Jack Hui Litster (Inter Pares)
Eric Chaurette (Inter Pares)
Rowan Bourdeau (University of Ottawa)
Paper Short Abstract:
This poster summarizes research on food sovereignty based on learning exchanges with farmers from West Africa and India. It highlights how civil society organizations can be part of social movements to resist and transform attempts to undermine the food security of local populations.
Paper long abstract:
Inter Pares (IP) is a social justice organization (established, 1975) based in Ottawa, Canada. Sixteen staff collaborate with 108 counterparts across 38 countries, providing financial and organizational support, research and advocacy concerning women's equality, food sovereignty, migration, health, economic justice and peace and democracy. Organizational principles and practices are rooted in equality (co-management structure with equal base salaries), feminist methodologies (critical, reflexive discourse) and a collaborative, 'between equals' approach building coalitions, nurturing and sustaining long-term relationships with counterparts internationally and in Canada.
This poster summarizes research and analysis on food sovereignty, based on learning exchanges organized by IP among leaders of the West African coalition COPAGEN and the Deccan Development Society (DDS) in Andhra Pradesh, India, with whom IP has worked for two decades. Drawing on data gathered by researcher/farmers and interviews by IP staff, we identify: key benefits to participants of sharing diverse local knowledge(s), including biodiverse farming practices and seed conservation; the degradation to land and harms to people (e.g. farmer suicides) associated with monoculture, particularly with genetically engineered Bt cotton; and how women farmers, marginalized by gender and caste, have increased regional food security, becoming agents of change.
Using narrative, graphics and photos, the poster highlights diverse forms of movement towards food sovereignty: intellectual mobility across national/regional boundaries; how living landscapes reveal colonial and corporate interventions; and how civil society organizations such as COPAGEN, DDS and Inter Pares, are part of social movements resisting and transforming attempts to undermine the food security of local populations.