Saturday, June 05, 2010

Jennifer C. Yates: Cafe stirs interest in nations in conflict

(Courtesy of Danny Mayer)

Cafe stirs interest in nations in conflict: ‘If nothing else, it would make people aware’
by Jennifer C. Yates

PITTSBURGH - The takeout restaurant with its bright blue storefront and large, sunny yellow lettering sits among a city block of plain white brick buildings. There's no place to sit, and there's only one item on the menu: a wrap sandwich from Iran called a kubideh.

In a few months, the menu will change to food from Afghanistan, then perhaps North Korea.

This is Conflict Kitchen, a takeout cafe designed and run by artists hoping to start conversations with customers about countries in conflict with the U.S.

"For us, it's not about being experts in Afghanistan, North Korea or Venezuela. It's a chance for the public to start thinking," said Jon Rubin, 46, an assistant professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University.

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