"Satellite kitchens" is an ongoing action research project focusing on the exterior kitchens constructed and organised mostly by women in northwestern Greece. It maps their typologies within Thesprotia hinterland, capturing their unique interior and spatial configurations, as well as the recipes and stories of the cross-cultural generations of women who have occupied them. It’s aim is to reveal a way of rethinking formats of care, giving at the same time voice to invisible practices.
Women in rural communities in Thesprotia province, Epiros, northwestern Greece
In a period that agricultural cooperatives in Greece are obsolete, women cooperatives and initiatives provide a post-growth imaginary through various levels or organising and producing. Through gradual collaborations, we have started to identify and value them as practices of resistance, providing imaginaries for the whole region.
Our ongoing work with rural women initiatives and individuals, is gradually establishing an active knowledge network in order to empower them, give them visibility and foster their multi-layered identity. “Satellite kitchens” challenges traditional gender norms in rural communities, rediscovering narratives of women from different ethnic groups in the area, their ways of creating, building their exterior kitchens, working with the land and organising themselves.
All these cooperatives, associations, informal or formal women organisations achieved to survive during Greek economic depression and to keep these villages alive, through bartering or by producing local products, by organising social events in these areas or helping families in need with food and care.
Starting from “Selimes” in Eleutheri village, “Kalidiki'' in Morfi village and “Souliotises” in Paramythia we aim to research and document the cooking and encountering sessions of more than 30 women collectives and individuals. Our work on this invisible network of “Satellite kitchens” reveals not only collective memories, but also disappearing local knowledges from communities who promote their own solutions to their needs.
1. ORGANISATION and WORKING FRAME (Dec 2021-Feb 2022)
Local meetings with all the international partners and local women cooperatives. Researching how these exterior kitchens have evolved in different ethnic groups in the area (Arvanites, Sarakatsani, Vlachs) and how in some nomadic pastoral communities (Sarakatsani, Vlachs) their settlements have been developed around these kitchens.
2.COOKING ENCOUNTERING DOCUMENTING (Mar-Jul 2022)
Series of interviews and documentations of women individuals and groups. Understanding the intimate and communal kitchens. Research on culinary tools and local recipes.
3.PROTOTYPING “THE PARLIAMENTARY KITCHEN” (Aug 2022)
Co-design and co-production an open mobile kitchen prototype, a vital tool for Selimes association and the community around. We consider prototypes as a physical or non-physical infrastructure that advocates and addresses questions to its surrounding environment. In this case, kitchen parliament will be a space which allows experimentation, food and stories to unfold.
4.DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION (Sept-Dec 2022)
Processing all the interviews and data into a documentation film. A short film of “Satellite kitchens” can be found in 5th Istanbul Design Biennial YouTube channel.
Studying these outdoor kitchens reveals a way of rethinking formats of care, giving at the same time voice to invisible practices. Observing the nonverbal performances of such kitchen environments helps to comprehend local food systems reflecting at the same time the specific ethnographic values of the region. Ultimately, these practices can be recognised and appreciated both in a domestic and communal scale. What if we were to see these activities not as independent processes but fully integrated into a complex flow of ethical and energetic interdependencies?
“Satellite Kitchens” highlights formats of care to be seen and understood as practices and not services. We advocate for these women who over the last three decades have organised against the routine oppression. Compared to their male counterparts, they tend to face more restricted access to land assets and resources since women in these areas rarely own properties by themselves. Upon their marriage, parental property is transferred to the groom or his family in a form of dowry. Gender biased social norms, laws and practices also limit their involvement in gainful work and local politics. We value and identify these practices as spaces of resistance to the dominant order.
TiriLab emerged from Morfi village in Thesprotia province bringing together local and international experts. Three of the founding members Christina Serifi (architect and researcher, born in Morfi, Thesprotia and currently living there) Juan Chacón (artist and educator with expertise in alternative pedagogies currently living in the area) and Lys Villalba (architect and mapping expert with focus new ecologies, principal researcher at Inteligencias Colectivas Network) will organise and lead Satellite Kitchens.
Since last year, together with Angel Ballesteros from Muzungu, we have started working closely with women initiatives aiming to document their practices. This project will give us the opportunity to establish our practices, going more in depth and scaling across the province.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Project Team (Project Manager, Project Developer, Graphic Designer, Mediation & Facilitation Communication ) : 22.000,00 EUR
Event Organization and Activation : 3.600,00 EUR
Invited Experts : 6.000,00 EUR
Travel Expenses & Accommodation : 4.400,00 EUR
Office Expenses (Office and Communication Supplies) : 1.800,00 EUR
Workshop and Activities Material : 2.400,00 EUR
Process Documentation & Output (Printable Package + Video Documentary) : 4.800,00 EUR
We want to hear your ideas, practices and culinary stories!