Eight different communities will be involved in this project: Chilean, Timorese, Vietnamese, Russian Jewish, Eritrean, Iraqi, Afghani and Iraqi. Within a community lunch setting, people will be invited to explore their stories through food. They will be asked to tell a story about a meal that has a significant memory associated with it. This may be in their country of origin before the troubles started, the last meal they had with their families, meals that were cooked on their journey or meals shared on arrival.
A member from each of the refugee groups has been employed to work on this project and will be trained or mentored fthroughout the process.
After the story development stage, The various groups will run a series of community lunches and dinners where the food will be prepared and the stories will be presented in several languages.
The purpose of this project is to develop greater understanding and tolerance towards refugees and asylum seekers by providing a historical context for the current debate. This will be achieved by engaging refugee communities that have come to Australia over the last 30 years and providing a venue for their stories. These stories will be heard, not just by the English speaking community but also by other communities that came to Australia on humanitarian programs. The proposed project will endeavour to find points of shared experience through stories and food.
The work will be exhibited at the Immigration Museum December 2003 - June 2004 and Footscray Community Art Centre February 2004. The multi-lingual exhibition will consist of a collection of stories, photographic self portraits, and a series of installations that extends the viewers understanding of the story. A recipe book will also be available as a catalogue.