HALAL Hotdog

About this project

PIECE Studio collaborated with Brian Wiley to develop creative strategies of engaging with the Somali community in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2011 on an important and groundbreaking social justice project.

The Somali community was disenfranchised from the Minneapolis community and we saw an opportunity to engage in and with them. We had to consider how to gain trust in a community as outsiders as well keeping promises and showing respect.

Brian had the idea of using food as a catalyst to engage people in conversation, and from those initial conversations collaborations and partnerships might be possible. The original intent was to take the HALAL hotdog cart to the Somali community and then to a Minnesota Twins game. We were interested if the conversations and responses would be different from the Somali community and from the people who attended the Baseball Game.

Brian Wiley fabricated the hotdog cart, developed the identity, and applied the graphics.

It didn’t really play out exactly how we intended it, and we never obtained to opportunity to engage with the baseball fans. Two Somali elders and respected members of the Somali community reached out to Brian and asked if he would consider giving them the HALAL cart because they were interested in using it to teach young Somali’s how to run a small business and embrace best business practices.

The original project intent of using food as a catalyst to engage and create positive change was realized, but not in the way we expected it would.

Brian Wiley Website