Talking with our mouths full : performance and feasting as intercultural dialogue
Strang, Hilary Jean
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Subjectcomplexity; conflict transformation; ecology of practices; feasting ritual; relationality; storytelling
In May 2015, Vancouver Moving Theatre produced The Big House, a theatrical feast in which culturally significant food, art, and narratives were shared. The intent was to create a space for "coming together". The feast was for members of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, a neigbourhood with a diversity of cultures, social problems, and strengths. The company partnered with other cultural and social justice organizations working in the area. The Ukrainian Hall hosted the feast. This ethnographic case study explores the creation and performance of The Big House, utilizing participant-observation, and in-depth and semi-structured interviews. The study frames The Big House as a means of building intercultural dialogue and understanding through hospitality rituals and performance. I come from a Western tradition, and have used mostly Western scholarship in my research. Although I respect and honour other perspectives, I can only authentically speak from, and for, my own.