Workshop "Cook your poetics"
It was threatening to rain, so for the workshop on October 20th, we had to change our beloved Plaza Lugar Poetas for an indoor place. And what better place than the one that will be home to the mobile kitchens from now on: the Centro Comunitario Guatemala, located just a few minutes from Valdezarza.
For this workshop, we had some very special guests, none other than the participants of the Grigri Pixel festival –a programme of activities around the manufacture of magical objects in urban spaces– which was held in the capital on those same days. The workshop was also attended by neighbours from Valdezarza and other people who, little by little, have also become friends with the project. Before getting into the flour (literally, because this time we even made bread), we did a small round of presentations, so that we could get to know each other a little better.
As we got down to work preparing the menu we had planned for the day – a pumpkin cream that warmed both body and spirit, some good salads, some vegetable rolls, rice and lentil burgers with vegetables and, for dessert, cheese with quince and banana skewers with melted chocolate and nuts on top, Keba, one of the Grigri participants, asked people about curious or funny anecdotes that had happened to them around the kitchen and that they would like to share with everyone. Between culinary stories and cooking tasks, everyone found a space to write some verses for the Valdezarza neighbourhood. This workshop was dedicated to the new name of the square, so we wanted to offer a poetic tribute to it by creating an exquisite corpse of verses written by the attendees. For her part, Mama, another of the artists taking part in the Grigri, was keen to prepare the famous bissap or “Senegalese wine”, a non-alcoholic drink based on hibiscus flower infusion that triumphed during the meal. Ah! And how can we forget Sara Fratini, the official cartoonist of the Grigri, who spent the whole day drawing pictures.
Just before we started eating under the porch of the Guatemala, the clouds dissipated. Once at the table, we continued to share stories about eating and cooking, and during the afternoon we read the exquisite poetic corpses created during the workshop (there were some very surreal creations) and Mama improvised a choreography for us all to dance to a song she taught us. Everything was portrayed in images by Óscar de La Máquina de Fotos and in video by the kids from La Mina.
A pleasure to share the kitchen with the neighbours of Valdezarza again and to have the participation of “the Grigris”, who gave their all during the workshop. We were left with the feeling that we would not be able to inaugurate the square as it deserved, but autumn is so unpredictable, so in the future we hope to be able to return to the square with the kitchens and celebrate in style and as the new name of the square deserves.
When I was little, the boys of the house had no right to enter the kitchen, so one day I asked my grandmother why. She said it was a tradition they wanted to preserve, because it was the time when women met, spent time together and made decisions.
In my village, the only thing you can’t say is “I don’t like this food”. I had a dish that I didn’t like at all, it’s called domoda, and when I said it in my house, they were cooking domoda for a whole month.
As Keba said, it is difficult for men to enter the kitchen in Senegal and when we grow up, we try to make an effort to be able to cook, but we don’t have a close relationship with the kitchen. I have tried so hard that I am now able to make an omelette.
Taking advantage of the fact that poetry is the theme of this workshop, I wanted to remind Gómez de la Serna, who one of the recipes he liked most was the croquettes. He liked them so much that he said that you had to put a bone in it to know how many you ate.
When I was seven years old, I remember especially on Sunday afternoons, when my mother and I would prepare wind doughnuts for snacking while watching Chaplin movies on TV.