05/24/2022 – 09:35am | By: David Tisdale
USM Media and Amusement Arts (MEA) learners in the Faculty of Conversation spent
the final yr in a collaboration with students at Thammasat University in Bangkok,
Thailand, for their production of the limited movie “The Food items That Binds: Building Cultural
Relationships Across the Table” concentrating on how the planning and pleasure of meals
can be the popular denominators that bridge distinctions between persons close to the entire world.
Discrepancies in language, tradition, political and spiritual beliefs may present barriers
to setting up associations between, say, a Hattiesburg resident and a citizen of
But a shorter documentary developed by students in The College of Southern Mississippi
(USM) Faculty of Communications’ Media and Entertainment Arts (MEA) software, in collaboration
with counterparts at a college in Thailand, intends to present its audiences that
inspite of the discrepancies amid individuals about the earth, coming alongside one another above a delightful
meal can bridge those people chasms.
The “Breaking Bread Movie Venture,” a collaboration amongst Breakthrough Now Media
and The Innovation Station at the U.S. Department of Condition, provides film and media
creators from global and U.S. Gulf Coastline spots to work on new shorter-kind
content material encouraged by their shared experiences and thoughts. By means of this collaborative,
creators from 5 U.S. states and 5 nations around the world are paired and tasked with conceptualizing
and producing a quick film or other challenge addressing the intersection between food stuff
insecurity, traditions, and innovation. The method culminates in a showcase of the
Mississippi/USM is partnered with Thammasat College in Bangkok, Thailand, for their
generation “The Foodstuff That Binds: Making Cultural Interactions Throughout the Table”
to be screened in July at the Cash Screening Series in Washington, D.C., at the
United Nations, and at consulates and associate stakeholders in the U.S. and in the
companion Asian country’s college and consulates. It will also be screened at the
Catalyst Pageant in Duluth, Minnesota in September.
Associates of Breaking Bread related with Dr. Mary Lou Sheffer, professor in
the USM College of Interaction and senior college member in its MEA plan, about
participation from her pupils for the challenge. They include things like Zack Eddy of Petal,
Mississippi Mia Slone of Alexandria, Virginia Eli Goff of Gautier, Mississippi
and Alisia Powell of Picayune, Mississippi.
With advisement from Dr. Sheffer and her MEA faculty colleague Jared Hollingsworth,
these pupils centered their analysis on the communal facet of foodstuff, examining the
dynamics of preparing and conversation at mealtime by way of the input of restauranters,
chefs and other culinary gurus, as effectively as ‘foodies’ from across the Magnolia Point out
who love sharing foods with family, close friends, and even strangers.
Eddy noted how both of those cultures use many of the very same staple foodstuff – rice, fish, and a
assortment of vegetables, as examples – in generating time-honored recipes, working with distinctive
styles of seasoning and preparation variations, in the farm-to-kitchen area-to-desk method
distinctive to the communities profiled in the documentary.
“What we want to display with this movie is the commonality in between people, unveiled through
the enjoyment of planning and having scrumptious foods, no issue the place they are geared up
or with whom they are shared with,” he reported.
Goff explained he did not hope the project to be as expansive as he initially assumed.
“I’m extra of an ‘eat-to-live’ kind of man or woman as opposed to the ‘live-to-eat’ persons
who are passionate about food items in approaches I could not recognize,” he continued. “It was not
until we started out actually listening to other people’s perspectives on meals lifestyle –
in Mississippi as effectively as other places in the environment – that I realized meals performs a
sizeable position in not only people’s individual life, but in building local community as
well. In reality, it’s built me recognize my possess spouse and children far more, as I imagine again to all
the moments my spouse and children would arrive jointly and bond more than cooking.”
He explained this concept was cemented in his mind as the group arrived at out to nearby cooks
and restaurant house owners and noticed how fired up they were to tell them about what they prepare dinner
and why it matters to them.
“Cooking is not only an activity to bond in excess of, but it is the basis for constructing associations
in Mississippi as well as Thailand,” Goff ongoing. “We all have to try to eat. Why not
do it with each other?”
Slone concurred. “When you sit down at the desk for a food, you occur to see that
you’re not as various from persons from other cultures, other locations, as you assume,”
she claimed. “It demonstrates we’re more alike than not.
“You place some fantastic foodstuff in entrance of me at the table with other people today, and I can be
pals with anyone.”
For Powell, the undertaking underscored for her what she by now recognized about how
legitimate this dynamic is in her indigenous South. “Being ‘Southern’ suggests shut bonds, and
when we get jointly for a food, it doesn’t matter about race, ethnicity, gender,
or politics, due to the fact we’re all household in the end.”
Teamwork and tolerance have been useful features exercised by the group in performing with
a different team of students at an additional college halfway about the planet, only a few
of whom can communicate English. “It’s been a finding out expertise for all of us,” Dr. Sheffer
additional pointed out.
Dr. Edgar Simpson, director of the USM Faculty of Interaction, praised Dr. Sheffer
for facilitating a venture for her learners with this kind of prominence in profile and access.
“Our faculty are always seeking chances to give our learners with new and
special prospects,” Dr. Simpson ongoing. “This challenge is an case in point of how technological innovation,
such as sound and video clip, transcends traditional boundaries.”
Goff hopes when audiences see the team’s documentary, they occur to comprehend meals
is “a adore language spanning tradition.”
“Even although Mississippi and Thailand are worlds away from each other, and no make a difference
how diverse folks seem all over the world, anyone will come with each other when they are eating,”
For information about the USM College of Interaction, pay a visit to https://www.usm.edu/conversation/index.php.
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