Sharing Food, Sharing Stories
A Community Exhibition and Cookbook
By: Kerria, Sarah, & Elanna
Have you ever thought about how food is one of the things we all consume, every day, all over our city? Our culinary rituals carry histories and connect us to the people in our lives and the places we are from. It is our common denominator and we want to talk with you about it.
Over a kitchen table we want to develop a book of portraits, stories and recipes primarily from seniors living in the Mt Pleasant neighbourhood. We are interested in your stories of family, ancestry and migration and the ways that food connects you to these places and memories. We’d love to spend some time in the kitchen cooking with you (or with your instruction!) and listening to your stories. We would also like to include young people living in Mt Pleasant and we are keen to have them recall recipes they might have inherited from older generations and the kinds of memories and associations that come with the sharing of that food. These conversations and cook-ups will culminate in a photo exhibit and food celebration in November, funded by a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation.
We are Kerria, Sarah, & Elanna. Kerria is a photographer, teacher, and M.Education student, Sarah is a creative mapper and Elanna is a PhD student studying migration. We are all zealous cooks, canners & bakers. Kerria grew up in Vancouver, Sarah in Norway, and Elanna in Australia. Our own families are spread out all over, and like so many others our connections are far-reaching.
We are now all firmly planted and love living in Mount Pleasant. We hope that through this project we can highlight the ways that for many, inter-generational connections can become stretched, and that sharing food and stories can keep those connections alive and strong.
Our two main purposes with this project are to hear and share the diverse stories of food and connection in Mount Pleasant and, secondly, to connect young people and seniors in the neighborhood. We hope to have local young people take on an active role in the project and develop lasting inter-generational connections with other members of their community.
SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED…..
What will be the outcome of the project?
After a summer of shared conversations, coffees, and kitchen cook-ups the project will culminate in a community exhibition in November at the Mt Pleasant Neighbourhood House. At this event we will reveal photographic portraits of the all the participants involved in the project, snippets from the stories participants have shared, and share a community feast.
Following the exhibition we will begin to put together a cookbook featuring seniors from Mt Pleasant, their stories, recipes, and portraits. We hope to publish and sell this cookbook, with the proceeds going toward the Mt Pleasant Neighbourhood House.
How often and where would we get together?
Ideally we could meet once every three weeks for a couple of hours, either at your home, at the Mt Pleasant Neighbourhood House, or another place of your choosing. We would hope to continue meeting until November.
We will also be at Mt Pleasant Neighbourhood house every second Tuesday afternoon and will have coffee and cookies at the ready! We will be available to share updates on the project and introduce you to other folks involved in the project.
Some of the topics we’d love to talk with you about include:
- What do you cook when family comes to visit?
- What are the foods that were or continue to be special to you, that were/are made on special occasions, or on any old day?
- What are the tastes and flavours that remind of home, your childhood, or another place?
- What are some of the foods or flavours that you miss, or that remind you of family or home?
- Is food part of celebration or other rituals for you?
- Do you have a migration story or a story of home that you’d like to share?
- No kitchen is complete without…
If you are interested in participating, or want to know more you can contact us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-771-4726.