Mélanie Vivier & Sarah Marchiset
Welcome to you, readers.
By reading this text, you will follow some slices of the daily life of two FOOD2GATHER members – Mélanie & Sarah – who are both Ph.D. candidates, respectively in the Belgian and the French team. Together with the amount of work they have to do, they spent one month in Oslo.
Thanks to the project, they got this beautiful opportunity of discovering this part of northern Europe, while working on the project and their thesis, meeting great people, exchanging about the topics they are working on (in case you didn’t guess: food and migrations).
This story – under the backdrop of a warm welcome given by their colleagues at SIFO – is that of a Norwegian experience, through the prism of food and migration. By touching – modestly – on the experience of “being migrants”, they relate their own food experiences in the context of an ephemeral “uprooting”, but also those of people encountered on their way. A long-time French immigrant researcher, a German student who settled for an indefinite period, an Egyptian fishmonger in a neighbourhood identifies as “modest”, “student” and “multicultural”, or even a project manager at the Food Bank… are as many people as you will meet during your reading. In the background, it is also the concepts dear to FOOD2GATHER that will be questioned, starting with a word that has become so common and yet deserves all our attention to understand its meaning and the issues related to its use. Did you guess? This is the word “migrants”, which in their opinion deserves to be taken with multiple precautions, to be questioned, dissected… between researchers but also in the public space, why not during family meals, and perhaps above all with the principals concerned. Finally, what does it mean to be a “migrant”? In any case, we can affirm that it is a category associated with many stigmatising representations and that much more than a state, we will speak of it as a situation.
Before wishing you a good visit, the authors would kindly like to warn you, just in case: they like to play with words, also sometimes with stereotypes. Oh yes, believe me, they do. Hoping it will remain digestible (you got it?)