Tohu Podcast: A conversation with Rafram Chaddad
David Duvshani talks with Rafram Chaddad, artist and connoisseur of cooking traditions of the Mediterranean, who lives in Tunisia. They discuss art and food, wandering, traditions and their preservation, artworks created by Chaddad in recent years, and the contemporary art scene in Tunisia.
Rafram Chaddad, artist and connoisseur of cooking traditions of the Mediterranean Jewish communities. His artistic practice is a continuing dialog with the culinary and political history of the Mediterranean through sculpture, video, books, and artworks that employ participation and collaboration. Chaddad addresses historical narratives in a manner that challenges the current borders of states and nations while focusing on food and cooking as essential components in the creation of national identity.
Beyond his art-making, Chaddad defines himself as a conserver of traditions. He documents recipes and shares his studies of Jewish food through talks, books, and papers. In his art and writings, he casts a critical gaze upon a wide range of topics: the erasure of the culinary history of Jewish communities of North Africa and eastern Europe by the Israeli state, the appropriation of the local-Palestinian cuisine as an Israeli national propaganda tool, as well as the profound changes the food industry and the status of the chef in contemporary society are undergoing.
Born on the island of Djerba in 1976, Rafram Chaddad grew up in Jerusalem after his family emigrated there when he was still a child. In 2010, during a trip to document synagogues in Libya, he was arrested and spent five months in the Libyan jail. After a few years of wandering, he returned in 2015 to Tunisia, where he still lives today.