Find out more about the Radical Kitchen programme here: http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/radical-kitchen
16 August 2017 – The Nzinga Effect
The lives of African women are often the subject of discussion but rarely are these women given a platform to speak for themselves. The Nzinga Effect publishes content and organises events focusing on the stories of African women and women of African descent, driven by a belief that the world deserves to hear about and meet with the many women from Africa changing their countries, their continent and their world. Nzinga defines Africa as the five regions of the continent, and the diaspora. Connection leads to conversation, conversation to collaboration, collaboration to transformation.
On eight Wednesdays in July and August, a London community group or campaign organisation assembled in Kéré’s Pavilion at 1pm to share their recipes for creating and sustaining meaningful social change in the city. Deepening the connection with food, these groups met over a meal prepared by Mazí Mas, the pop-up restaurant and award-winning social enterprise established for and run by migrant women. Visitors to the Serpentine Pavilion were also able to purchase food by Mazí Mas, with all proceeds going back to their work.
Daily life in London is challenging for many due to rapid gentrification and the displacement and dispersal of many once tight-knit communities. How can the city sustain a sense of community and resilience? Founded in 2014, Mazí Mas are a powerful example of a project making meaningful impact on the ground. Recognising that many migrant or refugee women are locked in a cycle of unemployment, Mazi Mas gives skilled home cooks training, payment and support to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves.
Inspired by this model, the Serpentine invited other groups creating sustainable projects and campaigns in their communities to this new strand of the Pavilion programme. Themes of care, solidarity, survival and resilience run throughout the work of the eight groups involved in Radical Kitchen, who tackle issues as diverse as housing rights, gentrification, food poverty, unemployment, migration, motherhood and community empowerment. These weekly talks opened up discussion to the wider public, exploring questions developed in conversation with Francis Kéré and building on his own ideas of socially-engaged architecture, as embodied in the Serpentine Pavilion 2017.