The Prepared Table: A Feast and Stories from Iraqis, Afghans and the Forward Operating Base is a new project in process – consisting of an original multimedia performance, an interactive gallery exhibit and a web-based media work based on interviews and stories of daily life from from the real people whose human stories remain unknown to most of us – despite being integral members of our shared Bay Area communities.
A new collaboration between Oakland’s ALICE Arts and media artist Ian Winters it is expected to premiere in 2015, with current development work supported by the NEA, residency support through CSU East Bay’s School of Arts and Media, and others.
The Prepared Table is the second in a cycle of “Burning Libraries”–original works that give voice to people whose stories are rarely heard–like Sharbat Gula, the Afghan woman in the burka, holding a picture of herself when she was a young girl , or Stephanie Hermes, a GI reservist, befriending a Shia woman in the Holy City of Karbala, Iraq.
If you walk into San Francisco’s Veteran’s Administration, you will be greeted with the statement, “The price of freedom is visible here.” With the help of seed funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, ALICE has begun collecting stories of the people who were most directly affected by the post-9/11 wars–people who remain largely unknown to most of us.
Collecting the stories that will be the basis of this work means meeting with community leaders, traveling to refugee centers and V.A. hospitals, attending community events, and interviewing people in their homes. It means setting up an interactive website where refugees and veterans from across the country can feed in their stories.
Sharing these stories from American vets, Afghans and Iraqis means shining a light on their–and our–common humanity. More details about the project are available on the Alice Arts website.