Noor Jehan Ahmad

Noor Jehan Ahmad

Project Title: Food and its Meaning: An Archival Journey through Colonialism, Resistance and Supposed Independence 

Project Description: Food, essential for life, transcends its biological confines of providing physical sustenance, and creates timelines of history through its relationship with humankind. My project aims to explore the trajectory of food through the mode of colonialism, and the perspective of the colonized. How have indigenous spices, recipes, traditions been molded, erased, and/or appropriated by colonial forces, and how has indigenous food been a symbol of resistance by surviving? I examine multiple facets of colonized people‚Äôs response to food, such as their manners of eating, their taste, associations, communal and individual experiences, and the shifts in human connection with, and the significance given to making, eating, and celebrating food over centuries of oppressive rule. My project expands into archival research, by compiling stories and memories, intergenerationally inherited food-based rituals, recipes, and heritage - purely from the perspective of those who live in the supposedly independent, post-colonial now, indefinitely impacted by the colonial then. How does the presence of food throughout this history define our relationship with ourselves, with belonging, with community, and with freedom? 

Most Important Accomplishment: If I perceived all I did as accomplishments, I would reduce the pureness of passion to material milestones along the way. 

Reflections on the College Scholar Program: College Scholar connects the dots between my scattered ideas and believes in them as something that is possible to create into one, multi- dimensional reflection of what I love to learn endlessly about.