FRArt Koujina, Subalterns' Cuisine : an experimental and collaborative artistic research on food, cookery and colonizationKoujina, Subalterns' Cuisine: introduction

  • type: Article
  • ref: DOC.2023.87
  • tags: coloniality of knowledge, post-colonial context, food, cooking, feminism, subalterns, lacks and deprivations, food shortage, ecology, subsistence, auto-ethnographic

Koujina, Subalterns' Cuisine : approaches the coloniality of knowledge through the lens of food in
Tunisia, through a series of discussions between the artist and women from working-class backgrounds.
These meetings will take place during collaborative cooking workshops following a clearly established protocol of knowledge exchange. Together, we will analyze through practice how traditional dishes have adapted; we will invent alternative presents for vanished dishes; we will address the lacks and deprivations ; we will contemplate culinary gestures and techniques, as well as the spaces and rhythms of post-colonial conviviality in a living research process. In this process, food is both the object of research, a communication tool, and the artistic medium. Our hypothesis: culinary traditions are practices of resistance.
Three research axes will guide the inquiry: To what extent does colonization continue to impact the intimate and daily experience of food? How do women reclaim spaces of commensality and conviviality in the post-colonial context? What can the subjectivity and practice of the artist contribute to an ethnographic approach? My personal experience will be the starting point, not only because I come from the studied terrain but also because the goal is to place affect at the center of research. The aim is to move away from Euro-centric epistemological frameworks by giving credence to other ontologies. The discussions will not be recorded but transcribed afterward to mobilize emotional memory as a valid research tool. The material
collected during the research will then be shared in Belgium with individuals from various diasporas of former colonies in a comparative study. Finally, it will become an auto-ethnographic narrative.