Late last year Sami Kishawi at Sixteen Minutes to Palestine held a very interesting contest. He posted:
"Earlier this year, I featured a photo of a batch of cupcakes draped in Palestinian flags. It’s time we celebrate Palestine even more! I’ve decided to put together a small contest in which participants must bake, make, or create Palestine-themed sweets. The winner will receive a handcrafted Palestinian flag from the Gaza Strip. It’s a simple prize but because it was put together by the hands of people we admire for their fortitude and strength, the flag carries a great deal of significance.
"The video ... explains a bit further, but the rules are simple. Design a cupcake or cake, snap a photograph, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is December 15, 2011, and the winner will be announced the following day. Have fun and I can’t wait to see the final products! A brief suggestion: I urge participants to send the actual cupcakes too, just in case."We were also very impressed by his judges - he was definitely taking this contest seriously:
"Excitement is high and the judges can’t wait to be impressed. They’ve already provided statements.
“The children of Gaza broke a Guinness record by flying their colorful kites in the blue skies of Gaza. I envision the same level of enthusiasm from the contest’s participants submitting their colorful Palestinian cupcakes. The difference is that they’re under siege and we’re not. Truly, our imagination should be just as boundless as theirs!” — Anwar Kishawi
“As someone who has been involved in the global Palestine solidarity movement through public advocacy, education and journalism, and as someone who believes in the redemptive power of baked goods, I am thrilled to merge these two realms together. Freedom for Palestine, and frosting for Palestine cupcakes!” — Nora Barrows-Friedman
“This cupcake contest is a new way to show love to Palestine through something we all enjoy, cupcakes! We have seen and shown a variety of ideas but not when it comes to food. I’m looking forward to seeing how delicious and Palestine-loving these cupcakes can be. Bring it on!” — Nader K."Political baking / cooking can be very powerful, especially when Palestinians need to reclaim their own much appropriated cuisine. One of us even had the Palestinian flag on her wedding cake, which we thought was pretty cool - it was a surprise, but as she agreed later, what could be more perfect? We'd not thought about combining the cupcake craze with activism. We knew Sami would get some great responses, and that's exactly what happened. On 21 December Sami posted:
"When I first made the call-out for people to submit Palestine-themed cupcakes and cakes, I wasn’t expecting so many ingenious designs. As promised, here they are, in no particular order. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the winners, click here."Looking at all the amazing photos of the entries in the contest really made our day. It also immediately put Sami and all the contestants top of our "People We'd Like to Invite to Morning Tea" list. Although sadly they probably think Australia is too far away.
Shortly after we'd had those discussions with Archive staff Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Technology announced via Facebook a "Palestinian themed cup cake contest":
"We're holding a Palestine cupcake and cake contest in the lead up to Israeli Apartheid Week (March 5 to March 9) on Australian campuses.
"Why a cake contest? Because we all love Palestine and we all love cake. Combine the two together and, well, *melt*. This is a fun contest that celebrates all that is Palestinian.
All you need to do is bake, decorate (with Palestine in mind) and send snapshots over to email@example.com with your name, location/country and a few words. Be creative and original! We will send out prizes to the winners!
PUT YOUR APRONS ON AND SPREAD THE WORD!
You don't have to be Palestinian and you don't have to live in Australia to enter. The best thing about this is that you get to dig into your creation (once you've sent us the pics first!)"
Blog post with video here. Get inspired and get cooking, everyone :)
We've not yet asked permission to reproduce any photos from the SMP contest so you'll need to head over to Sami's blog to see everything (we do hope Students for Justice in Palestine asked permission before swiped the photo they used for their "Palestinian themed cup cake contest"). Also if you are not familiar with Sixteen Minutes to Palestine you should check out the site. We think it's great.