YUCA is biannual bookazine devoted to art, photography, literature, and culture. Every issue is a canvas on which a chosen topic, that we call our alibi, couples with a cross-cutting idea in order to inspire everyone who enjoys holding a book in their hands and looking at things from a variety of perspectives. We commission artists, writers, designers, political analysts, and even scientist to create pieces on which they discuss our alibi from their own personal point of view.
We like to approach the usual questions with fresh senses, to explore ideas and narratives that revolve around something —that can be as common as food— and use them to reconstruct meaning and create new ways to assign it. We welcome the unexpected because we believe that it will always inspire creativity and bring a myriad of alternate possibilities. There might be no certainties any longer but we’re ok with that because this allows us to open up our minds and senses to the unknown.
Beyond being what merely keeps us alive, food has become an excuse, a reason to be creative, a pretext to flirt, to talk to strangers, to share our most intimate stories with the ones we love. And also, one of the many ways in which we can explain who we are as individuals and as a society.
The gastronomic experience starts when you arrive at a friend’s home and get struck by the smell of poulet rôti as soon as he opens the door. It starts when you enter a restaurant in Rome and sense the air filled with an aroma of cheese, wine, and truffles. Your eyes marvel when you see a plate that looks like an abstract work of art. Gastronomic experiences are not only a matter of taste, they appeal to all our senses. We want this issue of YUCA to do so as well. By unveiling the universe of possibilities of food we wish to delight your taste, your smell, your sight, and touch, and also your mind.
We don’t pretend to be experts on the matter. We just want to explore the language of food, to know more about how it constructs meaning and maintains tradition, to invite people from different backgrounds to talk about it and see what comes out.
On the other hand there’s ROOTS, the cross-cutting theme for this issue. We chose it because, as YUCA —the root that gave its name to this magazine— it portrays our origins, where we come from. Every member of the editorial team has evoked his and her own background to bring this publication to life. Interesting enough, none of us is attached to one sole ground. Our roots have forced us to look forward, inspired us to learn about the world, to explore its landscapes, and to know its people. Our roots are the main position from which we relate to others and they are what enables us to open up to creativity and movement rather than remaining still and unchanged.
The pages you’re holding mark the beginning of a path. We want to set this moment apart. We want to make it special. In the future, when we will have honed, along with our readers, the language we’re beginning to build, we want to be able to look back at this issue and remember where we came from, how it all started. We want to know our roots.
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