Making Suburban Faith goes international. Spiritual Flavours @ Festival of Political Photography 2017, Finish Museum of Photography, Helsinki. February 4th – March 30th 2017

UCL PhD student Laura Cuch is one of the photographers exhibiting at the Festival of Political Photography 2017, in Helsinki. This year’s edition of the festival is titled ‘Post-Food’ and will show a range of visual work that focus on political, social and environmental dimensions of food.

The film Spiritual Flavours will be the main feature of Laura Cuch’s exhibition, which will also provide a foretaste of a forthcoming ‘multi-faith’ photographic cookbook as part of the Spiritual Flavours project. The film Spiritual Flavours (2016) interweaves biographical narratives and spiritual accounts from three Londoners: Betty, Aziz and Ossie with the experiences of cooking in their homes. They are members of a Catholic church, a mosque and a liberal synagogue, respectively. The chosen recipes thread the narratives of past, present and future aspirations, spirituality and the everyday. The commonalities and differences between them are expressed through visual and sonic synchronies and asynchronies. At the end of the film, Betty, Aziz and Ossie meet, cook and eat together. A five-minute introduction of the film is available on the Spiritual Flavours website, where you can also find the recipes from the film.

The Spiritual Flavours project is part of the AHRC Connected Communities funded Making Suburban Faith research project in which academics from Geography departments at UCL and Royal Holloway investigate material cultures in suburban faith communities.

The exhibition will take place at STOA, alongside The Non-Egyptian Restaurant by Asunción Molinos Gordo from 4th February to 30th March, with an opening event on Friday 3rd February, 5-7pm. Both Laura Cuch and Asunción Molinos Gordo will give an artist’s talk at Cultural Centre Stoa on Sunday 5th February 2017, 12 noon. Laura Cuch will also take part in the seminar on Post-Food on Saturday 4th February 11–5 p.m. at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Process Space.

PhD student Laura expressed her excitement at the opportunity: ‘I’m thrilled to take part in this year’s edition of the Festival of Political Photography in Helsinki, where I will be showing the full length Spiritual Flavours film for the first time. I am also really looking forward to meeting the other artists involved and getting to know their views and work. It’s going to be a fantastic week in Helsinki!’ Dr Claire Dwyer, Co-Director of the Migration Research Unit at UCL and leader of the Arts and Humanities Council research project, Making Suburban Faith which funds Laura’s PhD says ‘It is a great accolade to be selected for this prestigious photography exhibition. I am sure visitors will be inspired by Laura’s film and photographs which beautifully capture the ordinary ways in which food is important for diverse faith communities in one London suburb and explore the intersections of food, faith and place’.