Generating Human Relationships in the Culinary Geographies of Istanbul

Dr. Christos Kakalis (Newcastle university, UK)

The presentation explores the way food serves as a generative element of human relationships between minority, majority and diaspora groups. Focus is on the making and sharing of Paschalia Tsourek, a Greek Orthodox pastry made during Easter, and its role in the mnemonic landscapes of modern Turkey. Based on primary and secondary research, the paper unpacks a number of stories in which Tsourek works as a liminal object that activates and reactivates practices that are displaced or reduced to the limits of minority communities of Istanbul. Penetrating these limits, the examined sweet bread, negotiates with the clarity of different boundaries via the materialisation of intangible qualities such as rituals, instructions and making, taste and smells. Contributing to the discourse of mapping geopolitical landscapes, the presentation suggests the significance of ephemeral material cultures in the creation of spaces and times of human interactions to emerge and vocalise hidden or silenced meanings of a geography.

Christos Kakalis (The University oif Newcastle Upon Tyne) is an architect (University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece). He obtained the interdisciplinary MSc ‘Design, Space, Culture’ at the National Technical University of Athens. He holds a PhD in Architecture from the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (E.S.A.L.A) and he is a Lecturer in Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape of Newcastle University. His work focuses on the conditions of embodied experience of the architecture and natural landscape with special emphasis on the role atmosphere. He has edited (along with Dr Emily Goetsch) the volume Mountains, Mobilities and Movement (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and the volume (along with Prof. Mark Dorrian) The Place of Silence: Architecture/Media/Philosophy (Bloomsbury, December 2019). He is also the author of the forthcoming monograph Architecture and Silence (Routledge, October 2019).