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Banned Foods

A collaboration of midEATS and Smartypants Productions

Shifting the Anti-Immigrant Narrative Through Food

One Dish, One Community, and One Belly at a Time

We believe America is ready for a serious conversation about food in the United States and its relationship to immigration.
There is an untapped potential for food, both the familiar and unfamiliar, to serve as a medium for cross-cultural and interfaith understanding. We seek to develop a video series through community conversations that introduces one dish, from one community, to American households, one screen and one belly at a time. The traditional foods brought by immigrant communities has played a major role in the American food scene. In the age of social media, food is not only a part of our health and lifestyle, but also a part of our identities. We believe we can share stories of impacted communities through the lens of food as a means of accessing a wider audience to combat the anti-immigrant narrative.

Project Scope:
The first series will focus on the foods of immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries that were central to President Trump’s first travel ban: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. For over a decade, Muslims have been living under repressive government policies, surveillance, watch lists, and, most recently, an outright ban on entry into this country. Future series will focus on other immigrant communities in the United States, including Latin American countries recently subjected to oppressive border policies.

Executive Producers: Brenda Abdelall and Josh Seftel

Associated Members

Brenda Abdelall , Producer

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