05/24/2022 – 09:35am | By: David Tisdale

USM Media and Leisure Arts (MEA) students in the University of Conversation invested
the very last 12 months in a collaboration with learners at Thammasat College in Bangkok,
Thailand, for their manufacturing of the limited movie “The Foodstuff That Binds: Making Cultural
Relationships Across the Table” focusing on how the planning and pleasure of meals
can be the prevalent denominators that bridge distinctions amongst persons about the entire world.

Discrepancies in language, tradition, political and religious beliefs may perhaps existing limitations
to creating associations in between, say, a Hattiesburg resident and a citizen of
Bangkok, Thailand.

But a limited documentary developed by learners in The University of Southern Mississippi
(USM) University of Communications’ Media and Leisure Arts (MEA) application, in collaboration
with counterparts at a university in Thailand, intends to clearly show its audiences that
regardless of the dissimilarities amongst individuals about the environment, coming jointly above a mouth watering
meal can bridge those chasms.

The “Breaking Bread Movie Task,” a collaboration involving Breakthrough Now Media
and The Innovation Station at the U.S. Section of State, delivers film and media
creators from international and U.S. Gulf Coast locations to do the job on new short-variety
written content encouraged by their shared encounters and tips. By this collaborative,
creators from 5 U.S. states and 5 international locations are paired and tasked with conceptualizing
and producing a quick movie or other undertaking addressing the intersection between meals
insecurity, traditions, and innovation. The plan culminates in a showcase of the
collaborative jobs.

Mississippi/USM is partnered with Thammasat College in Bangkok, Thailand, for their
production “The Food stuff That Binds: Making Cultural Associations Across the Table”
to be screened in July at the Cash Screening Series in Washington, D.C., at the
United Nations, and at consulates and associate stakeholders in the U.S. and in the
spouse Asian country’s university and consulates. It will also be screened at the
Catalyst Pageant in Duluth, Minnesota in September.

Reps of Breaking Bread related with Dr. Mary Lou Sheffer, professor in
the USM College of Interaction and senior college member in its MEA software, about
participation from her college students for the task. They consist of Zack Eddy of Petal,
Mississippi Mia Slone of Alexandria, Virginia Eli Goff of Gautier, Mississippi
and Alisia Powell of Picayune, Mississippi.

With advisement from Dr. Sheffer and her MEA college colleague Jared Hollingsworth,
these learners focused their study on the communal facet of meals, inspecting the
dynamics of planning and interaction at mealtime by the input of restauranters,
chefs and other culinary industry experts, as perfectly as ‘foodies’ from across the Magnolia Point out
who really like sharing meals with loved ones, mates, and even strangers.

Eddy famous how the two cultures use a lot of of the exact same staple foodstuff – rice, fish, and a
wide variety of greens, as illustrations – in creating time-honored recipes, working with distinct
sorts of seasoning and preparation models, in the farm-to-kitchen area-to-desk system
special to the communities profiled in the documentary.

“What we want to demonstrate with this film is the commonality in between persons, exposed by way of
the pleasure of preparing and taking in tasty foods, no matter the place they are ready
or with whom they are shared with,” he said.

Goff said he didn’t assume the job to be as expansive as he initially assumed.
“I’m extra of an ‘eat-to-live’ sort of person as opposed to the ‘live-to-eat’ folks
who are passionate about food in strategies I could not comprehend,” he continued. “It was not
until eventually we started genuinely listening to other people’s perspectives on foods society –
in Mississippi as properly as other destinations in the earth – that I understood foodstuff plays a
important purpose in not only people’s personalized life, but in constructing community as
effectively. In actuality, it is made me have an understanding of my own relatives more, as I think back to all
the moments my spouse and children would occur with each other and bond in excess of cooking.”

He reported this strategy was cemented in his thoughts as the crew achieved out to regional cooks
and cafe owners and observed how energized they were to convey to them about what they cook dinner
and why it issues to them.

“Cooking is not only an activity to bond in excess of, but it is the basis for setting up associations
in Mississippi as effectively as Thailand,” Goff ongoing. “We all have to consume. Why not
do it with each other?”

Slone concurred. “When you sit down at the table for a food, you occur to see that
you are not as unique from people from other cultures, other places, as you assume,”
she claimed. “It reveals we’re more alike than not.

“You put some great meals in front of me at the desk with other men and women, and I can be
close friends with anyone.”

For Powell, the challenge underscored for her what she by now comprehended about how
legitimate this dynamic is in her indigenous South. “Being ‘Southern’ suggests close bonds, and
when we get collectively for a meal, it doesn’t issue about race, ethnicity, gender,
or politics, due to the fact we’re all relatives in the finish.” 

Teamwork and tolerance have been worthwhile characteristics exercised by the staff in operating with
one more team of college students at an additional university halfway all-around the entire world, only a few
of whom can converse English. “It’s been a studying practical experience for all of us,” Dr. Sheffer
further pointed out.

Dr. Edgar Simpson, director of the USM Faculty of Communication, praised Dr. Sheffer
for facilitating a undertaking for her students with this kind of prominence in profile and arrive at.

“Our faculty are usually trying to find alternatives to give our pupils with new and
exclusive prospects,” Dr. Simpson continued. “This task is an example of how technological innovation,
this sort of as sound and movie, transcends regular boundaries.”

Goff hopes when audiences see the team’s documentary, they occur to recognize foods
is “a really like language spanning lifestyle.”

“Even even though Mississippi and Thailand are worlds away from every other, and no make a difference
how unique persons appear about the world, everyone comes with each other when they are eating,”
he reported.

For information about the USM Faculty of Interaction, go to https://www.usm.edu/communication/index.php.

By Taba