Castle Cafe, Castle StRecipe prints on Newspaper
Having worked closely with a group of Syrian refugees, centrally around food, over the course of several months, Lebanese/British artist Aya Haidar forged firm relationships of exchange with a group of (predominantly) female refugees integrating into a new and foreign home where linguistic, religious and ethnic differences seemed rather pronounced. What overrode this and drew out aspects of Arab cultural identity was indeed the passing down of recipes from their native war torn Syria, illustrating their warmth, generosity, heritage and hospitality.
Haidar selected two simple staple dishes, Falafel and Homous, which were personally handed down to her from one of the women, as it finds itself present in any Arab family’s culinary repertoire. These recipes are block printed across recent newspaper articles detailing developments in the conflict that forced these families to flee and set up homes elsewhere today.
The politics in print as backdrop is vital, both as a grave reminder of an ongoing tragic reality, but also to reaffirm resilience of a people who survive and keep their heritage alive.