Eating like [and with] the 'enemy' at world's first Conflict Kitchen
Enter the "Conflict Kitchen," a waffle shop turned takeout restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where cuisine from ‘axis of evil' nations food is cooked up along with foreign policy dialogue since June 1.
Three artists collaborated on the ‘food for thought' project Jon Rubin, professor at Carnegie Mellon University School of Art and director of the Waffle Shop, John Peña, adjunct assistant professor of art and Dawn Weleski, assistant director of the Waffle Shop.
The Conflict Kitchen will rotate foods from nations that the US has conflict with and in June opened as "Kubideh Kitchen" an Iranian takeout shop.
On June 4, Weleski explained to Relaxnews, "Most likely, we will follow up Kubideh Kitchen with Afghani cuisine, followed by North Korea, and then perhaps Venezuela. Really, the take out restaurant could go on for years, with the conflicts the U.S. is currently involved in, from stated war to the most intricate policy decisions."
"We aren't looking to promote any message, necessarily, or promote change. We're merely looking to start a conversation, one that might be a little more personal, one that is more of an exchange, whether it be around the politics, the culture, or daily life. It is easy to forget that behind all of the governmental conflicts there are people and a culture. When this personal connection is lost things become dangerous", continued Weleski.
On June 5, "Kubideh Kitchen" held its first live Skype meal event with Pittsburgh locals and 30 Tehran artists, professors, and musicians aged 22-35 hosted by Tehran artist, curator and professor Sohrab M. Kashani. Both locations shared the same meal: http://www.kubidehkitchen.com/?p=167
The next event is scheduled for June 26 where youth issues will be explored with under 30s in Pittsburgh and Tehran. The Conflict Kitchen has been a cross-disciplinary project and students, interns, community organizations have all helped out.
And, the take out window has become a space where patrons from all over Pittsburgh have come to discuss religion, daily ritual, politics, and cultural differences and similarities, all initiated through food.
In 2006, artist Michael Rakowitz created an educational cooking workshop 'Enemy Kitchen', that took place in classrooms and galleries. Rakowitz born to an Iraqi-Jewish mother, developed the Enemy Kitchen to "seize the possibility of cultural visibility to produce an alternative discourse" with a compilation of Baghdadi recipes.
In the same vein as the Conflict Kitchen, Rakowitz has found "food opens up a new route through which Iraq can be discussed-in this case, through that most familiar of cultural staples: nourishment."
The Conflict Kitchen differs from the Enemy Kitchen in that it is an actual restaurant and not presented to the world as an art project but a yummy new fresh fast food to try that comes with a side of social and political awareness (thanks to the sandwich wrapper covered in themes and discussion point facing US/Iran today).
If you have no intention of being in Tehran or Pittsburgh in the coming months, it might be interesting to turn your next dinner party into an exotic adventure or conflict kitchen where education, politics and religion all have a place on the table.
Life & Style blogs
A roundup of the latest property news
Plus, do energy saving measures boost house prices?
The spring menswear season has only just begun, but I've already started to get deep and meaningful....
- 1 Freedom fighters? Cannibals? The truth about Syria’s rebels
- 2 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 3 Special Report: US troops are stationed in Japan to protect the nation. But to sex workers in Okinawa, they bring fear, not security
- 4 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
- 5 Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria
iJobs Food & Drink
£20,000 - £45,000 OTE: Co-Venture: Working for this company will give you a ch...
£40000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
£18000 - £35000 per annum + Award-Winning Benefits & Uncapped Comm: Flight Cen...
Negotiable: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: Cruise Ship Seasonal W...