Cultivating the urban land: food autonomy and radical horticulture to expand the community gardens experience
Dr. Pierpaolo Mudu
Affiliate Professor, University of Washington Tacoma
Pierpaolo Mudu is a geographer collaborating with the Urban Studies and Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences faculties at the University of Washington Tacoma.
Abstract: Several urban agricultural projects have recently been increasing in the cities of the Global North. Some of these projects test options incompatible with the dominant capitalist organization of urban life and establish prefigurative forms of commoning. Beyond the rhetoric of sustainability and health, urban agriculture raises several relevant aspects of interest. Based on the Italian case, three aspects deserve our attention. Firstly, the conditions of illegal occupations of abandoned spaces by groups of inhabitants. Secondly, the fact that there are visible claims to have cities not ruled by the laws of profit. Thirdly, these claims are based on the capacity to produce and organize knowledge that expands the capacity of political intervention related to community gardens experience. Mapping recent attempts to develop social movements related to food autonomy and radical networks is a difficult but important task in order to discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
Colloquium in Smith 304 at 3:30 with reception to follow in Smith 411.