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Conflict Kitchen will be hosted Oct. 27-30 by Prindle, Conflict Studies and the Art Department

The Conflict Studies Program, The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, and the Department of Art and Art History are thrilled to announce an upcoming visit by artists Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski, and chef Robert Sayre, of Conflict Kitchen.

We will welcome them to campus the week immediately following fall break. Public events include:

Public Lecture by Dawn Weleski and John Rubin, founders of Conflict Kitchen
Monday, October 27 at 4:15 PM
Peeler Art Center, Auditorium
Free and open to the public

Meal at the Prindle Institute
Thursday, October 30 at 6 PM
Prindle Institute, Great Room
Open to the public. Tickets $15 ($9 for DePauw students)
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, October 15 and are available for purchase at the front desk of Peeler Art Center Monday thru Friday 10 AM-4 PM

Conflict Kitchen is an art project that takes shape as a restaurant in Pittsburgh that “only serves food from countries in which the United States is in conflict,” with the country of focus changing every few months. The restaurant is currently in its Palestinian phase, and past versions include Venezuela, Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, and Iran.

Using strategies of socially and publicly engaged art, Conflict Kitchen places an equal amount of emphasis on preparing authentic meals as they do on educating customers on the conflict of focus. Not only do they visit the countries to gain a greater understanding of the conflict and cuisine, but they also interview Pittsburgh residents from these nations to better understand different perspectives. The food at Conflict Kitchen is served in paper wrappers that function as informative handouts with direct quotes from these personal interviews as well as information about the cuisine, politics, and culture of the country.

Artists Dawn Weleski and John Rubin, the creative founders of Conflict Kitchen, will present a public lecture on Monday, October 27 at 4:15 PM in Peeler Auditorium. While on campus, they will also visit several classes, meet with students and faculty, and conduct art critiques with Studio Art majors.

On Thursday, October 30 at 6 PM, Dawn Weleski and Robert Sayre, the chef at Conflict Kitchen, will serve a Palestinian meal at Prindle and give a presentation about the politics of food in Palestine and the way it is used to establish cultural identity. A limited number of tickets to this event will be available on October 14 to DePauw students, faculty, staff, and Greencastle community members.

We hope you will consider attending the Conflict Kitchen lecture and meal to learn more about this unique restaurant, social practice art, and the conflict in Palestine.


Cultural Appropriation Dinner & Discussion on Oct.13

Come out to Prindle on Monday, October 13 at 5:30 PM for a dinner and discussion about the ethics of cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation occurs when someone from one culture takes or uses something from another culture. What is taken can be a physical artifact, such as when an archaeologist takes an ancient relic and gives it to a museum. Cultural appropriation can also occur with something more abstract such as an idea, piece of music, or even an art style that is unique to the other culture, such as when Eric Clapton plays cover songs of traditional southern blues songs or when Iggy Azalea raps in a “blaccent.”  Other examples include imitating clothing styles from other cultures, as Urban Outfitters did with their “Navajo” clothing line.

Sometimes we encounter instances of cultural appropriation and immediately think it’s totally offensive, and sometimes we encounter instances that we think are more acceptable. What makes an instance of cultural appropriation wrong, if at all? When, if at all, is cultural appropriation morally permissible? How does cultural appropriation differ from cultural appreciation?

The Prindle Institute’s director Andy Cullison will give a brief presentation about cultural appropriation, and table conversation will follow. Each table will have several prompt cards to guide discussion. Dinner will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis and will include gourmet grilled cheese from student start-up Cheesin’ and soup and salad from Almost Home. This event is free and open to all DePauw students, staff, and faculty.

Prindle has coordinated this event with the School of Music to be a part of the Dvorak Music Festival due to the Native American and African-American cultural influences in Dvorak’s work.

We’re excited to delve into this complicated and relevant topic, and we hope you’ll join us and share your perspective!

Need a ride out to Prindle? A shuttle will be leaving the Hub for Prindle at 5:15 PM and will return after the event.