What’s up with ¡AgroecologyNow!? Issue 2022/05

See below for some highlights of our latest work and highlights from our networks, including free-to-download articles, videos and other resources. Please feel free to copy/adapt parts for use in newsletters, etc. or share the entire update via this link: https://wp.me/P67WNH-ZQ. [All What’s up Newsletters collected here.]

AgroecologyNow! Features what’s up with agroecology:

New animation: For feminist agroecologies (EN, ES, FR, PT, NL)

What is the story behind the food you eat? What if people really valued all the underpaid and unpaid work behind every meal? What if women didn’t have to do most of the work? What if it wasn’t Black, Indigenous, and people of colour who bore most of the burden? These are some of the questions raised in the short animation ‘For feminist agroecologies’ (2’19’’) by the AgroecologyNow collective. The film delves into the inequalities the food system is built on, and calls for agroecologies that fight racism, sexism and all forms of oppression. The video is available with English, French and Spanish narration and with Dutch and Portuguese subtitles. Access version with caption options here: vimeo.com/685389619

New podcast: Journey through feminist agroecology

The AgroecologyNow Collective in collaboration with CIDSE, an international network of Catholic social justice organisations, launched a podcast miniseries entitled ‘Journey Through Feminist Agroecology’ to explore more in-depth the question of what food systems would look like if they were based on feminist values. Drawing on the experience of feminist food activits from Mexico and Spain, the first episode ‘What does feminism have to do with the food you eat?’ (31 min) unpacks the ways in which it is necessary to go beyond gender for food system transformation and how it can be done in practice. Listen to the first episode in English or Spanish and read our blog here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-Wi

Spirituality is key in building solidarity: An interview with La Via Campesina’s Nettie Wiebe (EN, ES)

In this article, part of the AgroecologyNow Food Sovereignty and Spirituality series, Nettie Wiebe, one of the women leaders of La Via Campesina based in Canada, talks about the role of spirituality in her life and in building the food sovereignty movement. Drawing on the spiritual practice of mistica that forms a regular part of La Via Campesina gatherings, she highlights the importance of artistic forms of expression such as rhythm, dance, drama and symbolism in creating a sense of unity and solidarity among activists of different cultural backgrounds, while also deepening their connection to the natural world. Read the article here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-VV (also available in Spanish https://wp.me/p67WNH-YL)

Felipe, las Chinampas and policies for agroecology in Mexico City (EN, ES)

Felipe is passionate about cleaning the water around his chinampa, his small plot of land, as a first step to recovering life in the agroecosystem. The chinampas were floating beds made like a basket of reeds in which organic material was collected to generate soil and produce food in the middle of a lake. The ingenious pre-hispanic cropping system of the Chinampas in Xochimilco, south of Mexico City is under threat today. Now the beds no longer float, but are plots of land separated by canals. The water is contaminated and the chinampas are used for weekend parties and industrial flower production.  Mexico City is long overdue for agroecological policies that protect its agro-gems. Read the article here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-Xv, for Spanish version, click here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-Y8

Weeds: Can they tell us what’s up with soil? 

What is a weed? We generally think of it as a ‘plant in the wrong place’. But what if we viewed these plants as signs of the ecology in which they are embedded? In this blog, Chris Maughan discusses a recent participatory study exploring the use of ‘plant bioindicators’ by UK farmers, and the publication of a new Bioindicator Field Guide. Underlying this are questions of how compatible are plant bioindicators as part of a farmer-centred, agroecological approach to soil management? And how likely are farmers to start using them as a way to engage more deeply with land they steward? Find out more here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-VC

Seeds For Diversity edited by Pimbert & Nishikawa

Open access book: Seeds for Diversity and Inclusion: Agroecology and Endogenous Development

Co-edited by Michel Pimbert and Yoshiaki Nishikawa, this book on seed commons critically reflects on and acknowledges the diverse approaches through which seed governance is practiced around the world, at various scales, creating a mosaic of dynamic complementarities and autonomies. Case studies featured include indigenous seed systems and biocultural heritage in the Andean Potato Park, a pioneering research project on Hebridean rye varieties for artisanal products in Scotland as well as seed saving and seed sharing in contemporary Japan. Download the book for free here: https://tinyurl.com/3zwaw2fy

‘You can’t manage what you can’t feel’: Finding new ways to know what’s up with diverse and novel wheat varieties

In this blog AgroecologyNow researcher Chris Maughan shares his reflections on the creative ways in which the South West Grain Network (UK) works with different actors along the supply chain to recreate localised grain systems that maximise agricultural diversity, foster collaboration and operate on a human scale. In particular, he describes the network’s current experiments on selecting wheat varieties for cultivation by simultaneously taking into consideration agronomic, milling and baking criteria. Relatedly, he also makes the case for the need to develop new methods for assessing wheat and flour that are compatible with agroecological grain production and artisanal baking. Read the article here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-Yz 

Embracing Critical Friendship for Agroecology Transitions (EN, ES, FR)

In this article Colin Anderson, Chris Maughan and Sydney Blume explain the notion of ‘the critical friend’, and discuss its value as an approach to systematizing a self-critical approach to our work as people interested in advancing agroecology and other aspects of social change. Read the article here: https://wp.me/p67WNH-Z6

AgroecologyNow! What’s up with publications (click through to access)

Highlighted Publications, Events and Updates on what’s up in our Networks

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