The taste of gentrification: Arab fast food in Berlin.
Public book presentation
Dr. Miriam Stock (European University Viadrina)
Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 6-8 pm
During the last two decades, Arab snack stores selling falafel, shawarma and halloumi flourished in gentrifying districts in Berlin. This, however, was far from accidental. In her book, Miriam Stock shows how migrant entrepreneurs from Lebanon, Palestine and beyond creatively promoted Berlin-style tastes in food and décor while invoking their cultural authenticity. Berlin`s middle class consumers favored these “authentic” representations of the “Oriental” in gentrifying neighborhoods not only because it met their own Orientalist imaginations, but also in order to perform and reify their own cultural hegemony vis-à-vis other social groups within and beyond the city. By linking ethnic food to urban gentrification in a dense observation, Miriam Stock unfolds the mechanisms of everyday distinction in re-structuring late capitalist cities.
Dr. Miriam Stock is an urban and cultural geographer working in the field of migration, food, consumption and gender. She received her PhD in 2013 from the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt Oder. Since then, she was a Post-Doc fellow in the project “Global Prayers” (Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin) as well as a coordinator of the participatory photography project “Blasti” on women and public spaces in Tunis. She co-organizes the international forum “Food Fabrication” in January 2015 at the Orient-Institut Beirut.