Every year before Christmas, my mom, my aunt and I would convene at my grandmother's house to make cookies. Special Hungarian christmas cookies. The dough had been set to rise the evening before and today was for assembling and baking. The recipe had been handed down through my grandmother’s ancestry from mother to daughter and perhaps a son or two. I was in charge of brushing on the egg wash before the cookies entered the oven, the entry level job. I remember the places in the kitchen where my mother and aunt stood at the countertops, And the way that the light shone through the windows by my grandmother’s table, silhouetting her figure. The process took all day, making enough cookies for the nine siblings in my mother’s immediate family.  I have a daughter now and we will make the cookies. I wish I knew more of these recipes, edible links to our lineage, but at least we have one, and can make our own traditions together.

Every year before Christmas, my mom, my aunt and I would convene at my grandmother's house to make cookies. Special Hungarian christmas cookies. The dough had been set to rise the evening before and today was for assembling and baking. The recipe had been handed down through my grandmother’s ancestry from mother to daughter and perhaps a son or two. I was in charge of brushing on the egg wash before the cookies entered the oven, the entry level job. I remember the places in the kitchen where my mother and aunt stood at the countertops, And the way that the light shone through the windows by my grandmother’s table, silhouetting her figure. The process took all day, making enough cookies for the nine siblings in my mother’s immediate family.

I have a daughter now and we will make the cookies. I wish I knew more of these recipes, edible links to our lineage, but at least we have one, and can make our own traditions together.

Adira Staples.JPG

reassimilation Diet

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.