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Sounds Like Scran: A celebration of food and languages that is exclusive to Mancunians
Na Qing
/ Categories: News, Culture, Art, Food, Events, Organisations

Sounds Like Scran: A celebration of food and languages that is exclusive to Mancunians

Feature image: A person slicing green vegetable on a wooden chopping board;@conscious_design/Unsplash

Whether it be a fine recipe detailing the “secrets” of Michelin chefs, or a simple recipe with down-to-earth flavours, Sounds Like Scran has them all.

Sounds Like Scran is a collaborative project between musician and a composer Semay Wu and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA)– an art gallery based in Manchester engaging with both emerging and established artists to advance cross-cultural exchange. The project was conjured up to celebrate the upcoming International Mother Language Day.

It invites Mancunians to share their stories around one of their favourite dishes and to appreciate the richness of Manchester’s over 200 languages that diversify the community, through food.

Semay Wu says as an artist who combines different disciplines, she believes that food and languages can be connected through the sensory elements of sight, sound, taste and smell. “Food creates an opportunity for people to meet and eat, to gather and chat, and to laugh and enjoy. To bring languages together in such a way is like a music piece, weaving all these sounds and rhythms together.”

Image: A person holding stainless steel spoon with white and balck beans;@conscious_design/Unsplash

“Food connects us to family and builds friendship with people of different origins. It is woven into our identities,” continued Semay, “People think I mean something special, but I am really looking for daily moments: family gatherings, historical connections, something connected to your daily walk to work or small eats that remind you of someone at some point in time.”

Unlike a traditional cookery book, which is all about recipes, Sounds Like Scran will create extra layers of flavour through the device of sound and the language behind it, and characterise the culinary experience with personal stories.

Participants are invited to build up their own page in this online audiobook by submitting a recording in which they tell a story that connects them to a dish of their choice in their mother- tongue, a photo of themselves with the cooked dish and a short note describing the story in both their mother language and English.

The written notes can be a brief summary of the spoken story. Alistair Small, Programme & Engagement Coordinator at CFCCA said, “Whilst we want our audiences to understand the stories, a key element is listening to the language, even if it cannot be understood directly.”

“We want to showcase the vast number of languages that are spoken across Greater Manchester, without creating a hierarchy,” added Alistair.

Image: Four cast iron pan with food; Zack Woolwine/Unsplash

To produce a cookbook that is beyond food, the project also creates space for creativity and imagination for contributors. It welcomes anything from a piece of opinion toward food, to a poem, a memory of a person or a feeling relating to the dish.

The artist also said the final product would focus on storytelling and would look like an archive of sonic material which records individual memories of food that can be handed down orally.

“For viewers, the mix allows you to celebrate languages and the food described, and to imagine life stories being played out. It is really a celebration of human life,” said Semay.

The submission deadline is Monday, 22nd February. Date for a free-to-attend online workshop on entries will be announced in January. While the organiser says fingers are crossed for a physical exhibition at the gallery if only the world can be turned around in the new year.

For more information or to register your interest, please visit here.

Na QingQing Na

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