Arte Útil archive nr:



Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski




politics, social


Jon Rubin, Dawn Weleski, staff, and customers

Maintained by:

The Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University, The Benter Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The Sprout Fund, Jon Rubin, and Dawn Weleski.




2010 - ongoing

Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski
Conflict Kitchen


Conflict Kitchen is a restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict. Each Conflict Kitchen iteration includes events, performances, and discussions that seek to expand public engagement with the culture, politics, and issues at stake within the focus country. The restaurant rotates identities every few months in relation to current geopolitical events. The current focus is on the food, culture, and politics of Cuba. The food comes packaged in wrappers that include interviews with Cubans both in Cuba and the United States on subjects ranging from culture to politics. The
thoughts and opinions from the interviews and programming are often contradictory and complicated by personal perspective and history. These natural contradictions reflect a range of thought within each country and serve to bring about questioning, conversation, and debate with customers.


Engage the general public in discussions about countries, cultures, and people that they might know little about outside of the polarizing rhetoric of governmental politics and the narrow lens of media headlines.

Beneficial Outcomes:

Customers eat food from other countries. It has presented the only Iranian, Afghan, and Venezuelan restaurants the city has ever seen. Questioning, conversation, and debates ignited.