Designer turned sweet-maker Benjamin Loyauté is saving Syria’s ‘immaterial heritage’ one Proustian taste at a time. But this is more than sugary nostalgia …
For me, it’s marshmallows. The moment I catch the scent of powdered sugar I remember lying with my head in my grandmother’s lap as a child. For Benjamin Loyauté, it’s apple-flavoured sticks from Rouen that exert the Proustian pull, transporting him back to his Normandy childhood and squabbles with his twin sister over the sugary treats.
Sweets may be universal, but the nostalgia they hold is intense and intimate, which is why – says Loyauté – they are the perfect vehicle for his long-term project to highlight the “immaterial heritage” of Syria. With a man-bun and a curator’s love of critical theory, the Brussels based artist and designer makes an unexpected confectioner. Yet when we meet in the foyer of his London hotel, on the table in front of us are little packets of pink candies created to his exacting specifications.
These Louloupti sweets are an ambassador for a way of living … in Syria people want to share