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What's in a Cake: Diversity, Inclusivity and Interculturality

Victoria, Mabel; Smith, Dawn


Dawn Smith


Food, death and taxes have been claimed by anthropologists as some of the factors that are common to all human beings. Food is considered an important marker of identity and cultural membership (Brulotte & Di Giovine 2014). In this public engagement activity, in collaboration with our community partner, the Broomhouse Centre, we employed cake making as a form of creative enquiry in order to elicit how a highly diverse group of kitchen trainees and staff constructed community, diversity and inclusivity. While decorating different shapes and colours of cakes, the participants were encouraged to engage in ‘phatic communion’ (Malinowski 1923, p. 315) not only to verbally elicit the themes but also to express their collaborative meaning-making through the embodied designing of their cakes. These cakes were then shared at a large community event, allowing the participants and researchers to discuss the themes and methodologies more widely.
This interactive session will reflect on the value of using visual methodologies when engaging with different publics, and invite participants to respond in kind.
Brulotte, R., & Di Giovane, M. (Eds.). (n.d.). Food and foodways as cultural heritage. In Edible identities: food as cultural heritage (pp. 1–38). Surrey: Ashgate.
Malinowski, B., Ogden, C. K., & Richards, I. A. (1923). The meaning of meaning. New York & London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Future Visualities: Visual Methods & Ethnography in Interdisciplinary Research
Start Date Jun 1, 2022
End Date Jun 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jun 4, 2022
Keywords visual methods, public engagement, creative inquiry
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