Soundwalk / Trading Earth

Eating is a social experience. Between sips of coffee and bites of cake, we connect with the people around us. We also engage with people beyond those seated at our table. Through eating, we interact with an entire supply chain of laborers around the world: dozens of invisible hands that cultivated, processed, and delivered each commodity

The Trading Earth Soundwalk dives into the history of food and labor, using the objects in this gallery to tell stories of the people who created and cultivated commodities throughout time. From the coffee habits of early Americans to Providence’s involvement in the slave trade, you’ll learn how early global foodways and labor systems have shaped the way we eat today



Emma Vecchione (Brown BA 2020, Art History)
produced this audio piece.


The Trading Earth Soundwalk team consisted of:

Alexandra Poterack
associate educator, Public and Academic Programs

Jeremy Radtke
assistant director, Digital Initiatives

Olivia Schroder (RISD BFA 2023)
sound designer and producer

Kajette Solomon
Social Equity and Inclusion (SEI) Program Specialist

Elizabeth Williams
David & Peggy Rockefeller Curator, Decorative Arts at the RISD Museum

Elizabeth Xu (RISD MFA, 2023)
sound designer


Thank you to those who contributed to the creation of the Trading Earth Soundwalk:

Janette Bloomfield
mother of Kajette Solomon

Anina Major, (RISD MFA 2017, Ceramics)
ceramic artist and critic, RISD Ceramic Department

Chris Roberts
RISD Schiller Family Assistant Professorship in Race in Art and Design, Assistant Professor of Theory and History of Art and Design and Experimental Foundation Studies

John Onwuchekwa
founder of Portrait Coffee in Atlanta, Georgia Pascale Rihouet, RISD Senior Lecturer in History of Art & Visual Culture


Additional thanks to those whose conversations and reflections shaped the development of this project:

Sheila Bonde, Christopher Chan and Michelle Ma
Professor of History of Art, Brown University

Marina Brancely
Senior Instructor, Johnson and Wales University

Zack Even (Brown BA 2020, Modern Culture and Media)

Kaijun Chen
Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies

Karen Methany
Senior Lecture, Gastronomy, Boston University

Holly Shaffer
Assistant Professor of History of Art and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Brown University