Un | Fixed Homeland: A Night of Guyanese Cuisine and Inspired Art in Newark's Aljira

Chef Marlyn Lawrie-Rogers will be featuring seven dishes, along with accompanying art work

Kwesi Abbensetts

Kwesi Abbensetts' You Booked Your Passage comes from his series, Pieces of Land, From Where I Have Come (2016).

This Saturday Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, will be hosting a dinner party to celebrate "Un | Fixed Homeland," an exhibition featuring the works of 13 emerging and established global artists of Guyanese heritage. The goal of these pieces is to examine the relationship to “homeland” through photography and photography-based art.

Guests will have the opportunity to dine in the gallery and experience both traditional and nouveau Guyanese cuisine, prepared by Guyanese-born chef Marlyn Lawrie-Rogers, to complement the exhibition’s vibrant themes.

Lawrie-Rogers opened Sisters Cuisine in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood in 1995, and has been serving specialties from Guyana ever since. This menu is infused with a blend of modern Guyanese cuisine paired with recipes that Marlyn Lawrie-Rogers’s parents made during her childhood in Guyana.

The multicultural heritage of Guyanese people is a mix of Amerindian, African, Indian, Chinese, and European, making for one unique menu. The seven dishes and special cocktail created by Lawrie-Rogers seeks to “activate the food objects embedded throughout the artwork,” according to a release.

“Marlyn’s dishes, made with a deep love for a homeland that is no longer home, are art objects in their own right,” the release continues. “Their vibrant colors, textures, and aromas bring alive the thirteen artists’ poignant stories of migration—stories that evoke memories of Guyana, carve out meanings of identity and belonging, and maintain the threads to a beloved homeland.”

Each course highlights a specific heritage that influences Guyana’s culture and is paired with a work of art from the exhibition. The menu features dishes such as masala curry chicken (reflecting Guyana’s Indian heritage) with curry powder, garam masala, and spices, paired with “Mudra Erasure” by Maya Mackrandilal,; chow mein (reflecting Guyana’s Chinese heritage) with bok choy, cabbage, and red peppers, paired with “Oniabo” by Michael lam,; and a cassava pone, a traditional Amerindian dessert with cassava, coconut, milk, and cherries, paired with “Amalivaca” Khadija Benn.

For more information on this event, click here.

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