Johann Wald was born in Spain with a Dutch nationality, as the son of a Surinamese father and an Indian-born English mother. He produces and hosts shows on Radio Primavera Sound, has a show on Canal Cocina called 'Muy Johann', and writes about food and travel for Condé Nast Traveler.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, the #blacklivesmatter movement travelled beyond US borders, and many Black-owned businesses have seen a show of support, mainly virtually for now, as the planet continues to deal with the effects of Covid-19.
The restaurant Le Saraba – a meeting point for the young African community in Barcelona – has recently reopened its doors to find, like so many other businesses, an economic future overshadowed by uncertainty. We spoke with Senegalese owner Mossa Día to see if the shifting awareness and feeling of solidarity towards Black people is affecting the day-to-day of the restaurant’s operation, and what, if anything, has changed for him.
‘In order to support businesses owned by Africans or Afro-descendants, the Black community must first be supported,’ Día says. ‘Much of what we talk about is coming together, united, but we aren’t taking all the steps to make that happen. Today we are talking about “the new normal”, a new world order, and I wonder what our place is in this new order? Do we have to continue suffering, running and chasing something that does not belong to us?’
Around the world, many cultures have managed to establish their communities and find local support through restaurants where they offer new and exotic flavours in their dishes. However, in this country, African communities still have a ways to go to position themselves as others have done.