Véron, O., (2023) ‘We’re just an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’: Strategies and (a)politics of change in Berlin’s community food spaces, Environment and Planning A.
I am excited to share a new research paper, published in February this year in Environment and Planning A.
The benefits of community-based, grassroots food practices, such as community gardens or kitchens, are widely acknowledged. However, they have also been shown to support neoliberal and exclusionary dynamics. This paper examines this contradiction on the ground by unpacking the processes and mechanisms through which these initiatives reproduce, reinforce or challenge social inequities and injustices in the city. It suggests the concept of community food space to look at the articulation of practices and intentions within these groups, and highlight emancipatory practices situated around food rather than simply about food. The paper draws upon an ongoing militant ethnography into community food spaces in Berlin, Germany. Exploring the complex and diverse landscape of Berlin food activism, it illuminates the ways in which food may be used to perpetuate unjust social configurations or, on the contrary, to advance social justice at both local and structural levels.
Keywords: Community food spaces, militant ethnography, neoliberalism, social justice, Berlin
The paper is open access.