Working Paper Series


Working Paper 7 • 2023

Food and urban politics in Belo Horizonte: agroecology, activist coalitions,and bottom-up technologies of sustainable urbanization

Abstract

In this Working Paper, I aim to contribute to the emerging debate between food and urban studies by bringing to the fore the socio-political dimension of the food system and its urban context. Guided by the general research questions of the project “Food for Justice: Power, Politics, and Food Inequalities in a Bioeconomy”1, this research is embedded in a case study on food politics in the city of Belo Horizonte. It deals with the social innovations of the agroecological and housing movements of the city and the dwellers of Izidora, inhabitants of a so-called “informal settlement”, whose engagement in the fight for housing and the right to the city has yielded remarkable achievements in building activist coalitions and re-signifying marginal urban spaces. Drawing on digital-ethnographic fieldwork I conducted between January and December 2020, I analyze the context, use, and reach of these social innovations as an instrument to transform urban development in the peripheries of Belo Horizonte.

You can find the publication here.

_ Keywords: Urbanization, Food Politics, Urban Politics, Agroecology, Social Movements

Working Paper 8 • 2023

The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic at the Slow Food Movement

Abstract

The corona virus outburst was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, making many countries to go on lockdown in order to try to restrain it and avoid or diminish the overwhelming of national health systems. As work and studies went online and social distancing became a safety rule, social movements also had to adapt themselves. Furthermore, food movements gained more relevance as one of the first concerns was to keep the food production and distribution worldwide despite the shutdowns. This paper aims to analyse the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Slow Food movement, how it changed the movement organization, agenda, and actions. It is based on empirical research in two countries: Brazil and Germany and it looks at three moments of the pandemic, from its first impact in 2020 till the adaptations and continuities in 2021 and 2022. This work relies on an on-site and virtual ethnography and is part of a broader investigation on the movement on both countries.

You can find the publication here.

_ Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic, Food movements, Slow Food, Germany, Brazil