Kitchen Revolution: Dinner with a side order of sedition
Kitchen Revolution is a series of evenings that combine supper and secrecy, all served with a dash of sedition. The theme of this evening [30 November, tickets available here, £25] is ‘Is our democracy being sold to the highest bidder?’ Over a feast of home-cooked Georgian food and wine, guests will discuss the dangers of crony capitalism and corporate lobbying, and ask whether art can help repair a political system corrupted by money and vested interests.
...In the dark days of the Soviet Union, dissidents and intellectuals would gather in each other’s homes to talk, argue and dream about one thing – freedom. These whispered conversations, which would have been deemed treasonous if held in public, ultimately coalesced into actions that helped overthrow the repressive Soviet system. This was nicknamed the ‘kitchen revolution’.
Decades later and a world away, Britain’s hard-won freedoms are being eroded, as too many of us sink into political apathy, and a stultifying conservatism envelops the creative arts. It’s time for a new and more public kitchen revolution, time to turn up the volume on the kitchen table whispers of the past, and to encourage everyone to consider how artists should respond when democracy comes under threat.
The Belarus Free Theatre is part of a creative platform called The Ministry of Counterculture - blurb below:
The Ministry of Counterculture is a brand new online platform to address the narrow understanding of the role the arts play in social change, featuring unexpected and untold stories of human resilience and creativity. At the helm, Nikolai Khalezin, BFT co-founder and former co-Editor-in-chief of Belarusian national broadsheets Name and News, both shut down by the Belarusian government. He is joined by Ministry of Counterculture’s Managing Editor Georgie Weedon, previously the third member of the Al Jazeera English launch team.
Along with daily news stories, informal and insightful blogs from guest contributors, campaigns, global arts reviews and events, the platform plays host to several original film, photography and print feature strands, offering a bold alternative perspective and unique access into the world of arts, free speech, human rights, social justice and everything in between.
Media platforms enabling social meeting and performances, in a spirit of friendly and principled inquiry, with the wider world rushing into these convened spaces... We generally approve. The overall intent is similar to our aspiration for the political laboratories that we are currently evolving and planning at the moment.
Questions of accessibility and power for the event - is £25 a head too expensive? Is it only the top table of name speakers whose voices we'll get to hear? - are also worth considering. But experimentation in how political meetings can happen are always worth trying.