In October 2016, we -4 women from the West- visited Nara in Japan to host a silent dinner and celebrate the anniversary of the legendary Silk Road, which has been connecting East and West for centuries.
Japanese chef Masayo Funakoshi cooked a beautiful dinner using local ingredients in 5 different dishes that had to be shared and eaten with the fingers. The 16 guests were asked to remain silent in order to emphasize every other way to communicate with their table companions.
The starting point of this dinner was a vision of Gitte Holmboe, one of the 4 women, of a tale relating how people would communicate in the ancient time of caravans travelling accross the globe to convey spices and textiles. If people from various origins were to sit down and share meals together without speaking a common langage, shall we imagine that those meals would be animated with laughs, looks, gestures, simple games or lyric-less songs?
Retranscribing it in our time where multi-cultural interactions are omnipresent but language barriers still constraint communication, Gitte Holmboe along with Cecilie Dawes, Caroline Hargreaves and Nina Sahraoui have hosted a dinner that arises a broad range of emotions and where a special kind of attention is drawn to what is in the plate and who it is shared with.