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Julie Lara Kahn:
Swamp Cabbage: Cracker Culture in a Fast Food Nation

Locust Projects and TransEAT/Food Culture Museum announce Julie Lara Kahn’s Swamp Cabbage: Cracker Culture in a Fast Food Nation, a free multi-disciplinary visual and culinary art work focusing on Florida Cracker culture as a metaphor for our disappearing connection to food and the land.

The project includes: 1) a six-week color photography, video & sound exhibition on Florida Cracker culture at Locust Projects; 2) a one-night wild game tasting at TransEAT/Food Culture Museum; 3) a panel discussion with humanities scholars who will explore the topic: “Florida Cracker Culture in a Fast Food Nation”; 4) a Saturday Fun Days Cracker cooking demonstration for children at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, and 5) an educational resource kit created by art teacher Marilyn Traeger Polin for 4th grade students and teachers posted on Arts4Learning’s website. Through photographs, food and lively public humanities discussion, Swamp Cabbage seeks not only to share recipes, challenge stereotypes, and examine encroaching development in Florida, but also to address the growing contemporary concerns for loss of connection to the land, diverse food sources, and community.

The wild game tasting will feature the fruits of the land and the hunt prepared by Cracker families and chefs including: the Daughtreys of Ft. Myers; Carl & Shirley Nettles of Christmas; Bo Rooks and Billy Jones of Floral City; Chef Chris Ciero from Radisson Resort at the Port, and Fran Adams of Marsh Landing, a Florida Cracker restaurant in Fellsmere FL. The tasting menu will include: Swamp Cabbage Fritters, Smoked Mullet Dip, Venison & Wild Hog Sausage Chili, Soft-Shell Turtle, Heirloom Pork, Rock Shrimp, Crab and Gator Dumpling Soup, Frog Legs, Gator Tail, Quail & Wine Sauce, Swamp Cabbage, and other Florida delights. 
The panel will be moderated by Caren Rabbino and will include: James M. Denham, PhD, History Professor, Florida Southern College & Director, Center for Florida History; Bill Maxwell, Scholar-in-Residence, Stillman College & Columnist, Tuscaloosa News; Alison Nordstrom, PhD, Curator of Photographs, George Eastman House; Diane Roberts, PhD, NPR Commentator & Author, Dream State; and Iris Wall, Florida Cattlewoman.

Julie Lara Kahn is a Miami-based interdisciplinary artist who incorporates photography, film, food and vernacular objects into participatory art projects. She graduated from Harvard with an MBA and a BA in East Asian Studies. For the past seven years, she has been exhibiting her artwork, screening films and staging participatory events aimed at creating dialogue, accessing true stories, and blurring boundaries not only among diverse artistic disciplines but also among people, places and communities.

Swamp Cabbage was awarded a major grant from the Florida Humanities Council through the National Endowment with additional support from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Partner organizations include Miami Light Project, Slow Food Miami, South Florida Composer’s Alliance, Artemis, Miami River Inn & Passing Eye.


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