Sari-Saring Sari

Postponed to July / Fashion salon, intervention & exchange

exhibition & happenings at the La Love’s Kitchen, Lichtenrader Strasse 49, 12049 Berlin

Myths and oral traditions from cultures of people groups from the Mindanao island in the Southern part of the Philippine archipelago are replete with motifs and influences from the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics. In the same island, a semi-golden statue of a Sivaite ‘goddess’ figure was found dating back to the 9th century, suggesting that maritime migration from the South Indian subcontinent have been occuring through the islands and archipelagoes in the Pacific Ocean. Perhaps for those who traveled then, there might even be no distinction between the two oceans. There is just sea and many islands. Many words in my mother tongue come from Tamil and Sanskrit. While historians could not really ascertain what kind of exchanges occurred in the official sense, it might be because the exchanges happened not in the official bureaucratic geo-political sense. Suggesting that the Dravidian Hindus simply came, lived, stayed with the people they met (arguably also to escape from the Aryan Hindu colonisation). I found some contemporary evidence of this transcultural connections and survival stories recently here in Berlin. In the absence of official history, and since many official histories are made of fictitious accounts anyways, I will approximate a DIY anthropologic report in the form of a lecture cum fashion show of how the Indians came and ate the locals, and how the locals ate them back. It will be very informal, unofficial and somewhat improvised and hopefully authentic.

  • DATE TBA / Performance by Pepe Dayaw with special guest appearance by Ariel William Orah (Bandung, West Java) from Soy Division who plays a set based on his ongoing research on Indian music pathways. http://www.ravenative.com/
  • Limited edition sale of a collection of wearable art & handcrafts curated by Jasna Moidu’s Tree
  • With special thanks to Reena, her mother and to all the mothers who had to wrap themselves in rolls of saris.
  • For more info about the Kerala Soul Food pop-up, visit: https://www.instagram.com/keralasoulfoodinberlin
  • Kind donations are welcome for the performance. Pepe Dayaw is raising funds to rehabilitate his life in this challenging times and to facilitate the start-up of his new business.

Pepe & Freunde / May & June 2021

Cooking Action & Pop-up Eatery

Nowhere Kitchen in residency in the month of May and June at the Sari-Sari e.V. LA LOVE’S KITCHEN Project Space (Lichtenrader Str. 49, Berlin), as part of the project ‘Becoming Spice Routes: A Nowhere Kitchen archive’, supported by Fonds Daku e.V. #takecare

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no.1 ‘From Manila to Berlin, W/Love’

May 28, 12.00 – 20.00pm

  • Adobo \ slow cooked chicken in garlic soy sauce reduction
  • Kare-Kare \ marinated seasonal vegetables in peanut sauce
  • with Java Rice, Insalada & Slow-cooked Laing

Unless one has had the privilege to travel in this region by the Pacific Ocean, not many know where Manila exactly is. And understandably so, it is far from here, around 10000 kilometers away. Yet from the middle of the 16th century all the way to the late 19th century, the city called Manila long gentrified by the Spanish, was the crowning capital of its empire in the ‘Far East’ and was receiving and sending goods and migrants from all over the world. It was the depot of all material wealth from China and other surrounding polities that went all the way to Acapulco and to Spain for Europe to enjoy; and vice versa. It is the world’s first global cities**. Five hundred years since the Spanish arrived in those islands by ‘mistake’, I find myself in the 21st century living in Berlin, in a migrant rich and fast gentrifying district in Neukölln. I have arrived in becoming global myself. I celebrate and reflect on what it means for a migrant to be glocal by making anew the Filipino*** dishes that I knew and continue to love. Embedded in each taste are the best out of the multiple layers of colonisations that define the story of the Filipino Western imaginary.

  • *Special thanks to Johana Häger’s Ilse Hans Permaculture Project (Gerswalde) & Sterngarten Odyssey (Leipzig) for the glocal ingredients
  • **As I heard from my friend meLê yamomo’s great lectures. https://site.meleyamomo.com/
  • ***Filipino: the name of citizens born in the country called Philippines. Both country and citizen bear the name that was derived from the Spanish king Felipe II, who ordered the colonisation of the islands. He never went there.
  • Suggested donations for the meals, 8 to 15 euros. Pepe Dayaw is raising funds to rehabilitate his freelance artist life in this challenging times and to start a new business.

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no. 2 ‘The Pacific Mystery’

June 19, 12.00 – 20.00pm

  • Spaghetti Filipino-style & Karaage / with meat, cured ham and hotdog sauce, cheese
  • Vegetarian Sisig / seasonal vegetables, egg, tofu in a spicy soy mayo sauce
  • Fresh Pickles and Cold Beers / alcoholic and non-alcoholic

The Pacific Ocean is a vast body of water. One would be tempted to think that nothing much goes on there, there are just tiny dots of thousands of small seemingly isolated islands separated by the vast waters. Are they really separated? The fact that all the languages (numbering in thousands) somehow belong to the same family (as we say same same and different) and the similarities in cultural informalities suggests a more extensive and genuine cultural exchange taking place among the islanders themselves, outside the geo-politics. What I do remember as a child growing up in the islands were numerous moments of happiness and shared joy. Hunger was not a terrifying problem, it was merely the opening to finding creative ways and making do with what is there. There was a lot of singing, storytelling, laughter and being together. This informal cooking and eating event researches the commonalities that people hailing from migrant islands, regardless of hegemonies from empires and nation-states, do share.

  • All day Karaoke for Everyone
  • Karaoke Therapies, a mini concert, from around 6pm by Pepe Dayaw (Manila, Luzon and Catanduanes)
  • Nanaco (Tokyo, Honshu) on violin: http://www.hellonanaco.com
  • Takumi Motokawa (Kyoto, Honshu) on keyboards: http://www.takumimotokawa.com
  • Kyotetsu Horikawa (Okinawa) as special guest in the kitchen: http://www.kyotetsuhorikawa.com/
  • Zine Launch and Limited Sale: Tada no.1, ‘Becoming Spice Routes’ Nowhere Kitchen Zine-theses
  • Suggested donations for the meals, 8 to 15 euros. Pepe Dayaw is raising funds to rehabilitate his freelance artist life in this challenging times and to start a new business.

‘leftover artist’

When Filipino performance artist Pepe Dayaw takes over a guest’s kitchen as part of his itinerant cooking project Nowhere Kitchen he asks that they don’t shop for groceries—instead it’s the odds and ends in their cupboards that take center stage at his roving dinners.

The project began in 2012 in Madrid, after finishing his Master of International Performance Research in Amsterdam and London. According to Pepe, the more bare the cupboards, the more memorable the dinner. “Each time I opened the fridge at the dinner, it was a new situation and each evening was a very unique kind of choreography of how strangers and friends come together.” The dinners gained a swift following, something Pepe attributes the intrigue of leftovers, which he noticed didn’t bear the positive connotations he was used to: “On my island, in the language of my mother there’s a word ‘tadak,’ which means ‘to leave something for.’ It can be both a verb and a noun, so it means that it’s also an action, it’s something we do—it’s a habit.”

The conversation is peppered with various linguistic slips, terms, and with them practices, that multilingual Pepe has picked up on his stays abroad. ‘Convivencia,’ coexistence in Spanish, makes its way in next as we sit on Pepe’s balcony at his home in Wedding, and he explains the expansion of the Nowhere Kitchen project. It’s current home of sorts is across the city in Neukölln at Agora Collective, a coworking space. “It went from a me to a we,” explains Pepe. There, they cater the daily lunch service, though he still periodically raids fridges for occasional ‘leftover’ dinners. He has 12 cooks alongside him in the kitchen, all of whom had previous professions—“We’re all leftovers, too, and we ended up in Berlin,” he laughs. “Our cooking network is all about how to get people to cook again and learn to love it without so much intimidation.” And, it’s our next stop on tour with Pepe.

Stopping by his shared house in Wedding, we find out how this wandering figure feels at home in Berlin. “It’s the constellation of people. You realize when you meet people like this that you feel at home, you feel like you’re with your family.”

Pepe was never formally trained in gastronomy. Growing up between chaotic Manila and the small island of Catanduanes, he whiled away many hours in an impressionable setting—his grandmother’s kitchen.

“I never cooked in the Philippines, I only cooked in exile, because this is what you do. The culture of cooking is so prevalent in there that you don’t have to cook, there’s always something around to eat. You find a coconut, crack it open and eat it straightaway,” he says miming the action as he speaks.“So when I came to Europe, I started cooking how my grandmother cooked, without consulting any recipes. I was with her thousands of times, just sitting at the kitchen counter, while she stood sautéing something.” As he speaks, he plucks invisible ingredients mid-air—listing tomatoes, garlic, onions, that together make up the fragrance of his childhood. His expressiveness points to his seven years as a dancer, having trained with a company specializing in the traditional dances of the indigenous peoples of the Philippines.

There’s a coexistence between Pepe’s two practices of cooking and dancing, one he sees as rooted in storytelling.“I like to make people remember things. Making dinners is a way to tell stories, and there’s some dance in it, and music-making. Because, choreographically, they’re really not that different from each other. You move in the kitchen, you really need to be aware of the space, it’s a bit like dancing.”


Excerpts from a feature by Freunde von Freunden
Interview by Ruby Goss, Photos by Daniel Müller
shot in Berlin during Pepe Dayaw and Nowhere Kitchen residency at Agora Collective,
cooking with artist Jessie Alice, author of Leftover Lovers (Australia), 2016

Link to the complete interview

Hot Acts # 1: “Pepe’s housewarming”

P1060051

Dear lovely people of Berlin,

The first of eight Hot Acts events will happen tomorrow:
14th of May, 19h – 22h
at the OffSite Space, Attic, HomeBase Project building,
Thulestraße 54, Prenzlauer Berg/Pankow, Berlin

But more importantly, it will also be a ‘housewarming’ of my new house in Berlin and I would like to begin living there by offering the space a night of comfort food and warm bodies together. My Hot Acts collaborator and friend Lalo will be the movement dj and lead us into some sweat-producing cambimba, while I will provide aromas from spices and warm food. Nothing but good old eating, dancing and being together. Prepare to meet friends and strangers. And if you feel like it, bring a housewarming ‘gift’: a smile, a joke, hugs, a song, a guitar, a used object, a performance, a used t-shirt that you think would look good on me, a poem or a food leftover from your own house.

This night will be an open house. No reservation needed.

Warm jasmine rice with meat and /or vegetarian topping will be offered for free (but donations are welcome), and beer will be sold at a cheap price.

For other dinner schedules happening during the Month of Performance Art, please refer to this schedule: https://pepedayaw.wordpress.com/. For the rest of the dinners happening from May 20 onwards, a reservation is necessary.

Looking forward to being with you!

love,
Pepe / The Warmer Brothers

Hot Acts, Living Room Sessions in Berlin, May 2013

hot acts

A WARMER BROTHERS COLLABORATION

A series of ‘cooked situations’ that generate warmth inside different houses in the city. Assuming the role of cook (Joseph) and movement DJ (Lalo) they ask the people of Berlin to open their doors and let them create a ‘slightly’ different evening than ordinary. Armed with his kit of spices, Joseph will cook the leftovers brought by the guests or found food in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Lalo provides the music and some cambimba (dance moves) to create a context where the guests can sweat it out. Once the food is cooked, and dancing is over, then its time to cook the scene, where Lalo, Joseph, the host/s and the guest/s decide on how to share the food and spend the rest of the evening. It is a game to rethink the idea of being together in the city, where sometimes people tend to be so near, yet so far from each other.

Dear Berlin,
We are pleased to announce the schedule of the Hot acts that will happen during the month of May for the Month of Performance Art. Except for the opening act on May 14, each dinner will have a specific “theme”, and a limited number of people that can participate, so reservation is necessary.

May 14, Tuesday | Prenzlauer Berg – Pankow
Host: Pepe’s “housewarming”
Maximum number of guests: openhouse
Available slots: openhouse

May 22, Wednesday | Friedrichshain
Host: Sofia
Maximum number of guests: 15
Available slots: 1

May 23, Thursday | Pankow
Host: Linda
Maximum number of guests: 15
Available slots: 2

May 24, Friday, | Kreuzberg
Host: Orion and Arielle / G30
Maximum number of guests: 15
Available slots: 0

May 28, Tuesday | Schöneberg – Kreuzberg
Host: Mab
Maximum number of guests: 10
Available slots: 3

May 29, Wednesday | Friedrichshain
Host: Lalo
Maximum number of guests: 2
Avilable slots: 0

May 31, Friday | Treptow – Neukölln
Host: Bram
Maximum number of guests: 6
Available slots: 3

To reserve, please write an email with the subject (hot acts and date: e.g. 14 May)
with your name, or names of participants, contact number and send to cookingnomad@gmail.com
or call Pepe at 015217014928

A request to the guests: Please bring some leftover food if you can, and feel like it. It could be any unused, opened, or already cooked food that you can find in your kitchen.

We are looking forward to encountering you and your leftovers in one of these dinner dates.

With love,
The Warmer Brothers

Calendar: https://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=cookingnomad%40gmail.com&ctz=Europe/Berlin
Map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=202475730997749490258.0004dc48251ab2a81cf49&msa=0

MPA-B 2013 LOGO