Do With Less – So They’ll Have Enough! examines the trauma of the Blitz, the Nuclear threat during the Cold War, and today’s challenges with global terror and the anxiety associated with Brexit. The exhibition also contains influences from other cultures that reflect the diversity of contemporary London.
One focus will be topic of rationing, and its effect on society at large. Before WWII, Great Britain’s food supply was to a large extent dependent on imports. In 1939, only about 30% of the food on the Brits’ tables was produced in the country – the rest was shipped there by producers from all around the globe. When the war broke out, a drastic change was required because of German attacks on supply ships, which meant that a food shortage in England was likely. The government implemented rationing in order to counteract the shortage of goods. In January 1940, every individual was given a ration book and registered at their local retailer. Shopkeepers were provided enough food for all who were registered. The ration books worked with a coupon system so that people could only buy what they were eligible for.
Christoph and Sebastian Mügge attempt to approach this sensitive topic in a humorous way. They aim to make it possible for visitors to examine conflicts, traumas, and fears from different angles while asking them to reflect on the high standard of living that we take for granted. In what is today both one of the richest and socioeconomically unbalanced cities in the UK, the artists want to present a different London that can feel far away for most people but, at the same time, has striking similarities with the life they lead.