Version 3.2_September 2016

Individual Paper: Community Economies and Companion Species in Food Production

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Food production is at the core of the current ecological and economic crises. To produce food is to be connected with more-than-human nature with the purpose of providing ourselves with our basic needs. As most of the food in the world is produced in exploitative economic and ecological relationships, it is crucial to focus on the various initiatives that look for alternative ways of producing food.

Biodynamic farming is one of the first modern alternatives to intensive and exploitative food production. This paper is empirically based on ethnographic participant observation that was conducted in 2015 in a biodynamic farm and community village in Finland as a part of my early stage doctoral research. In this paper I explore the tensions and confluencies between ethical ecolocigal and economic practices in biodynamic food production. To do so I lean on two distinct but intersecting theoretical approaches: the community economies and the companion species.

Community economies is a performative project for reconstituting the economy through ethical practices of coexistence, initiated by J.K. Gibson-Graham. Community economies do not refer to a spesific community-based, local economies but rather open up a space for resocializing and repoliticizing the economy. In turn, Donna Haraway's concept of companion species refers to the complex relations between humans and other species that are constitutive in nature. Companion species point to the constant process of "becoming with many" - both symbiotic and indigestive. Combining these two approaches will help to reflect the multifocal ethical issues in reformulating food production.


Day: 2016-09-01
Start time: 11:30
Duration: 00:15
Room: 324
Track: Environmentally sound economies