Our community-building project to integrate isolated diaspora into their local communities
If Food Be the Music of Community, Play On
Migrant diaspora communities stick together. The benefits are obvious, but so are the risks – isolation, lack of representation, vulnerability to exploitation.
This project seeks to help local communities – often ethnic Chinese, Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Thai, Turkish, Cypriot etc. – to integrate with their local communities, and new homes, via the medium of food.
When language can be an issue, food rarely is. Definitively, the people with whom diaspora food workers come into contact are interested at least in this aspect of their culture, which forms a foundation on which to build relationships.
When economies are stressed, as they will be as Global Heating reality sets in, and climate-induced mass migration rises, these community bonds will be more necessary than ever to maintain cohesive local communities capable of effective climate action.
A Picture Licks a Thousand Lips
The concept is simple.
The project generates images of local foods that are not commonly on the menus written for the general public – real home-cooked comfort food, the kind of things that people eat at home, for convenience, sentimental reasons, or a special treat.
Community-minded people are then encouraged to take these pictures, and show them to their local ethnic food outlet, and see what results. The images are available throughout the See Through News social media network, but Instagram is probably the most effective channel.
In our experience, it’s always smiles, nods, laughs, thumbs up, and a willingness for both restauranteur and customers to go off-menu and try something different.
And in the process, form stronger community bonds.