an other world
Tongue Twisting Dinners Session 4: resistance at boiling point | Eathouse
Tongue Twisting Dinners is a series of four monthly dinners hosted by Eathouse. They explore ways of initiating critical dialogue around contemporary urgencies by bringing people and culinary practice together. For each session Eathouse will host a different topic elaborated by guests whose research will guide the dialogue. The dinners will try out unconventional formats that attempt to dissolve the separation between host, guest and audience through inclusive prompts.

For their last Tongue Twisting Dinner Eathouse brought together voices from Iran, Lebanon, Armenia and  Turkey. This region, also referred to as S.W.A.N.A., continues to be affected by entangled geo-politics, oil trade, religious dogma and wars on territorial integrity. Each of our guests deals with the history of the region to position their practice in the current political climate. However, many artists, researchers and historians who raise their voice to address ongoing injustices and criticise hegemonic powers, are often silenced and therefore have to create alternative methodologies and forms of resistance. Diana Al-Halabi’s research unfolds through various mediums and brings in different histories of the region. Veronika Babayan transfers women’s generational knowledge through her artistic practice that deals with antagonistic histories. Whereas JINA Collective is a feminist leftist activist group and community that emerged from the Woman, Life, Freedom Revolution in Iran.

The menu departed from the recipe letters of Mücella Yapıcı and Çiğden Mater, political prisoners in Turkey. These two women take on women’s prison survival skills for cooking and reheating their meals. The knowledge that circulates around different prisons in Turkey forms an alliance among prisoners as well as forming resistance by holding on to an essential human pleasure: taste. Yapıcı cooks elaborate traditional Turkish recipes with an electric water kettle and the limited means available in prison, whereas Mater shares these ingenious recipes through letters to her friends.

About the guests:

Diana Al-Halabi’s current research "Famine and Hunger strike: Decolonizing the Digestive" constitutes two sides of the same coin. Famine and hunger strikes render the digestive system another political site of struggle. While famines are a top-down force often engineered by governments to subordinate their people, hunger strikes are a bottom-up form of individual resistance often undertaken by political prisoners as a last resort for claiming their rights.

Veronika Babayan readapts early feminist practices of preservation in relation to the concepts of collective memory, intergenerational trauma and diasporic identity. A large part of her work revolves around fruit leather making - a recipe through which stories of deracination, migration and survival of the Armenian women have been passed on intergenerationally and transnationally. In this light, Babayan is instrumentalizing the recipe into a collective political subjectivity, a mnemonic device, and a transmission mechanism of oral histories. In doing so, her work depicts the brutal and visceral characteristics of seemingly fragile materials that represent both nurturance and resistance.

JINA collective started to form in 2022 in solidarity with, and alongside marginalised communities, and agents of the current unfolding revolution in Iran. They persevere to eradicate any form of tyranny, repression, and domination situated inside the borders of Iran, as well as in the broader region, and beyond.

Eathouse is an artist cooking collective set up in 2020 by Ulufer Çelik, Merve Kılıçer, Vlada Predelina, and Jake Caleb. In their practice they explore the potential of food as an artistic method. They do this to instigate dialogue on ways that the culinary informs the social. They have hosted public events, kitchen takeovers, fundraisers and online broadcasts. In addition they invite other artists engaging with food to share their research with a wider audience. They are based in Rotterdam, NL.

Tongue Twisting Dinners has been kindly supported by Gemeente Rotterdam and CBK Rotterdam.
Graphic Design Studio Lieneman.
Photos Sophie Bates