How can we accept others if we do not accept ourselves first?

This experience was created as part of an initiative to get immigrants and locals connected in Sweden.

Christmas is the time for reflection and a warm embrace for compassion and forgiveness.

The time in which we search for a bright light in the darkness where hope sometimes feels far away.

We invite friends to celebrate but we also accept strangers since we feel we are united trough the cold reality of winter and the insight that all of us are just vulnerable soft beings underneath our shells.

Charities thrive in wintertime. We feel a mix of compassion and guilt.

We try and we try very hard to be good people.

Still, in the reality of live, in days that it’s not christmas, in times, we find it hard to feel compassion. We are afraid. We don’t understand the other. We feel uncertain and intimidated.

How can we feel secure and truly see the other? How can we open up and accept a situation, an other human being, a feeling of uncertainty. Distrust?

In our life we seem to project everything to things outside of ourselves and to others but perhaps it’s time to take a look at ourselves first. You need to realise that nobody can actually see you. What a person sees when they see you is what they project onto you. You are doing this to others as well. What you see is different from what another person sees when looking at the same thing. As we can only see another human through our own set of specific glasses, instead of doubting the other, we can doubt our set of glasses as how we see someone is only our own interpretation of what we think we see. If we change the way we see things, we change how we see the other person as well. How do we change our glasses?

To change the way we see and accept another person is by simply accepting ourselves. We are in need of self reflection.

With little time, but the kindest and professional approach Marije created a most memorable experience.

Close to Christmas, in southern Sweden, surrounded by vast fields and a large beech forest, the installation became an even more fine tuned, sensual and also playful experience that moved us all.  

Panteha Pournoroozy producer at Riksutställningar

I think it is important to understand that this project is not only about locals accepting immigrants. It is about both parties accepting the other human being and the other situation without necessarily understanding each other. I decided to have all guests be part of the experience by themselves and be coupled with a stranger. I let them actively play a part that is guided by an audio story.

The guests are seated at tables with a mirror in front of them. They look into the mirror and see themselves but the mirror has a cut where the mouth should be. You see your own face. Your own eyes, but where your mouth is supposed to be you see the other person’s mouth merged with your face. 

Both guests will hear a different story. They see themselves in the mirror and a voice will guide them through a story, a kind of meditation, about self-reflection, compassion and your inner child.

In front of the guests, on the table, simple food items like a tangerine and ingredients for bread-dough are placed.

The voice instructs the guests what to do with the food. Their hands will interact like a choreographed human machine making and kneading bread together while still looking into your own eyes in the mirror.

The mouth cut in the mirror in front of every guest is disturbing the reflection of your face. Your mouth becomes the other person’s mouth and you will be asked to feed the other person which seems like feeding yourself.

At the end of the experience the participants create a dough together and use if to make bread on a stick to bake on the fire outside. This is the moment where both strangers can really start to make a connection, chat and interact.

Edible reflections is commissioned by

Riksutställningar, The Swedish Exhibition Agency
by Panteha Pournoroozy

in collaboration with

a small museum in Skane, Sweden

It is then being presented at

The future of Storytelling
in New York

and at

Solo exhibition ‘eating design’
OCT Gallery in Shenzhen

and at

Beijing Design Week
at the Delicious design section.

and at

Shenzhen Design Week

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