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May 15, 2011 9:51 PM   Subscribe

100 years of world cuisine is a statistical exploration of military conflict that is both artistic and disturbing.
posted by anigbrowl (28 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The 9/11 ladle seems a little bit full.
posted by unliteral at 10:01 PM on May 15, 2011

Expected catalog of ethnic dishes correlated with conflicts. Disappointed but point not missed.
posted by anateus at 10:01 PM on May 15, 2011 [11 favorites]

Would have preferred it a little less rare.
posted by crunchland at 10:09 PM on May 15, 2011

Moving and informative. Thank you.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:28 PM on May 15, 2011

The most disturbing thing in that image is the immaculate tablecloth.
posted by vidur at 10:30 PM on May 15, 2011 [4 favorites]

They missed out a lot of conflicts e.g. WWII seems to be just Stalingrad + genocide against Jews and Roma and expulsion of Germans ; Apart from perhaps the Armenian genocide, there is NO mention of WWI (why start in 1915 anyway? the time span doesn't even add up to 100 years); there's no mention of China either which seems kinda huge.

OK they acknowledge (not very clearly) that they miss a lot out. but why choose this particularselection is the big question this picture prompts?
posted by Bwithh at 10:32 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah. If you're going to pick and choose, what exactly is the point?

The Iraq mug seems is almost certainly too empty.

And poor East Timor, left out again.
posted by anarch at 10:39 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well, he's got the Holodomor and the Khmer Rouge genocide as well as the Holocaust, so joannemullen won't be complaining.

Is it insensitive that I expected the Khmer blood to be not in a glass beaker but in a (Pol) Pot?

But anyway: we're implicitly taught in schools that genocide is rare and thus inherently perverse, aberrational, and inhuman, and that the Holocaust is a-historically unique and without precedent.

I know it was a shock to me when I learned, contra what I'd been taught in school, that not only is genocide common whenever two peoples try to occupy the same land (how lucky that the 100 years covered in this graphic start just after the wend of Indian Wars that wiped out the native people of North America), but that our closet non-human relations, the chimps, also commit genocide when they can.

Genocide is terrible, but it's not aberrational for humans. It's pretty much standard operating procedure: go into a new territory, and kill the men and kill or rape the women.

Read the Old Testament: God commands genocide, excepting not even babies or animals, but excepting young virgin women who can be raped and made to bear the conquerors' children:
Numbers 31

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”

[. . . .]

7 They fought against Midian, as the LORD commanded Moses, and killed every man. ... 9 The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. 10 They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. 11 They took all the plunder and spoils, including the people and animals....

14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.

15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. 16 ”They were the ones who followed Balaam’s advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the LORD in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the LORD’s people. 17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
That's Moses, a guy who three of the five major world religions believe was a leader appointed by God, who had the rare privilege of talking directly with God, to whom God gave the 10 Commandments, the central moral laws with people ought to live by.

And it's not some devil or or atheist or contrarian who ascribes tho Moses the words "Have you allowed all the women to live?" It's the religion that most venerates him that proudly tells us he's commanded genocide.

Or look to Rome, the great empire our Republicanism emulated and our Imperialism emulates. Rome, founded by men, the women brought over in a combined cattle raid and rape expedition against their neighbors, now softened in numerous paintings and poems retelling The Rape of The Sabine Women. Yes, apologists will tell you that the Latin "raptio" means "abduction", that these women were only "abducted" and forced to be "wives". But we see the same sort of small-scale genocide for livestock and women in contemporary Papua New Guinea, and we know why it is that men and "men children" are killed and women are "raptio'd".

Once Celtic people extended all over Europe. You think they voluntarily sequestered themselves in Wales and Ireland? Why are Basques so few, and the ETA so bitter?

Why is it anywhere on the US East Coat, a little digging will find you an arrow-head, but not a single major Native American land-owner east of Oklahoma?

Genocide is a terrible terrible thing, but well, as Malcolm X might have said, it's as American as Cherry Pie, and as Human walking upright on two legs.
posted by orthogonality at 10:45 PM on May 15, 2011 [18 favorites]

And best of all it's just €59 for a 30" x 20" print (76cm x 51cm).
posted by joannemullen at 11:42 PM on May 15, 2011

It is a reasonable idea but I don't think they have even come close to pulling it off. When I look at that, all I can think is that somebody went to town at BJ's and bought 25 gallons of grape juice concentrate. There's nothing particularly macabre about it.
posted by notmtwain at 1:43 AM on May 16, 2011

What's your favourite genocide? I'm partial to Pol Pot's, despite my critics claims that it's exoticising orientalism on my part, and therefore inherently racist. The way I justify it to myself, it's just sentimental reconstruction of the times of my childhood, Nixon and CB radio and planes being pushed off the deck of aircraft carriers.

But I guess on the whole it's for the best that genocide is no longer fashionable.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:16 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

To me, what's disturbing is why 162 million aren't shown. They wanted to create "a shocking, gory picture, like the reality of war" but couldn't be bothered to find a container.

"In the end, practical considerations (where can you find a suitable barrel in Paris?) pushed us not to include these."
posted by Houstonian at 2:23 AM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

Why include 9/11 and exclude, say, the US invasion of Panama? What a strange list.
posted by klue at 3:04 AM on May 16, 2011

Perhaps we're only looking at the entres?

This is a poor list. So "Immigration to Europe" at 15000 gets a mention but not the Somme or Aras or Verdun. Weird and incomplete. I suspect also if the artist hadn't included 9/11 there would have been howls of WHERE'S 9/11??
posted by the noob at 3:12 AM on May 16, 2011

confusing, hard to follow, difficult to read, comparisons hard to make, major events missing.....

Sorry, this becomes a still life (no pun intended) in red and tan.
posted by tomswift at 3:16 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's sort of like when I wanted to do a chart of tragedies, and drew a picture that included my hamster dying and the earthquake in Japan.
posted by tomswift at 3:18 AM on May 16, 2011 [6 favorites]

tomswift is making a dark joke, but for better or worse, our subjective experience of tragedy is propinquity multiplied by enormity.

Or as Stalin apocryphally is claimed to have said, "One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic." That's true as long as you or those you care about do not count toward that statistic.

The death of one close pet we know is not "as important" as the death of thousands of distant and personally unknown people, but we had a greater investment in, history with, and possibly responsibility for, the pet.

This is not necessarily a bad thing: consider the (also apocryphal) claim that Karl Marx, consumed with concern for the proletariat, neglected his own children.

As we expand the circle of those whose deaths matter to us, must also expand our depth of concern, so that that we don't end up spreading it so widely and yet also so thinly as to be perfunctory.
posted by orthogonality at 3:35 AM on May 16, 2011

1915-2010 is 95 years, dammit.
posted by solarion at 4:15 AM on May 16, 2011

One of the most fucked up things about how the world has dealt with the Holocaust is the fact that the 5-6000000 number refers only to the Jews killed by the Nazis. The total number of people killed in the various Nazi pogroms (as opposed to war casualties) is more like 12000000.

There is a reason we call them crimes against humanity.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 4:27 AM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

I know I considered a serious invasion and permanent occupation of Montreal after eating my way through several fine restaurants. Maybe George just had a really good meal in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:40 AM on May 16, 2011

Stalin didn't say that; Marilyn Manson did.
posted by monospace at 8:26 AM on May 16, 2011

Alan Moore has a better analogy in Brought To Light... if you say a human body has a gallon of blood, and a swimming pool is 20 000 gallons then full it's 20 000 lives. He goes on to talk about various post WWII conflicts in terms of 'swimming pools'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:36 AM on May 16, 2011

"One of the most fucked up things about how the world has dealt with the Holocaust is the fact that the 5-6000000 number refers only to the Jews killed by the Nazis."
posted by Kid Charlemagne

How many people died at Auschwitz?

OK, hands up all those who said 4 million? Try 1.5 million, a 62% reduction.

Serious question, where did the other 2.5 million people go? Were they actually there and lived, or were they never there? If they were there, where did they go? 2.5 million is a substantial number of people. If they were never there, where did the 4 million figure come from?

And if the figure at Auschwitz is so innacurate, how can we be certain of the figures for other places?

(Please note, I am not a denier: as a European person it is a truly fucked-up part of our heritage, but I am seriously interested in how come the figures we (well I was, I can't speak for others) were taught at school were so inncacurate, and stood for so long without challenge?)
posted by marienbad at 9:15 AM on May 16, 2011

anateus: "Expected catalog of ethnic dishes correlated with conflicts. Disappointed but point not missed."

Same here; was expecting Bánh mì.
posted by wcfields at 10:15 AM on May 16, 2011

marienbad, you are indeed using a denier argument, whether or not you are a denier yourself. Please read Deceit & Misrepresentation, The Techniques of Holocaust Denial: The Auschwitz Gambit: The Four Million Variant.

Is the number really important? Millions of people.
posted by Houstonian at 10:48 AM on May 16, 2011

WTF Marienbad, a white nationalist website? Really?
posted by anigbrowl at 11:44 AM on May 16, 2011

marienbad: "OK, hands up all those who said 4 million? Try 1.5 million, a 62% reduction. "

posted by dunkadunc at 11:46 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

When I think of food as war symbolism, I always think Food Fight.
posted by Rykey at 3:35 PM on May 16, 2011

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