During Covid-19, our homes have been forcefully transformed into multipurpose spaces, where the intimate and the professional intersect, for better or worse. As we remain homebound, our domestic skills flourish, our agility at leaping between the real and the virtual is heightened, and our ways of finding sociability and connection have become novel and resourceful.

Our online series, Lentil Space, is a program of cooking sessions with artists, re-making the private into a shared public space, and an opportunity to peer into each other’s homes and habits. These sessions will try to reconnect us with the sensuousness and intimacy of cooking together, and also transform ways of making and narrating that are usually confined to the domestic into moments of performance and community.

Once a month, an invited artist, couple, or collective will welcome us into their kitchen, sharing a recipe of their choosing, but also their stories, knowledge, skills, music, texts: glimpses into their practice and their sensory universe, culinary and otherwise.

Episode #1: Nadah El Shazly

Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 9:30pm Athens/8:30pm Brussels

Nadah El Shazly (Egypt, b. 1989) is a producer, vocalist, and sound artist. Her debut album Ahwar both radically reinvents the popular music of her homeland from the early 19th century and explores new sonic and harmonic frontiers. Using voice, field recordings, and instruments, she creates haunting sound pieces and song forms that hijack your perception of time with their complex layers and dynamic structure. Backing up her release with extensive worldwide touring with a solo set and a four-piece band, Nadah has been featured in local and international festivals including Le Guess Who?, REWIRE, Best Kept Secret, Nusasonic, Marfa Myths, and many more. She continues to compose for film and visual art.

Episode #2: Meriem Bennani

Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 8:30pm Brussels/Cairo, 9:30pm Athens/Ramallah

Meriem Bennani (Morocco, b. 1988) lives and works in Brooklyn. Juxtaposing and mixing the language of reality TV, documentaries, phone footage, animation, and high production aesthetics, she explores the potential of storytelling while amplifying reality through a strategy of magical realism and humor. She has been developing a shape-shifting practice of films, sculptures, and immersive installations, composed with a subtle agility to question our contemporary society and its fractured identities, gender issues, and ubiquitous dominance of digital technologies. Meriem’s work has been shown at the Whitney Biennale, MoMA PS1, Art Dubai, the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, Public Art Fund, CLEARING, and The Kitchen in New York.

Episode #3: Reem Shadid

Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 8:30pm Brussels/Cairo, 9:30pm Athens/Ramallah

Reem Shadid is a cultural organizer, researcher and curator. She is the producer and host of Radio alHara’s show Listening with Reem Shadid, monthly listening sessions with artists, researchers, and curators working at the intersection of sonic, visual, and literary productions. She is also a contributing editor at Infrasonica, a digital platform of non-Western cultures. Her research is at the intersection of socio-economic form and the imaginary and emancipatory possibilities of artistic practice. Previously, she was the deputy director of Sharjah Art Foundation, where she served in various capacities, focusing mainly on organizing, managing, and producing the Sharjah Biennial between 2006 and 2020. She is currently in residence at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut.

Episode #4: Urok Shirhan

Thursday October 7, 2021 at 7pm Brussels/Cairo, 8pm Athens/Ramallah

Urok Shirhan (b. 1984, Baghdad) is an artist and researcher working at the intersection of performance, visual arts, and critical theory. Her practice explores the politics and poetics of sound, image, and speech in relation to power and affect. Urok’s latest body of research considers the role of sound in relation to forms of collectivity, dissidence, and belonging.

Episode #5: Reem Shilleh cooks roumannieh

Thursday November 4, 2021 at 7pm Brussels/Cairo, 8pm Athens/Ramallah

Living between Ramallah and Brussels, Reem Shilleh interlaces research, moving image, curatorial, editing, archival, and writing practices to (re)question the infinite formations of memory and collectivity. She is a member and co-founder of Subversive Film, a curatorial and research collective formed in 2011 that investigates archival practices and effects through militant film practices. She is also one of the hosts at the Kitchen, a space in Brussels.

Episode #6: Deena Abdelwahed cooks loubia

Thursday December 2, 2021 at 7pm Brussels/Tunis, 8pm Athens/Beirut

Deena Abdelwahed (b. 1989, Tunisia) is a Tunisian music producer and DJ. She moved to France at the age of 26, after making a name for herself in Tunisia as part of the Arabstazy Collective. Her hybrid DJ sets, at the forefront of subcultures, including her DJ set at Sonar in 2017, propelled the young Tunisian into the clubbing universe’s most demanding spheres (Boiler Room, Concrete, Room For Resistance, Säule/Berghain). As a producer, she was the creator of All Hail Mother Internet, an acclaimed performance at the CTM Berlin Festival. Her first EP Klabb, released in early 2017 through InFiné, was met with critical acclaim. That same year, she collaborated on the tracks “Plunge” and “An Itch” on Fever Ray’s second album. Deena’s first album Khonnar, released in 2018, has shifted the epicentre of contemporary electronic music south. In January 2020, she released a new EP, Dhakar.

Season #3: “How Not to Talk About Palestine”
Episode #7: Adam HajYahia and Haitham Haddad make fatayer (savoury pastries)
January 26, 2022

Adam HajYahia is an independent researcher, curator, and cultural producer from Tayibe, Palestine. Currently based between Haifa and New York, his work seeks to challenge modern taxonomies and hegemonic historical and social narratives concerned with colonization, gender, sexuality, economy, hierarchy, and aesthetics.

Haitham Haddad is an illustrator and graphic designer from Haifa, Palestine. His work centers on image- and printmaking as political tools to disturb the status quo, using punk, queer, and Levantine aesthetics.

Season #3: “How Not to Talk About Palestine”
Episode #8: Jumana Emil Abboud and Issa Freij make stuffed (Palestine) yaqteen gourd
June 27, 2022

Jumana Abboud’s creative practice engages with oral histories, using drawing, audio, moving image, performance, and workshop methodologies to revisit collective practices emanating from water dispossessions.

Issa Freij is a Jerusalem-based photographer and filmmaker, and has been Jumana’s collaborator throughout the years on various spirited water projects.

Season #3: “How Not to Talk About Palestine”
Episode #9: Yousef Anastas makes mezze

Yousef Anastas (b. 1988, Jerusalem) is an architect and structural engineer, partner at AAU ANASTAS, co-founder of Local Industries, of Radio alHara and of The Wonder Cabinet. Yousef focuses on establishing links between crafts and architecture at scales that vary from furniture design to territorial explorations. Yousef is currently finishing his doctorate in architecture and engineering on the usage of stone in contemporary architecture and stone stereotomy. At the intersection of all his practices is the interest in linking hyper-contextual conditions to create a strengthened global critical discourse.

Season #3: “How Not to Talk About Palestine”
Episode #10: Shayma Nader and Yara Dowani make mloukhieh

Shayma Nader is an artist, curator, and translator from Palestine. For the past few years, she’s been developing and organising workshops and projects focused on forging and reactivating memories on and in the land through collective walking, listening and fictioning to move towards decolonial and land-centred imaginaries and practices. She is a member of Qanat; a collective platform exploring the politics and poetics of water, and a PhD candidate in artistic research at ARIA at Sint Lucas School of Arts and University Antwerp.

Yara Dowani is a farmer, activist, and researcher from Jerusalem. She has been part of research groups studying perennial plants and edible wild plants in Palestine and, since 2018, while being part of many initiatives and movements working on agroecology and food sovereignty, she has been farming and managing Om Sleiman Farm. Currently, Yara’s interest lies mostly in research and the educational part of farming and community forming.

Season #4: “Childhood”
Episode #11: Mohamed Abdelkarim and Abla elBahrawy make Msaqa’a ordehy (vegan moussaka)

Mohamed Abdelkarim is a performer, filmmaker, and researcher. His practice is performance-oriented, in which he considers performance as a research method and a practice through which he produces texts and images that embody multiforms. Mohamed lives and works between Cairo and Rotterdam. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna. His works were presented at the Sharjah Biennial 11, Guild Master of Cabaret Voltaire, Manifesta 11, Live Works Performance Act Award Vol.5, Biennale Jogja XII Equator #2, and Berlinale 72/Forum Expanded, 2022.

Abla elBahrawy is an artist and researcher from Cairo based in Amsterdam. Her practice is concerned with the criticalities relating to the fields of archaeology and historiography. She graduated from the Sandberg Institute (2015) and the Jan van Eyck Academy (2017). Her recent project focuses on papyrus paper and the narrative of its development from a historical artefact to a contemporary production that thrives on fluctuating interpretations of authenticity and identity.

Ingredients: 3 eggplants, 2 large potatoes, carrots (grated), colored bell peppers, 1 small onion, tomato paste, 3 cloves of garlic (minced), salt, black pepper, cumin, turmeric, vinegar, and vegetable oil.

Season #4: “Childhood”
Episode #12: Laila Hida and Amine Lahrach make Tagine

Laila Hida is a visual artist whose work explores, through physical and symbolic spaces, the subtle intertwining of vernacular practices with modern dynamics. Her transdisciplinary interventions question the power of the image in the construction of personal fictions and collective imaginaries. Most of her projects are related to the locality and question the projections and frictions of desires, ideas, and concepts from both western and local perspectives. She advocates for the idea of non-material productions as a reflection for a more ecological art scene, while questioning the productivist aspects of institutions and valuing the potential of conversation. In 2013, she founded LE 18, a multidisciplinary cultural center based in Marrakech, a shared space for collective thinking and experimental formats generated from local contexts – and finally an extension of Laila’s practices.

Amine Lahrach is an artist interested in performance art, visual art, and slam poetry. Building on everyday idioms, his approach is based in social friction, generated by his encounter with society. It aims to reinterpret social reflection and the collective thought about “what is around”. After several experiences in the Casablanca underground scene, he joined Qanat in 2018 and LE 18 in 2019. In 2020, he initiated Safina and began a collaboration with the Belgian artist Benjamin Verhoeven.

Ingredients: 3 red onions, 3 potatoes, 2 carrots, 2 turnips (optional), 2 tomatoes, 2 zucchinis, 1 tsp of ginger, 1 tsp of hot pepper, saffron, preserved lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Season #4: “Childhood”
Episode #13: Hashem Hashem makes Batata b kezbara, Maacaroneh b laban, and a salad

Hashem Hashem (1988) is a Lebanese poet, writer, and theatre performer based in Beirut, with a particular interest in exploring themes of sexuality, identity, and affect through various forms of language and bodily expression. He has participated in various art festivals abroad, including Mexico City, Kathmandu, Belfast and Belgium. In Lebanon, Hashem’s work has been hosted at multiple venues, including Station, Ashkal Alwan and Sursock Museum. His works include The Last Distance performance with Baladi dancer Alexandre Paulikevitch and The Sound that Remains with DJ and sound designer Carol O’Hair. In 2019, Hashem was awarded the AFAC fund for performing arts for a second collaborative project titled Night Prayer with Alexandre Paulikevitch. In 2021, Hashem was selected to join the ArtEvolution program by Goethe Institut in Lebanon, and the REVOLUTION Project in Italy. For the closing of ArtEvolution program, Hashem presented his first solo work at Mansion Beirut titled I am the Same, Yet so Different (a 45-minute long performance). Hashem is currently working on developing and touring this performance.

For the Batata b kezbara: potatoes, coriander, garlic, lemon, salt, and sumac.
For the Maacaroneh b laban: spaghetti pasta, plain yoghurt, garlic, dried mint, oregano, and salt.
For the side salad: tomatoes and cucumber.

Season #5: “Soups and Desserts”
Episode #14: Siwar Krai(y)tem makes Layaly Lubnan (Lebanese Nights)

Siwar Krai(y)tem is a multi-lingual designer, researcher, and artist based between Beirut and Amsterdam. She recently graduated from the temporary program Disarming Design at the Sandberg Instituut which centered around the role of art and design under oppressed systems. Since then, her research and artistic practice focus on multilingualism and language in times of transformation, as well as the construction of society through language. Since May 2021, she co-curates the platform Latlateh (Arabic for un-meaningful chatter), an encounter-based platform which focuses on language and the power plays embedded in the language, semantics, translation, and daily conversation.

For the base: 1/2 cup semolina flour, 2/3 liter milk, 1 teaspoon Mastika (crushed/grounded), 1 tablespoon rose water, and 1 tablespoon orange blossom water.
For the topping:1/3 liter milk, 300 ml heavy cream, 3 tablespoon corn starch, 1 tablespoon rose water, and 1 tablespoon orange blossom water.
For decoration: pistachios sprinkled on top.

Season #5: “Soups and Desserts”
Episode #15: Marwa Benhalim makes a Libyan soup

Marwa Benhalim is a Cairo-based Egyptian/Libyan artist and curator. Her practice explores the micro and macro manifestations and entanglements of power to develop new ways of addressing and engaging with significant societal issues. She co-founded Attempting Abla Nazira, a platform that engages women working in creative, intellectual, and service fields by reflecting on food in relation to cultural production, gender politics, and regional socio-economics. In 2022, she founded the Switchboard Project, an artist-run experiment in care, comradery, and collaboration that includes monthly gatherings and a curated residency program. She is the co-founder and co-director of the annual Cairo Art Book Fair, an art book fair that celebrates the diversity of publishing practices and connects communities interested in art publishing in Egypt and other geographies.

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 medium onion, diced, 200 grams lamb meat, boneless, chopped into small cubes (or tender meat), 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground pepper, freshly ground, ¼ teaspoon cayenne or paprika, 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste, 1 ½ cups of tomato sauce (blended peeled tomatoes), ⅓ cup of orzo pasta, 1 teaspoon ground caraway or Libyan baharat*, 1 cup parsley, 2 tablespoons of dried mint, 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon dry mint, and 4 to 5 cups of water.

Season #5: “Soups and Desserts”
Episode #16: Nadim Bahsoun makes Sfouf

Nadim Bahsoun is a performing artist, dancer/choreographer, and actor. Born and raised in Beirut, Nadim is currently based in Europe, where they collaborate and tour with choreographers Nadia Beugré, Fouad Boussouf, and Nancy Naous. They have also been part of various creative and artistic projects in Europe and SWANA as a dancer and/or choreographer-assistant. Nadim took part in feature films Sous le ciel d’Alice by Chloé Mazlo (2020) as an actor and choreographer, and in Shall I Compare You to a Summer’s Day by Mohamed Shawky Hassan (2022). Interested in transmission and developing their own pedagogical tools, Nadim also leads workshops in theaters, schools, universities, choreographic centers, and immigration centers.

1 cup of flour (wheat or any other type of flour), 2 cups of semolina (medium grain), 2 tablespoons of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 cup of oat milk (or any other milk), ½ cup of olive oil, ½ cup of honey (or carob molasses), ¼ cup of hot water, zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of tahini, and a handful of sesame.

Season #5: “Soups and Desserts”
Episode #17: Jihan El-Tahri makes Kabab 7alla, artichokes with white sauce and olives, and rice with vermicelli

Jihan El-Tahri is an Egyptian French director, producer, writer, and visual artist. She was the director of DOX BOX between 2019 and 2023. Her award-winning documentaries include Nasser (TIFF official selection), Behind the Rainbow, Cuba, an African Odyssey, and the Emmy-nominated House of Saud. Her work as a visual artist has been exhibited in various international biennials, including the Berlin Biennale (2022) and Dak’Art (2018). Her writings include Les Sept Vies de Yasser Arafat (Grasset) and Israel and the Arabs, The 50 Years War (Penguin). Jihan is also engaged in various associations and institutions working with African cinema.


For the Kabab 7alla: 1 kg of beef cut in medium squares, 2 big onions sliced lengthwise, 1 table spoon of vegetable ghee or normal butter, 1 table spoon of olive oil, 1 small chopped tomato (added along with salt and pepper when water has reduced), salt, pepper, mixed Italian (Mediterranean) herbs, and a pinch of chili.

For the Artichokes with white sauce and olives: 1 jar containing 7/8 artichoke bottoms (or a can or a frozen package), 1 jar containing 7/8 artichoke Hearts with the small leaves (or a can or buy fresh, half cook, empty prickles, and cut off top green part), medium-sized onion, sliced lengthwise, 1 big table spoon of vegetable ghee or normal butter, 1 small table spoon of olive oil, 1 table spoon of flour, 1 vegetable bouillon cube, 1 jar of pitted olives, 1 medium pinch of pepper and 1 medium pinch of Mediterranean herbs, 1 lemon, and 1 lime (or 2 of either).

For the Rice with Vermicelli: 1 mug full of vermicelli, 1 ½ mug full of round rice (Not Basmati unless you prefer), 1 big spoon of cooking oil, half a spoon of vegetable ghee or normal butter, salt and pepper, and 2 ½ mug full of water (exact same quantity as rice and vermicelli).

Lentil Space is implemented with the support of Mophradat’s institutional partners and with additional support provided by the Flemish authorities.