This was a consciousness-raising exercise that looked, smelled and tasted like a pop-up restaurant; a project to practically interrogate normativities of self-education, activism and the public performance of dissent. Restaurants were held once or twice a month between February and July 2011. At each one, guests would receive cocktails and canapés, a three-course meal and a presentation by a guest speaker.
Against the backdrops of an open-plan apartment in Shoreditch, east London, and the then-new regime of 'austerity', both guests and hosts typically seemed comfortable with the format, formalities and food of the evenings, but not entirely comfortable that they found themselves to be. As the months of the project went on, the most memorable moments were not the didactic presentations of guest speakers, but those that betrayed the movements of all of us towards recuperating habits of practical political action and dialogue that had come to feel as urgent as much as they did alien.
I devised, organised, presented and catered The Political Pop-Up Restaurant with Susannah Worth, author of Digesting Recipes: The Art of Culinary Notation. The final Restaurant formed part of the ArtsAdmin Two Degrees festival 2011 (pictured).