War Gastronomy

Image credit: Collective Action Studio, War Gastronomy

Image credit: Collective Action Studio, War Gastronomy


Co-presented by the Contemporary Arts Center and Wave Pool, the Collective Action Studio infiltrated the CAC’s lobby with recipes and stories of Cincinnati’s refugee women from September 5th – 22nd.

 The Collective Action Studio (CAS) is a community arts organization who creatively perform their philosophy that art is “a form of community building and nonviolent civil action.” Co-founded by Justin Hoover and Chris Treggiari, the CAS produce artwork, curate exhibitions, and develop educational projects that advance their goals to spread social justice and bring diverse people together through participatory activity. 

In Cincinnati they orchestrated the latest iteration of “War Gastronomy,” a mobile storytelling archive that has been previously disguised as a humble food cart. The currency in this network was a personal story of relocation – from cultural and geographical to emotional and psychological – told in the form of a culinary recipe. In exchange for a story, CAS prepared a selection of these recipes and share the ensuing dish with a variety of others as they recount the respective stories. In so doing, a collection of oral histories becomes a collective platform to see, hear, taste and smell a global menu of cultures in flux. For this project, CAS worked alongside an industrious group of refugee women from around the world who make up The Welcome Project – translating the skills and experiences of their constituents into entrepreneurial start-ups.

The timing of this project coincided with The Welcome Project’s pitch night as an Impact 100 finalist on September 13th. The Welcome Project was awarded an Impact 100 grant, to renovate and refurbish a storefront in Camp Washington into a teaching kitchen and marketplace so the women of The Welcome Project can cook and share their stories with Cincinnati on an ongoing basis.


More information on the Collective Action Studio at https://collectiveactionstudio.com/

More information on The Welcome Project at http://www.welcomecincinnati.org/

Support for this project is provided by Puffin West Ltd. and the Contemporary Arts Center