‘Recipe in Exile’ is a beautifully illustrated short film that we have had the privilege to publish in our inaugural issue ‘Beginnings’. It’s a moving film about displacement, violence, adaptation, culture, and heritage.
When we received the submission for our issue, we were all excited to be able to include a short film in the collection. However, it’s an interesting piece for a journal, as the media used are both illustration and film. Further, it has no dialogue. When we think of the intersection of film and non-fiction, it’s common to first think of documentary filmmaking or even true-crime. In this context, it might seem like a strange choice to include ‘Recipe in Exile’ in our first issue, but the truth of the film is apparent.
Even as the characters are anthropomorphised and symbolism is rife, the story is one that innumerable people have and will continue to experience. This is a story of how we are forced to begin again, how each generation is connected to the last, and how, ultimately, we can bring our roots with us.
‘Recipe In Exile’ tackles a very personal yet universal story about tradition, family heritage and adaptability. It is a tale that spans a hundred years, juxtaposing the lives of two immigrant women and linking them through a traditional family recipe being passed on from generation to generation.
The story is inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis in the context of the Armenian diaspora, highlighting the importance of holding on to our cultural heritage in order to stay connected to our roots, as we attempt to reinvent our lives.
Chantal Kassarjian is a Lebanese designer and animator of Armenian descent, based in Brooklyn. Her cultural heritage is intricately woven into her artistic vision and the meaningful stories she tells.
See the trailer below for a glimpse of the incredible artistic creation that can be found in Epoch Issue 1: Beginnings.