Conflict Kitchen is a restaurant that exclusively serves dishes originating from countries with which the United States is in conflict. The restaurant is also complemented by numerous events, workshops, performances, publications and discussions. The actions aim to broaden the public's engagement with culture, politics and geopolitical events. Conflict Kitchen is open and active seven days a week. The project uses the social relations of food for exchange and to reach a broad public. Discussions about countries, culture and people are an integral part of the table culture. The concept is deliberately in contrast to dominant white politics and media coverage. The restaurant is an ever-changing place (the cuisine changes every three to six months) where ethnic diversity is explicitly encouraged in post-industrial Pittsburgh. It is at the same time the city's first Iranian, Afghan, Venezuelan, North Korean and Palestinian restaurant.
A permanently moving space of possibility in the form of a restaurant that both allows for and celebrates ethnic diversity and is a place for open discussion, opening up a general space for certain social, political and geopolitical issues that is otherwise very limited in public and social terms.
Although Conflict Kitchen in Pittsburgh was well received and popular, the project received criticism and, most recently, death threats for its standpoint on political statements, especially statements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to which the initiators reacted by closing the restaurant for the time being.
After threats, Conflict Kitchen was temporarily closed. During the closure, supporters covered the exterior of the restaurant with hundreds of handwritten statements of support such as »Stay Strong We Support Conflict Kitchen«. This picture shows the restaurant after it reopened, with long lines of patrons. Photo: Aolivex, 2014, CC BY-SA 4.0. Source: Wikipedia
The restaurant at Schenley Plaza in Pittburgh, decorated for its Afghan menu. Photo: Ragesoss, 2014, CC BY-SA 3.0. Source: Wikipedia