An Introduction by Priya Basil
Hospitality as the essence of Europe

Logo of the project Europe's kitchen
Illustration: © Daniela Burger

Between August and December 2020, eleven artists will reach out across borders to engage with citizens in eleven different European cities. They will cook up beautiful ways of meeting, touching, tasting, exchanging and understanding – while maintaining physical distance as necessary.

By Priya Basil (Curator), 2020

Europe’s Kitchen is an exploration of hospitality in the widest sense of the word. Who is welcome? Where, when, how? These questions, which sit at the heart of our personal, communal and international relations, are becoming more urgent than ever – because of growing nationalist and xenophobic tendencies, because of the climate crisis, because of the political, social, economic and psychological impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic. Eleven artists around Europe will grapple with these issues in eleven other countries across the continent. They will work through local Goethe-Institutes to collaborate with residents in each place. You’re invited to join in!  
 
The artists see the kitchen as an engine room of creation and nourishment that powers other activities. They take the kitchen as a laboratory, a space of experimenting and meeting, of mixing and discovering. They change the boundaries of the kitchen – moving it into a courtyard, onto a page, into your mind. They recognize the kitchen table as a place where the best conversations can happen, friendships are sealed, future plans hatched, other worlds imagined.  
 
Europe’s Kitchen is a project tied to Germany’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, set to begin in July 2020. It is an effort to look at and think differently about Europe, to find fresh, profound ways of (re-)connecting people. These attempts are all the more valuable at a time when the sense of unity and the capacity for generosity between individuals and countries on this continent, as well as between the world community at large, is being tested. This project celebrates the power of coming together, sitting around one table, cooking things up - literally and metaphorically. Please – take a seat, join in, share your thoughts. You’re most welcome! Europe’s Kitchen is yours, is mine, is everybody’s.
 
With Patrícia Portela in Copenhagen (Denmark), Kateřina Šedá in Tallinn (Estonia), Priya Basil in Wrocław (Poland), Jeannette Ehlers in Huntly (Scotland), Mischa Leinkauf in Chania (Greece), Géraldine Schwarz in Palermo (Italy), Marinella Senatore in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Ivana Sajko in Marseille (France), Jeannette Ehlers in Glasgow und Huntly (Schottland) and Arpad Dobriban in Madrid (Spain), Jasmina Metwaly in Vienna (Austria) and Johny Pitts in Munich (Germany).

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