DATS 2010 and DATS Mashup (2010)
MONTAGNARD / ASIAN COMMUNITY DISPARITIES RESEARCH NETWORK
Team: Young, A., Ksa, K., Pierce, E., Renfrew, B., et al
Title: DATS 2010 and DATS MASHUP Cooking Collaboration
Brief: DATS (Design, Art and Technology Symposium) was an annual event that rotated among members UNCG, NCAT, UNCSA and GTCC. The Center for Design Innovation joined to organize the 2010 event. Andrew Young suggested the symposium's main theme, "Food for Thought", which explored the growing interest in local food. The day-long event was held at the new Milton Rhodes Arts Center in downtown Winston-Salem.
For DATS MashUp, four teams each consisting of an American chef and refugee cook, used the locally developed Stokes purple sweet potato to create dishes that combined the skills and traditions of two worlds. Kwol Ksa worked with Greensboro's Table 16 to create a unique Montagnard American dish. Through this project we demonstrated that food is a cultural medium that can overcome language and other barriers that have prevented the talents and economic value of refugees from being fully realized.
Outcomes: The project didn't end on presentation day. It was a jump-off point for refugees to socially connect to mainstream Americans. As artists who've studied the refugee community, we see cultural isolation as a barrier equal to if not bigger than language and employment issues. At our blog, we followed the refugees and participants since the public presentation