How do you start a conversation with a complete stranger?
Ask them what they like to eat.
As humans, what we consume is determined by culture, status, preference, accessibility, beliefs, and circumstances. FOOD is one of the few things in the natural world that we all have in common. It evokes definition, even in the absence of it. As individuals we have a habit of separating ourselves by accentuating our differences. However, FOOD and the act of eating may be the one singular thing that clearly bonds us as a species. It is a tangible experience that we all relate to and depend on for survival.
The meal is always at the center of gatherings; a witness to the stories. What does it hear? If we were to follow our appetite where will it lead us? Even though we may not speak the same language, sharing a meal gives us the opportunity to start dialog in a new medium. It gives us a neutral playing field where we can broaden our palate with how we perceive each other. Eating reflects our character; we naturally judge each other by what we eat. We then ask ourselves, how is food defined by where we live? How have circumstances defined us in the journey of our meals? How do certain meals provoke such strong impressions inside of us?
My goal is to travel to specific regions around the world and select people to share their stories in the way of a ‘meal’. Each ‘meal’ will be preserved in a 2-3 minute video. Each video will contain a unique dish that will be personally created by its characters. This authenitc ‘meal’ will give us an intimate interpretation of their story so each one of us can consume their experience. Each video will be presented in a distinct perspective to give viewers an unique audio and visual experience.
To get a better idea, please check out my most recent completed project:
The idea for this project was born from these video's.
The first chapter will be in southern Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi are considered to be the most resilient and adaptable people in the world. More than 10 million people survive on ‘chars’ or as locals call it the ‘land that is drowning’. Many dwellers that live on these unforgiving landscapes, pick up their belongings and move about once a year. In many districts inhabitants use hyacinth plants to create floating gardens; where they plant squash, okra and other food crops so their food can follow them wherever they go. The first story will follow how one family finds remarkable ways of surviving the many extremes of their environment; each family member using their limited resources to adapt to their circumstances.
This will be the first of many stories to follow around the world.
In order to share these ‘meals’, I plan to build a website that can connect people and their stories so they can share it with the world. Viewers will also be able to share their own version of a meal and how they interpreted others. The website will contain a map of the world so viewers can connect with an area of the world by clicking on a point on the map. Within each story viewers will have access to original recipes, in-depth photos, audio clips, regional music, and most importantly; contributions that can help sustain the meals of its creators. Viewers will also have opportunity to leave comments and be able to have direct dialog with the characters of the story (bearing technical circumstances).
My goal is to generate at least $14,300 to start this project. This amount will help fund the first video from start to finish, cover basic travel expenses and start the construction of the website. The long-term goal is to make this project self-sustaining by creating incentives that can benefit both the viewers and the creators of the meal. Given the opportunity, I hope people in different areas of the world can exchange recipes, donate simple and modern necessities, exchange fair trade goods, and maybe even finding alternative methods of sustaining our vital resources.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions, as I believe that possibilities are endless if we can connect our ideas together.
This is just the beginning but with every meal a connection can be born.
Please help me to create my first meal,
- (59 days)