Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Is an initiative to change the idea of hospitality by opening the houses for others and build up a space together of communality. It is about participating and having a joyful dinner at a home of a totally unknown family. It is not a gastronomic project, but one of coming together and relationships, in which food is the means that allows breaking down barriers and creating convivality.
The project, conceived and implemented with Fondazione CRT, was born from the meeting between the Rete Italiana di Cultura Popolare and some families of new citizens who felt the need to open up to share the desire to work in a network. What they offer is a special, family dinner, designed for those who keep the curiosity of meeting face to face. This simple experience of proximity cuts down that prejudices of distrust created by non-knowledge, by the fear of a different culture. Something magically happens at the table: we talk about children, school, work, cinema and music, discovering that they are so similar that in the end we become friends and continue to hang out even afterwards. By sharing a meal, you can go on a wonderful journey: from Morocco to China, from Romania to Argentina and Afghanistan to Ethiopia, stories of life, of lands and people to tell and share - this is the idea which it is based on.
The calendar of dinners is nationalwide the same: every last Saturday of the month from November to May. To participate, it is necessary to book at the local network that independently manages the organization of the dinner. The network works through the involvement of associations and municipalities that share a different territory depending on the contexts. Any promoter of Guess who's coming to dinner? has its own reference point in the Internet and works to make the national network visible through its communication channels.
The history of the project
Since 2012, the project has become permanent, providing for annual planning and spreading throughout the region and nationally, with the participation of around 4,000 people and the participation of over 120 families so far. Today Guess who's coming to dinner? is a reality that involves about 90 Italian municipalities, also thanks to various local organizations that have joined the network taking taken action to develop cultural processes on their territories. The project saw the realization of the First National Forum during the XIII edition of the Festival delle Culture Popolari. From 2018 with the support of Fondazione Con il Sud Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? was activated in many regions of southern Italy.
The project Guess who's coming to dinner? was launched on the occasion of the Stati Generali della Cultura Popolare held in Turin in 2011 during the Festival Internazionale dell’Oralità Popolare, with a shared dinner in Piazza Carlo Alberto, where together around a single table we ate dishes prepared by the families belonging to foreign community residents in the territory who have joined the project.