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Art & Culture

Kneading Knowledge: Virtual Sharing of Embodied Knowledge of Migration Through Online Cooking

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In May 2020, the Arts & Humanities Research Institute (AHRI) worked in collaboration with the charity Migrateful on the project Breaking Bread, providing King’s staff with the opportunity to participate in four online cookery classes that were led by refugees, asylum seeker and migrants. Kneading Knowledge builds on the success and positive feedback from this project.

Migrateful supports asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants on their journey to employment, independence and integration into the community by offering cookery classes where migrant chefs share their native cuisine, culture and stories. The hope through doing this is to break down prejudice among the public and to foster greater intercultural understanding.

Kneading Knowledge provides the Arts and Humanities at King’s with an innovative model for socially engaged research that includes a service provision and that links to teaching interactivity. Migrateful has facilitated a further eight virtual cookery classes for KCL students, staff, and members of the public which were observed by researchers and work is now underway to develop research further through follow-up interviews.

The project involves the following academics who are currently working on aspects of migration:



The project seeks to provide King’s students and staff a sense of wellbeing and connection during an isolating time; classes ran across October and November 2020 to coincide with new students starting at King’s.

Kneading Knowledge will bring participants and communities together through a shared experience of embodied learning. Migrateful’s impact research over the past year demonstrates that their cookery classes are enriching (97% say they would recommend them to a friend) and 41% report that the experience increased their understanding of the position of refugees.



Eight interactive online cookery classes lasting 1.5 to 2 hours were run across October & November 2020 as follows:

  • 6 – 7.30pm, Wednesday 21st October: Lebanese cuisine with Chef Ahmed
  • 6 – 7.30pm, Friday 23rd October: Albanian cuisine with Chef Deshira
  • 12 – 1.30pm, Wednesday 28th October: Angolan cuisine with Chef Edite
  • 6 – 7.30pm, Friday 30th October: Bengali cuisine with Chef Nahida
  • 6 – 7.30pm, Tuesday 3rd November: Cuban cuisine with Chef Lola
  • 12 – 1.30pm, Thursday 5th November: Syrian cuisine with Chef Majeda
  • 6 – 7.30pm, Tuesday 10th November: Iranian cuisine with Chef Parastoo
  • 6 – 7.30pm, Thursday 12th November: Nigerian cuisine with Chef Elizabeth

Each class was hosted by one of Migrateful's chefs who led participants through two authentic recipes, stopping frequently to answer questions, share anecdotes, and provide feedback on the participants’ dishes. At some of the classes, artists were on-hand to capture experiences and are now in the process of producing artworks in response. Follow-up interviews with participants are also being arranged to explore more deeply their thoughts on the experience and their own experiences of migration.

Project status: Ongoing



Arts & Humanities Research Institute

King's College London

Strand Campus