As crazed soccer fans wrap themselves in flags and patriotic body paint to watch the World Cup, it’s easy to understand how all of that nationalism can sometimes drive countries apart. One new study found that countries are actually more likely to go war the year after going to the World Cup. But the tournament is also a way to bring billions of people together despite their differences.
“Just like football transcends nationality but is particular to each country, food is the same thing. It’s something that connects all humans, but has its own particular varieties, unique and tied up in the identity of each country,” Zisiadis says.
Some of the results are less than appetizing. It’s hard to imagine Zisiadis’s “crepewurst,” a strawberry crepe filled with cream, chocolate sauce, and bratwurst, becoming a hit on the food truck circuit. “I did my own sampling,” says the artist, who made each of the dishes for the photo shoot. “But let’s just say that some country pairings are more delicious than others.”
The point of the project was to make a statement, not invent menus. Like the artist’s other work (for example, disco ball traffic lights and musical bike racks), the images are meant to help people see the world a little differently.
“Rather than focus on the adversarial nature of the World Cup, I wanted to re-imagine how we can experience it,” Zisiadis says. “It’s an amazing cultural phenomenon, and I think it’s most beautiful for the way that it brings people together to celebrate our shared humanity regardless of culture and language, all around the love of playing this sport.”