Recipes for Resistance

Sabba Khan, Jasleen Kaur, Navi Kaur, Yas Lime and Raju Rage

Recipes for Resistance is an interactive multimedia art project which explores the politics of food and its relationship to migration, belonging, memory, culture, coloniality, gender, resilience, adaptability and resistance.

It functions as both a metaphor for and testimony to survival.

Long in the making, it initially started as a zine and has grown into a group exhibition of five artists: Sabba Khan, Jasleen Kaur, Navi Kaur and Raju Rage. Artist in residence Yas Lime will be creatively responding to the exhibition in its duration. The work on show is accompanied by a library of resources that explores food, migration and politics in nuance and complexity. The exhibition is a culmination of research, collection and relationship building by Raju Rage.

Listen to Raju Rage talk about the show here

The exhibition also features a new publication of the same name produced by Raju Rage, which is a crucial element of the show, that spans poetry, testimonies, articles, cross generational conversations, interviews, illustrations, photography and recipes. It includes contributions from Raisa Kabir, Sabba Khan, Queer Masala, Nandini Moitra, Zarina Muhammad, Raju Rage, YSK Prerana, Vijeta Kumar, Edible Archives and WAH! Womxn Artists of Colour.

Recipes for Resistance publication was created to be in direct conversation with other art/works in the exhibit of the same name at Ort Gallery, Birmingham. Due to the Covid pandemic the exhibit has had to be postponed until a future date. Limited printed copies can be purchased for £7 (£5 + £2 p&p) via the artist’s website. We have invited artists/writers/chefs to creatively respond to the publication, which will be shared soon, to continue the conversations around recipes for resistance.

The exhibition and publication centre on South Asian voices, from South Asia and the diaspora, in an attempt to connect them better and platform issues of ethnicity, religion, caste and gender. The British South Asian identity and it’s relation to food has often been flattened down and simplified, as can be witnesses with the British ‘curry’. There are much needed conversations to be had, in order to unpack these important issues. This exhibition also relates and connects to the legacies of the South Asian culture and community in Birmingham (as well as other parts of the UK) of which there is a considerable heritage. The exhibition and publication carve ‘conversations’ between South Asian creative producers who are engaging with culinary themes but are exploring them differently.

The title of the publication, exhibition and project Recipes for Resistance is inspired by a quote by Almah LaVon (2015):

“Just the other day I was reading that resilience is an ecology more than it is an individual trait or possession. If so, dreaming together can weave the context for our healing. That is: a container, an atmosphere, a potentiality. Not transcendence. In fact, I’m not sure how much we’re breaking free of personal/collective trauma as much as we’re brewing adaptogens, recipes for resistance, a kiss and a fist.”

This exhibition is curated by Raju Rage with support from Ort Gallery. The project has been funded by Arts Council England. Associated Events have been funded by Amal (a Said Foundation Programme).

Associated events will be published shortly.