Working with Rajinder Kalsi from Food Connect, we wanted to bring people together from diverse cultures through food & spice. As the world is getting smaller and people move around the globe, cultures are left behind and new ones adopted. We wanted to grab hold of those memories of the past before they are lost by using what is common for us all - food.
Food and spice help bring down the barriers. London is culturally diverse and home to people from around the globe living in the same areas. Initiatives to promote the mixing of the various communities is so beneficial for forming meaningful relations. The project used food as a means for breaking down barriers.
Why is this important?
Trusting relationships are the glue that hold people together as they work on a common problem. Our one-to-one connections with each other are the foundation for change and building relationships with people from different cultures. This projects provided a forum for sharing and listening to stories, building understanding, and relationships of other cultures.
Exploring identity through food, culture, and storytelling
This workshop was designed to bring together a diverse group to utilise their creative skills and weave a story from their memories of food. Each participant brought a spice and a recipe that is significant to their culture which provided a creative outlet for visualising a memoir/story and created a zine (a self-published, non-commercial print-work). All participants left with a better understanding of each other through this cultural sharing.
Southall Heritage Walk
15 July 2021
Gunnersbury Park Museum and Southall Community Alliance participated in a heritage walk through Southall to celebrate South Asian culture and history in the area. Along the walk there were pit stops at stalls, workshops, and performances. At the spice stall, we discussed which spices were significant to them and the culture and what memories did it remind them of.
Heston Big Local
25 July 2021
Spice zine workshop
Group of 9 participant, ages 10-16 years old
This workshop was held in collaboration with Heston Big Local at Heston School and Big Local. Big Local is a community group who runs classes and activities for all all age-groups but primarily for children and teens. This workshop formed part of their summer school activities provision.
The workshop was a full three-hour zine session allowing participants to explore their identity through spice and create a zine artefact.
'It was really fun! It made me more creative and I loved every second of it.'
'The session was perfect.'
Bridgelink Community Centre
3 August 2021
Cinnamon roll and spice quiz workshop
Group of 9 participants, ages 10-16 years old
This session was held in collaboration with Bridgelink Community Centre. The centre is a nucleus for activities for all ages. The workshop was a primarily fun baking session which included a spice quiz which encouraged them to explore the spices using all senses.
'I really enjoyed learning how to make cinnamon buns and learning about spices. I was surprised to discover my friends also used the same spices as me but for different foods.'
8 August 2021
Spice zine workshop
Group of 4 participants, ages 19-34 years old
This workshop held at Southville Community Centre with Food Connect and MIND. MIND is a mental health support association who often hold group sessions and thought this would be a good provision for their combat loneliness campaign. This workshop was a full three hour zine session in which participants explored their identity through spice and created a zine artefact.
'Great workshop and facilitated very well. Thank you very much for coming along and sharing your workshop with us.'
'Was nice and relaxed, created a great atmosphere and really and really enjoyed the creative side of things and learning about Indian cooking and spices.'
This has been a great partnership with Rajinder. Gunnersbury has been able to support some valuable workshops which are very much needed and wanted by community groups. It's also given us the chance to connect with new community partners - hopefully this will be the first of many projects we will work on together!