Urban Farming as a Political Stand

urban farming as a political stand, and what does it really means?

the other day, me and N were talking with F, one of the various players in the ongoing urban (re)development of the future of detroit, which comes under the concept of morphogenesis.

while F is describing what he envisions for the future of detroit, he says something like 'i dont mind people keep farming in detroit, its just not for me'.

in some way, there is a general view that farming is just farming, which is actually a view i shared before i spent some time with the farnsworth community. while living in europe, and reading about what was happening here, it always confused me. why urban farming?

urban farming, as i came to understand, after witnessing how the community of farnsworth operates within the situation of a post-industrial shrinking city center as detroit, takes a political stand in many different levels, maybe too many to describe it in a short blog post as this.

so i will just list the three main points that are obvious to me at the moment, and throw some links to other resources that an investing reader will surely appreciate.

1) urban farming is creating an alternative food economy to the existing monopoly of genetic manipulated food industry, which is spreading through the world (thank god europe is resisting the invasion of GMO companies, but for how long will it endure the economic pressures?)

2) through the teaching of farming to children of the housing projects, which are enduring the daily violence of poverty, exposes them indirectly to the philosophical concepts of mutualism, both biological and economic, what it means to relate to a living being and its ethics, the feminist theory of 'taking care', (after some millennia of man driven warfare, isnt it enough?), and the drawing lessons of plants, giving a sense of geometry and an understanding/connection of life cycles.

3) using farming as a way to clean the soil and air from pollutants derived from the incinerator in detroit center, such as dioxins (a powerful poison used in chemical warfare, and released in small amounts by incinerators that has the ability to accumulate in living organisms)

the implications of such a political stand go beyond these three points and are far more complex in the situation detroit finds itself, and the way the organization of the food industry in the us is managed.

'scary shit, i tell you' someone said.

PS: something i found later on
Critical Art Ensemble, work entitle
d Free Range Grain
The world according Monsanto and the story around it

1 comment:

  1. ProfLeMacaque22.7.10

    a very interesting article ! farm is more than farming...
    it´s a way of doing politic.