Rafram Chaddad

currently on show at Helle 14, Leipzig.

I created 2 small hills of soil, and planted barley in them. In the end of November, towards the end of the exhibition, the barley will be ready. It will then be cultivated, dried and processed to semolina. then i will cook a Jewish Tunisian dish: a fish couscous, using the barley semolina I’ve processed. The dish is known as Maltuta.

The idea of the barley couscous is associated to the idea of black/white food. What’s seems today to be more healthy and expensive, like whole wheat, rice, barley family, was used to be eaten by poor people. Today, poor people cannot afford this food again, and in the last few decades the unprivileged eat almost exclusively white processed wheat/rice.

My grandfather used to sell grains in Tunis and he insisted about eating only “white couscous” and not the black one, the Maltuta. A matter of class, apparently. His wife, my grandmother, used to clean houses in Tunis and every Friday she got a barley bread, as a class reminder.

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