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.