Reassimilation Diet generates aesthetic experiences to illuminate the marginalized work of mothering/parenting in diasporic and post-industrial America. My thinking began when I needed to feed my daughter solid food; I didn’t know what to give her. I do not possess ancestral knowledge as my immigrant family relinquished their heritage so future generations could integrate. The American diet pushes processed food, but why outsource my child’s health to industrialized methods that are managed by corporations more beholden to their shareholders and profit margins than the well-being of my daughter? As her understanding of everyday activities grows swiftly, I am witnessing her indoctrination into this culture. I want to understand the effects of the knowledge depletion that our society insists upon and find ways to resist for the sake of well-being.
To consider assimilation and corporate messaging, I am focusing on consumption, including eating, shopping, media, and healthcare. I am researching practices that resist/draw awareness to our post-industrial regimen, such as food preparation, choices in diapering, and midwifery, while attempting to adapt these methods to my family routine. Through auto-ethnographic practice, I am treating activities of familial care as performances to be recorded in video, which will manifest as an immersive multi-channel video installation. I am also beginning a photographic portrait series of women who chose to labor with midwives. I want to make valorizing images of these caregivers that they can bring home with them as well as to be displayed for public viewing. The video installation and photographic series will be installed in a gallery space together, as well as take-away cards with an image and story from the project, which audience members may take home with them. I intend the takeaways to function as physical reminders to caregivers that although their work is, at times, invisible and undervalued, they are not alone.