[Mirna Bamieh / Palestine Hosting Society] Photo courtesy of artist
Photo courtesy of artist

Mirna Bamieh / Palestine Hosting Society

Menu of Dis/appearance

LAB Commission / World Premiere

In its first dinner performance in the United States, Palestine Hosting Society presents an expanded approach to “palestinianess” that trespasses borders and geographies. Through a menu that brings together dishes from Palestinian cities and villages, alongside others that were preserved in Palestinian refugee camps outside Palestine, and those that narrate inter-generational food habits and memory of the Palestinian diaspora, especially in the United States. Menu of Dis/appearance narrates stories about time, history, and parts of ourselves that we might have allowed to slip away.
Menu of Dis/appearance is a dinner performance that invites the audience on a journey through a selection of dishes that shares Palestine Hosting Society’s investigation and unearthing of traditional Palestinian cuisine. Some of these dishes have been forgotten, their names rendered mostly abstract to the current generation of Palestinians. Being denied a state of their own, Palestinians use food as a means to express an identity that is constantly undermined. Life under occupation atrophied this connection to food, through imposing restriction policies over food and water resources, inflicting control on wild plant foraging, as well as creating dissonance by showcasing Palestinian dishes as Israeli. Over the years, such measures created a kitchen that is dispossessed, making many Palestinian traditional dishes disappear, or temporarily withdraw.
Menu will contain a variety of dishes including meat, dairy, and gluten. A full vegetarian menu is available upon advance request. A fully gluten-free and/or vegan menu is not available, although some dishes in the full menu will be gluten-free and/or vegan. 
This program is a part of the 2019 Live Arts Bard Biennial: Where No Wall Remains.