25 May 2021
PART 1 | THE WELCOME
Aaron Cezar and Salma Tuqan:
Welcome to our May edition of Family Lunch.
This month, we forgo our usual artist video presentation and instead offer a deeply moving and timely audio piece by our former resident Lydia Ourahmane and her sister Sarah Ourahmane. We originally commissioned this reflection for Radio Alhara in Bethlehem, Palestine as part of the Sonic Liberation Front. It was broadcast on 18 May and has been re-edited for today.
Alongside our international community, we at Delfina Foundation have been watching the destruction, devastation, and violations of international law in occupied Palestine with horror. A year ago today, we also witnessed the murder of George Floyd which sparked global protests. As we wrote in our Family Lunch then, and we reemphasise now, these movements call on us to find our voice and to speak out to reveal and ultimately dismantle systems of injustice.
Delfina Foundation acts through our artistic programmes, and we strive to create a platform to come together, listen, learn, unlearn, and foster dialogue across borders. From indigenous communities to Black lives, we understand the importance of working along intersectional lines, knowing that these struggles against racism, colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and systematic oppression are collective and interwoven across the world. Our collaboration with Radio Alhara, which began in January, is the latest in over a decade of engagement with cultural practitioners and organisations in Palestine.
For this audio piece titled Mother prays, Father weeps, Lydia Ourahmane and her family gathered communal prayers spoken in both love and solidarity with the Palestinian people, from communities stretching from Algiers to Sidon. As Lydia writes, “prayer – in itself – is a tool for resistance”.
May our collective prayers, hopes and dreams for a better world be only the beginning of finding our voice and taking action.
Part 2 | The Food
Burnt orange lentil stew – Lydia Ourahmane
Our alumni artist shares this flavourful dish, evoking a hint of winter nostalgia.
A description whilst eating this dish for the first time: The first thing that hits your mouth is the cool creaminess of the yoghurt followed by the warm, earthy sustenance of the spiced lentils. The caramelised carrots are sort of elevated by the acidity of the orange, and the fresh coriander almost makes the yoghurt lean into the cayenne at the base of the stew. The burnt orange actually takes the flavour into the back of your mouth which is then held by the smoked paprika. I’m feeling a hint of winter nostalgia but its 22 degrees.
2 medium red onions
4 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
200g puy lentils
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Pine nuts (optional)
Pour the olive oil in to a deep pan. Add the onions, sliced very thin, along with the garlic and grated ginger. Simmer on a low heat until soft.
Turn the heat up slightly, when the onions brown throw in the lentils, 2 chopped tomatoes, and the salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Stir continuously on high heat for 2 minutes.
Add 700ml of water and leave to simmer on a medium heat for 30 minutes. Then turn down to a low heat and allow to simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Slice the carrots and oranges thin. Place the carrots on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, honey, fresh thyme, and salt & pepper. Place the orange slices on top. Grill until burnt.
Dish the lentil stew into individual bowls, add a tbsp of greek yoghurt to each along with the carrots and oranges, a sprinkle of smoked paprika and fresh coriander. You can add pine nuts too if you have them to hand.
Part 3 | The Commission
Mother prays, Father weeps
Lydia Ourahmane (Artist-in-residence, 2016) and Sarah Ourahmane
Amidst the horror of the latest escalation of destruction, devastation, and violation of international law in occupied Palestine, Lydia and Sarah Ourahmane gathered communal prayers, spoken in both love and solidarity with the Palestinian people – from communities stretching from Algiers to Sidon – and wove them together to offer this hour of intercession. Read more here.