Civic Imagination

An American Chef in the Aegean: Teaching solidarity through food

After traveling on many road trips with his father, Chef Carl Casper, Percy has learned a lot about how to be a great cook, manage social media, and learn about new people. The pair mainly traveled around the United States, but when Percy learns about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean through his Facebook account, he decides to look into the situation further. He speaks with his father about wanting to do something to help. After they do more research, they get in touch with the Aegean Team; a group of volunteers and doctors who travel across the Aegean in order to provide help to the local people of the Greek border islands. The Team tells them that they can participate by cooking fresh food to bring on the boats headed to the islands and raising awareness about refugees on their social media accounts. Carl and Percy travel to meet the Aegean Team in person and observe the issue for themselves. Percy especially becomes fascinated with the work of the Team, and convinces his father that they should travel on the boat to deliver the food personally. This way they can also hear the people's stories first hand, and spread their messages.

Ethical Benefits and Challenges of Bringing These Stories Together

Ethical benefits: Maintaining the messages of hope, and adding in a celebration of the Greek culture. The love between a father and son in the story of Chef is translated into a love for the refugees and people in need. There is also a strong message of using social media skills for more than just bringing crowds to a food truck. Ethical challenges: People from America being the ones to get involved and have to learn the customs and culture of the Greeks. The huge leap of leaving home for so long to help a community in need. 

Chef guide to social media: Videos of the Aegean Team at work:
Food scenes in Chef:
Aegean Team webpage:

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