Michael Rakowitz

As part of TECTONIC, The Moving Museum commissioned Dar Al Sulh by Michael Rakowitz. Translated to ‘Domain of Conciliation’, this pop-up restaurant ran for 7 nights at Traffic in Dubai, serving recipes preserved from the artist’s Iraqi- Jewish grandmother, whose ingredients and combinations were specific to the Jewish population and are no longer served in Iraq today. It was the first such ‘restaurant’ in the Arab World to serve the cuisine of Iraqi Jews since their exodus, which began in the 1940s, serving the food on plates and trays that originally belonged to members of this ancient community and which survived the departure from their homeland.

Dar Al Sulh represented an important step in the history of the Arab world to engage in an open discourse about its multi-ethnic and religious histories. The dinners were hosted by Traffic, a
public space which has transformed the cultural landscape of Dubai over the past 3 years and is in fact closing with the end of Dar Al Sulh. The co-hosts and interlocutors were Regine Basha who showcased Tuning Baghdad, the music component to the event and Dr. Ella Habiba Shohat, a professor of Cultural Studies at New York University and affiliated faculty with NYU Abu Dhabi who has carried out extensive research on this history of Arab Jews.

“Dar al Sulh, commissioned and co-produced by The Moving Museum as part of its recent “Tectonic” show, is billed as the first Arab-Jewish restaurant in the Arab world, serving recipes culled from the culinary repertoire of Rakowitz’s grandmother,” - Art Asia Pacific