preserve/decay is part of a working series where Hajjar learns and records her mother’s recipes, then performs a reflective process after each one. This process deepens her connection with a feminist praxis between the kitchen, her family’s stories, feminist scholars, and her body. Following her learning on baklava, she asked her mother for more knowledge on roses, rose water, and rose tea. In preserve/decay, Hajjar contemplates her mother’s relationship with tea and her teachings on roses. She prepares both rose and earl grey tea, plucks long-stemmed roses, and cross-contaminates these ingredients from the site of an old window. Through an embodied inquiry she engages her nostalgia for her mother’s homeland and grapples with the nuances of home and assimilation.


Christina Hajjar
Photos by Carmen Aleman

This work was developed at the FAC Residency, hosted at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island. The group exhibition took place at Daniels Spectrum, Toronto.