Live performance and culinary artist Mirna Bamieh is the creator and director of the Palestine Hosting Society. This live art project explores traditional food cultures in Palestine especially those on the verge of disappearing. It brings vanishing dishes back to life over dinner tables, walks, and various interventions. Food has always been a representation of time and power. It creates a significantly different atmosphere for encounters. Sharing food puts on the table aspects of hospitality, distribution, exchange, familiarity and pleasure. A shared meal can become a space of reflection on socio-political realities, attitudes, fashions, and even the suppressed elements of history.
Mirna also works with pottery using natural materials, tribal designs and early ceramic techniques that disappeared from most of the Mediterranean region and the Iberian Peninsula in the 17th century.
During her ArtsLink International Fellowship 2020 (virtual and in-person residencies), Mirna continues exploring the bacterial and fungi kingdom of fermentation. A staple link in the gastronomic traditions in the East, fermented food entered American cuisine quite recently, and with a degree of hesitation. Creating her own ceramic vessels in Deborah, Iowa as future plating for fermented foods, Mirna’s food interacts with these sculptural objects. Through performance and storytelling, in collaboration with her US host The Invisible Dog Art Center, the artist invites the audience to a dinner based on traditional food practices in Palestine and the Middle East and fermentation cultures throughout the world.