Project proposal: Racha Tarazi

My Dinner

Digesting emotions

My Dinner is an immersive art installation: part food-art and part theatrical set up. Thematically, it resembles a sit-down dinner party for 6-8 guests.

My Dinner attempts to explore the process and emotions that surround relocation, immigration, finding home, integration and, finally, belonging. I created this surreal and interactive experience to delve into these emotions through the medium of food.

My Dinner brings three elements to a crossroad: toying with forms, my journey and the tastes of my culture. Poignant discussion threads through the entire experience, deepening connection and understanding between guests at the table about their stories, their journeys and highlighting the human ‘home’ within the framework of migration.

Enlarge

First Picture My Dinner - Visual for a dinner. My Dinner attempts to explore the process and emotions that surround relocation, immigration, finding home, integration and, finally, belonging. I created this surreal and interactive experience to delve into these emotions through the medium of food. Photo by Racha Tarazi Racha Tarazi

 Project description

My Dinner stems from my personal journey of relocation from Jordan to the Netherlands.

Having spent decades studying and working in cities worldwide, I am no stranger to international relocation. But this journey was different. For the first time, I experienced pain, loneliness and a loss of identity. Being a seasoned relocator, I thought I already had the tools to self-adapt. Hence, the most challenging realisation was that these tools were failing me!

This constantly jarring feeling of disconcertion in my new country forced me to go inward to make sense of things. I tend to use my creative mind to fiddle with my heart. So, I fiddled. I deconstructed these ‘self adapting tools’ and began the process of redefining them.

Dinner Party enables me to share this transition in a unique medium. The experience opens the door for deeper conversations about immigration, belonging and community, drawing others into similar dialogues and fostering an authentic human connection.

My art generally revolves around using new and emerging technology to explore space and stories. With this art installation, I wanted to use something familiar (food) in an unexpected way: dishes representing different emotions on the journey of belonging to my new home.

In my culture, cooking for people and sharing food is a sign of love and friendship. Food is decadent and joyful. Food gathers people and encourages social interaction. But what happens when I use food to explore pain and difficulty? What if I use food to share loneliness? The notion that strangers gather to sit down at a meal, digest these emotions and stories is both unsettling and satisfying, unnerving and healing, and can be altogether transformative.

Possible ways to expand the project

  • Workshops about using food as an expression of stages of life and emotions. I would like to continue the exploration of "Eating an Emotion" with other themes like Healing.
  •  A gift with edible objects that represent the emotions we explore in this theme or others in development. One could buy this gift for a loved one going through that stage in their life, or a Meal gift that could guide conversation about a theme to resolution.

Personal introduction

Racha pushes design norms to challenge us to connect and collaborate as our most authentic selves. She experiments with physical and virtual spaces, material objects, and new media to develop experiences that prompt deeper interaction. Often, she uses exaggeration, and play to build the trust necessary to explore and create from a pure place.

Estimated costs 

Creative costs: 5000-6000 Euros
Material costs (Props and Set): 5000 Euros
Location & Marketing costs: Depends on the hosting institution
*Breakdown is available for Interested partners

I propose My Dinner to run over an initial 3 months, with 2 dinners running concurrently in separate, small, intimate setting dining spaces on a daily basis.

This proposal is part of the 'Penny for your Thoughts' project 2022.