Kicking off our intra-institutional programme – “Critical Food Studies: Transdisciplinary Humanities Approaches”
14 February 2019
We are delighted to announce that the Food Politics and Cultures Project has developed into an intra-institutional programme titled “Critical Food Studies: Transdisciplinary Humanities Approaches” Funded by the Mellon Foundation and with financial assistance from the Centre of Excellence in Food Security in 2019.
The Programme aims to drive a field of critical food studies straddling humanities disciplines both in South Africa and continentally. The focus will include postgraduate studies, academic and accessible online publications, performance and visual art productions as well as public engagement.
Our inception workshop with colleagues and students at the Universities of Pretoria (UP), the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and Auwal Socio-Economic Research Institute (ASRI) was recently held at UP’s Future Africa site, a new complex encouraging postgraduate and established scholarly research writers’ residencies and conferences. The workshop included provocative think-pieces, aimed at mapping out some of the innovative work that the programme will deepen in the next few years, and establishing a foundation for the work to be pursued at the three universities and beyond.
Work in Progress
The following pieces were presented at our first meeting to stimulate discussion and showcase some of our works in progress.
Stirring the Pot: Food Studies in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences by Vasu Reddy (UP)
Food Studies and the Pitfalls of Interdisciplinarity by Desiree Lewis (UWC)
Foodscapes As Identity Expression: Food Choices And Tastes Among Middle-Class Blacks In Post-Apartheid South Africa by Pamella Gysman (UWC)
The United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition and the instructive lessons that can be drawn from FAO’s 1960s Freedom from Hunger Campaign by Glen Ncube (UP)
Think-piece by Angelo Fick
Integration of indigenous knowledge systems, including humanities, into urban organic farming value chain in EThekwini Municipality by Hassan Kaya (UKZN)
Food, Gender and Materiality in Rural Communities by RelebohileMoletsane (UKZN)
Following the body: the role of the visceral in expanding freedoms in an oppressive food system by Haidee Swanby (UWC)
Future(s) of Food Seminar co-hosted with the CoE and HSRC. (5 July 2017).
The Food Politics and Culture Project organised a seminar in collaboration with the Human Science Research Council entitled: The Futures of Food. The panel was composed an interesting line-up which included Prof Ben Cousins, a SARCHI chair, Donna Andrews, a feminist intellectual activist, Dr Stephen Greenberg, a researcher on land and agrarian studies, and Mr Angelo Fick a senior researcher at eNCA. The panel brought to the fore key threads thats speaks to the futures of food on dismantling capitalism, the importance of land reform in agrarian transformation, celebrating feminist alternatives, encountering food as a metaphor personally and politically.
FIGHTING BACK! Contest the Hegemony of Large-scale Commercial Farming and Corporate Agri-business in Southern Africa!
On 13 and 14 May 2017 the Food Politics and Cultures Projects participated in a civil society knowledge and information sharing meeting in Johannesburg. The meeting included activists, farmers and food producers engaged in the fight for food sovereignty in the SADC region.
Food Systems of the Future Public Talk
The African Centre for Biodiversity in partnership with WITS Inala Forum hosted a public talk entitled: Food Systems of the Future: Mega Mergers, Big Data, Synthetic Biology and Food Sovereignty on 11 May 2017. Donna Andrews from the Food Politics and Culture Project was part of the panel comprising of Pat Mooney, John Nzira and Stephen Greenberg. Her input on the panel was on Critical Questions for the Making of New Food Politics and Cultures. To watch the full video click here
Common Ground for Food Sovereignty Strategy Workshop: Linking the struggles of smallholder farmers and farmworkers
On the 27th April 2017 the Food Politics and Culture Project participed in the “Common Ground for Food Sovereignty – Linking the struggles of smallholder farmers and farmworkers” that was organised by Trust for Community Outreach and Education and The Rosa Luxembourg Foundation.
Food Sovereignty as a concept has risen in prominence of the past few years with a number of actors supporting it within South African civil society. It has become a concept through which the ideas of control over natural resources including land and seed are expressed, and the voice of the marginalized is raised.
The day saw the facilitation of a dialogue involving farmers, farmworkers, trade unions and academia and grassroots NGOs, overall 60 participants. The dialogue tried to make a nexus connection between smallholder farmers, farm workers and civil society as actors who share the same struggles. It was characterized by discussions around issues of land, living wage for farmworkers and the importance of Solidarity across the sectors.