cooking with stories

A collaborative project with depatriarchise design and Romi Lee.
Published during Istanbul Design Biennial 2020.


In a long, narrow, modernist kitchen, Mayar El-Bakry, a Swiss- Egyptian designer, cooks. Using anonymously designed cooking tools and objects ubiquitous to the SWANA (Southwest Asia and North Africa) region, she prepares various dishes: falafel, ma’amoul, kousa mahshi, tajine and other staples. Each cooked dish highlights one protagonist's tool or object, telling a different story. As we delve into these fragments of everyday home cooking, the voices and rich diasporic narratives of people from the SWANA region — now immigrants in Europe— unfold. The film is an experimental visual document that intimately embraces the overlooked, invisible, marginalized design surrounding us, drawing on personal memories, experiences and the collections of mundane kitchen tools gathered over the years and brought to Europe upon emigrating. The film's storylines of memories, activities, and sensual experiences are carefully interwoven and brought to life through sound, moving images, photographs, and texts. In this way, overlooked narratives unfold and offer the view of a rich landscape instead of the binaries that prevail in design and cooking.

full Video available here:

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