trip through the hospital to be buried. I also wanted to emphasize the disturbing disparity between food that wealthy people have access to versus food that people living in poverty have access to, and in some ways argue that those that are rich and in power are responsible for all the illnesses and premature deaths that occur because of food. There is something very scary to me about the suggestion that beneficiaries of healthy and fresh food like the tomatoes in the bottom panel will be eating what has grown from the same soil where the people they killed are buried. That’s also why I chose to have the family in the top panel not have any facial features except for their mouths and their teeth.