Palestine Hosting Society

In her first public talk in the UAE, Mirna Bamieh, the artist behind Palestine Hosting Society, takes Jameel Arts Centre audiences through a journey of how this project came together, and her approach in investigating and unearthing of traditional Palestinian cuisine. 

The talk is combined with an interactive picnic in which everyone will prepare Gazan Dukka together.  Called “the soil of Gazans” due to similarities in colour and shape, Dukka is a Palestinian dish made popular by the people of Gaza, eaten dipped in olive oil, like its counterpart, thyme.

Some traditional Palestinian dishes have been forgotten, their names rendered mostly abstract to the current generation. Being denied a state of their own, Palestinians use food as a means to express an identity that is constantly undermined. Life under occupation atrophied this connection to food, through imposing restriction policies over food and water resources, inflicting control on wild plant foraging, as well as creating dissonance by showcasing Palestinian dishes as Israeli. Over the years, such measures created a kitchen that is dispossessed, making many Palestinian traditional dishes disappear, or temporarily withdraw.

Palestine Hosting Society is founded and run by artist and cook Mirna Bamieh, as an extension of her art practice that often looks at the politics of disappearance, and memory production. Mirna creates artworks that unpack social concerns and limitations in contemporary political dilemmas, and reflect on the conditions that characterize Palestinian communities.

The event fully booked. Thank you to all those who registered.

With thanks to NYU Abu Dhabi and Hanan Sayed Worrell and Jonathan H. Shannon, convenors of the conference ‘Cooking the Nation: Global Perspectives and Local Insights on Culinary Nationalism and Diplomacy’, happening on December 8-9, 9am-5pm.

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