Accepted paper:

Piecing life together through food: Syrians refugees in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Authors:

Gisele Fonseca Chagas (Universidade Federal Fluminense)
Houda Blum Bakour

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the dynamics ways through which Syrian refugees experience their ethnic and national identities in Brazil through activities of cooking and selling "Arabic food" in the streets of the Rio de Janeiro's city.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores the dynamics ways through which Syrian refugees experience their ethnic and national identities in Brazil through activities of cooking and selling "Arabic food" in the streets of the Rio de Janeiro's city. In order to discuss how this activity creates new "senses of staying" in the local (im)permanent landscape and opens possibilities to (re)imagine the future, we will focus on the role of the "Arabic food" as a connector which pieces different elements of belonging for the local Syrian refugees such as the necessity to be engaged in a network to make a living, creativity in the "art of selling", objects and modes of cooking, aesthetic sensitivity, and, mostly important, memories of home. Therefore, our aim is to highlight the processes of production, circulation, sale and consumption of "Arabic food" by Syrian refugees, analyzing the ways through which food will be mobilized not only as a channel of cultural mediation between Syrians and Brazilians, but also as cultural constructions on what means to be a "Syrian" and, ultimately, about Syria itself. The data we present here is result of fieldwork carried out between 2016 and 2017 in Rio de Janeiro with Syrian's street vendors.

panel P009
Piecing life together in impermanent landscapes