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@acab_cuisine Instagram protest All Cops Are Bastards

@acab_cuisine is protesting police brutality through culinary creations

‘It’s not the concrete action we really need at this time, but it still reminds you, with humour, of the actual battle we all need to fight in’ says the IG’s anonymous founder

Remember the early days of quarantine, back when the only constant on the coronavirus-induced rollercoaster we’re living through was the homemade sourdough bread that punctuated our Instagram timelines? From out of nowhere the loaves appeared – steaming fresh from the oven, held proudly in oven glove-clad outstretched arms, or placed carefully on the kind of extortionately priced #aesthetic plates procured directly from the Goodhood basement. And then, as quickly as they came, they were gone.

In their wake came a barrage of Black Lives Matter-related posts, as the movement became a worldwide uprising following the brutal killing of George Floyd at the hand of police officer Derek Chauvin. Rightfully aborting business as usual, Instagrammers utilised the platform to share educational resources, details of protests, links to charities and bail funds, and in some cases, their own experiences of racism and police brutality.  

Given the very definite line separating this largely irrelevant sourdough moment from what is now considered the biggest social rights movement in history, chances are you might think that baked goods and highlighting the systemic racism that underpins police forces the world over wouldn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. In the depths of the internet, though, as is usually the case, there’s someone that would beg to differ. 

Doing exactly what its name suggests, Instagram account @acab_cuisine collates images of food branded with the ‘All Cops Are Bastards’ acronym that you’ve likely been seeing a whole lot more of recently. Founded by an anonymous Parisian (who goes as far as to tell us they’re a midwife), the ACAB-branded eats twist the wholesome, sometimes twee IG meal pic on its head, and include a lemon meringue pie, shortbread biscuits, pizzas, pasta, ramen, lasagne, avocado toast, and even – you guessed it – a rustic looking sourdough loaf. 

“I’ve been revolted by police violence for a long time, and during lockdown I was even more revolted than usual. Because we couldn’t go out to express our anger, I felt helpless, so I made an ACAB pie to try to relieve some stress,” they explain of the account’s beginnings. “I posted it on Instagram with the caption ‘Cooking ACAB is useless but it feels good’. Soon after, some friends sent me their own ACAB cuisines – I never knew things would grow so much in such a short space of time.” 

With Paris now out of lockdown, @acab_cuisine’s founder has been back out on the streets, joining a number of Black Lives Matter protests across the course of the last few weeks. During this time, they began questioning whether to continue the account (“I felt uncomfortable taking up space when people were using Instagram to share important and useful information on what was happening”) but, after considering closing it down, recognised it as an alternative form of protest and an extension of their IRL activism. 

“I decided to continue posting the ACAB food photos sent to me because they’re great, but right now it’s important for me to be on the street, to follow the movement, and support collectives that have been working so hard on these subjects for so long in a physical way,” they confirm. “Now we can get back out there and manifest what we’ve been talking about on social media, @acab_cuisine is more like a wink – like when you spot an ACAB tag on a wall. It’s not the concrete action we really need at this time, but it still reminds you, with humour, of the actual battle we all need to fight in.” 

Hit follow and submit your own ACAB cuisine here.