Updated: Jul 8, 2021
This year we are celebrating Soul Food’s 3rd birthday with an online cultural festival. Although we had hoped to recreate and expand on last year’s celebration at L’Ami Jean, we’ve been forced to dive deeper into our creative toolboxes and reimagine the event in a COVID-friendly format.
Photo © @shotbymoki
In trying to remain optimistic, we’ve decided to focus on the pros (even though we are definitely disappointed by the fact that we won’t be eating a delicious mafé with plantains or dancing to live music with our friends!). For example, organizing an online event means including people who would not have otherwise been able to come to an event in Paris, regardless of the pandemic. A lot of people from the Soul Food community, including volunteers, live in other countries. While they cheer us on from afar, they are just that – too far away to actually participate in our activities. Until now.
This format also allows us to work with new partners and to celebrate a form of art that we couldn’t include in last year’s event: film. Some of our most memorable cultural excursions have been to film screenings. Movies allow us to tell stories and learn about other people and cultures in a unique way. They tend to cross cultural divides and achieve a level of understanding that not all forms of art are necessarily capable of. While we must spend so much time at home, they also serve as cherished forms of comfort and entertainment, and as windows into places that we can only dream of visiting.
Photo © Soul Food / Kryssandra Heslop
We created this festival as a way to celebrate Soul Food’s achievements, raise awareness about our organization and the issues faced by the young people we serve, but also as a conduit of connection during a time when so many of us are isolated. One very positive thing about this format is that it allows us to embody one of our goals, to increase access to art and culture, in a new way. It allows us to bring art, culture, diversity, and community into the homes of people around the world, many of whom may not have much access to these currently. For us, it will also serve as a virtual cultural excursion with our young members, during a time when in-person activities are almost impossible. We hope that it brings a sense of togetherness to everyone who participates.
Your support of Soul Food Festival via the purchase of our online cinema and art raffle tickets, benefits our nonprofit mission to support young migrants and refugees through artistic and cultural initiatives. Our programs promote positive integration, professional development and safe creative spaces for these young people.
How to join Soul Food Festival:
Follow us on social media at @soulfoodparis and keep an eye on our Instagram/Facebook stories all week for more details.
Signup for our newsletter, to be amongst the first to receive details about the event.
Contribute creatively through our fundraisers: an art raffle and our online cinema.
Take a photo of how you are celebrating #SoulFoodTogether, post it on social media, use the hashtag #SoulFoodTogether, and tag @soulfoodparis.
Graphic © Marin Zhadok