Neo-peasants in search of sustainability: imaginaries, challenges and lifestyles in Catalonia, Spain.
(University of Warsaw)
Paula Escribano (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona)
Paper short abstract:
We would like to explore neo-peasants' visions of alternative, sustainable life in the countryside in Catalonia, and what it means to be neo-peasant in relation to imaginations, anticipations and aspirations for the sustainable future.
Paper long abstract:
In our recent ethnographic explorations we work with people who have moved from non-rural contexts to the countryside for ideological and/or practical reasons to implement the peasant lifestyle and economy (Willis, Campbell 2004) in Catalonia, Spain. We use the concept of "neo-peasants" to define this group. Many of neo-peasants believe that a sustainable lifestyle can only be implemented in the countryside, and that cities are by definition unsustainable. They mainly originate from movements that call for self-management, direct democracy, responsible consumption, food sovereignty, autonomy, and degrowth. They build rural initiatives with a goal of living and producing in a sustainable way, that is implementing economic and social practices in which care for people and environment is prioritized over profit. In our presentation we would like to explore neo-peasants' visions of alternative, sustainable life in the countryside. How do neo-peasants refer to the concept of peasantry and how do they understand peasant lifestyle - what it used to be and what it is now? Why does it offer more sustainable way of life, according to them, and what do they expect from it? And finally, we would like to answer the question: What does it mean to be neo-peasant in relation to imaginations, anticipations and aspirations for sustainable future?
Moving towards a future sustainable life - attempts to change the contemporary world