Rachel and I were recently interviewed by Hester Street Collaborative for the Making of Paths to Pier 42 website. We discussed the process of creating our collaborative Fish Stories Community Cookbook as the culmination of our artist residency with Paths to Pier 42 in lower Manhattan. Interview link.
Fish Stories Community Cookbook is a seafood cookbook, in progress, created by artists Meredith Drum and Rachel Stevens in collaboration with residents of the Lower East Side: neighbors, non-profit organizers, commercial business people and others. The project is supported by a grant and studio space on Wall Street from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and will be a part of LMCC’s Paths to Pier 42 summer programming 2015. Visual information and documentation forthcoming.
Inspired by spiral bound cookbooks produced by local Grange chapters, the Provincetown Cookbook, and the Slingshot Organizer (collectively designed Anarchist calendar), Fish Stories will include not only recipes for cooking seafood solicited from residents, but also stories, historical recipes, drawings, maps and health and ecology information. The name Fish Stories is designed to encourage imaginative and playful contributions. It is also an homage to Allan Sekula, an artist and theorist whose work interrogates the the politics of labor and the flow of global capital in the maritime industry. We envision the cookbook as a catalyst for community engagement and an opportunity to capture the lives and cultures of people who live in the LES. The Fish Stories Community Cookbook seeks to tie everyday lives to the ecology of the rivers, harbor and estuaries of New York City.