the color orange - cooking for human rights

Two nights ago I recieved an e-mail from a dear colleague about a global manifestation to highlight the violations of the human rights in China on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Beijing August 2008. The Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot is the initiator of the manifestation 'The Color Orange'.

The strict censorship can ban the use of obvious symbols of human rights, but the use of The Color Orange cannot be banned. By using something with the color orange during the Olympics - both inside and outside of China - you are sending a signal to the world that something is wrong in China. It can be anything, like an orange hat, camera bag, tie, pen, paper, dress, suit, bag etc. Even pealing an orange will be considered a pronounced statement. On the web site they are also encouraging people to support the project with various creative ideas, like writing songs, poems, blogging about the case or whatever idea one could have that comprises the color orange.

The Color Orange is inspired by what the painter Kandinsky said when he stated that the color orange is in fact red that has been made more human by the color yellow. The Chinese color is exactly red so maybe we can support the humanistic forces in the country by introducing the Color Orange. The selection of the Color Orange is however also inspired by the color of the prison uniforms in Guantanamo, the monks in Tibet and Burma and so on.

First I thought I won´t "do" politics on a food blog but then again, I grew up in a communist dictature and know what that does to peoples phychies. I have memories about our food being "regulated" by the gouvernment, not being allowed to decide what you want to eat, but you had to eat whatever you could lay your hands on...those were desperate times. No free television, radio, news were "filtered" so we didn´t really knew what was happening in the world.

I am out of there now but I may not forget that many people around the globe are still living like incapacitated and there human rights are violated on a daily basis. Cooking orange things and blogging about it is not going to help them, I am well aware of that. But if I do think about those people and sending them positive thoughts, good vibes or prayers while planning, cooking and blogging about orange things, that might make a slight difference. And if many other people with me are sending their positive energies towards this cause, that would make a real difference. To be able to change things, first we have to acknowledge them, to recognize their existence. I´m doing it here and now. Please, join me.

We could of course organize a cooking event in August, during the Olimpics, but we could also start right now. My first orange dish is a very simple one from Diana Henry´s Cook Simple but it is so good! I had it as a quick lunch yesterday and I intend to put it on my staples-list.

Spanish Sweet Potato w Chorizo
serves 1

1 small sweet potato in chunks
1 small red onion halved, cut into half-monn-shaped slices
1/2 or 1 red paprika, deseeded, slice into broad strips
olive oil
3/4 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1/8 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
100g chorizo, cut into rounds
50g bacon, cut into chunks
1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
coriander or parsley leaves for serving
1 large egg

Put sweet potato, onion and peppers in a small roasting tin. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, smoked paprika, cumin, salt pepper. Stir vegetable until coated in oil and spices. Roast in preheated oven (200C/gas mark 6) for about 30 minutes.
Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chorizo and bacon until coloured. Turn the heat down, add garlic and cook for another minute. Add all this to the cooked vegetables. Stir in the chopped herbes.
Heat a little more olive oil in the same frying pan and fry the egg. Serve the vegetable mixture topped with the fried eggs.

Bon Appetit!

Edit: If you feel the least thing by reading the above, please, spread the word. I´ve made up an improvised logo that we could use to draw attention to this case. There is a rosemary on the photo, I just happened to buy it yesterday and loved the wrapping, that´s why I took a picture. When I looked up the meaning of rosemary, I found that it has an old reputation for improving memory, and it has been used as a symbol for remembrance. I think this is a nice coincidence...or perhaps it´s not a coincidence at all? ;)
You find more orange posts here


Linda F said…
Well, your post helped to spread some enlightenment to this neck of the woods, I had not heard of this and think it is a lovely idea. I enjoyed your reflection on this, so you have already made a difference!
vonsachsen said…
Linda, I am happy to hear that :) I´m thinking of giving an orange party for my could be fun for a good thing :)
Tina said…
Hi VS,

what a great dish and found your write up here really interesting. That looks like a warming, filling dish, really good for Sunday brunch.

Tina xx
Hi Eva
Firstly the meal looks gorgeous, perfect for a lazy lunch.

I hadn't heard of the orange for human rights campaign either. I will definitely do something Orange now. Your reflection is really interesting

George xx
Mrs W said…
A brilliant way to draw attention to the issue. I too had not heard of the significance of orange, but will bear it in mind for the future.

The food looks delicious and worth trying out....
Mrs W xx
Rineke said…
Brilliant. We're going to do other crafts in orange for this cause, too!

Btw how about throwing a public orange picnic?

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