The Syrian war has tragically become known as one of the bloodiest, indiscriminate and unforgiving conflicts of our times. International organisations have described it as the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Since the start of the Syrian war in 2011 more 1 million displaced Syrians have moved to Europe seeking refuge.
There have been varied and polarising reactions to the exodus of refugees out of Syria. Alongside uproar, rejection and anger towards refugees entering other nations, there has also been active resettlement, outpouring of support and a rallying of civil societies to the aid of refugees. Despite the physical, legal, social and emotional challenges faced by those fleeing Syria, refugees continue to make their way; doing so with pride and a determination to contribute to their host economies, with many having done so through the kitchen. This project will show a compelling side-effect of conflict: the sharing of rich, tasty and historically relevant food across Syria’s borders; the way in which refugees contribute to host societies and how they can enrich their existing cultures; and finally, that refugees, far from wanting to prey on or abuse the generosity of their hosts, actually seek to express their gratitude and independence by making and sharing what they know and love through the universal language of cooking. Memoirs of a Dish is a 180 and 360-degree filmed project that takes viewers on a journey into Syrian refugee kitchens around the world allowing them to learn about and experience Syrian cuisine. Through intimate and beautifully filmed interviews with refugee cooks we learn how their ethnic cuisine invokes and preserves memories of their war-torn homeland while also giving them a unifying and celebratory way of integrating with their host communities.
This project will be web platform, mobile applications and can also be experienced with virtual reality devices. Users will also have the option to download recipes.