GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems.
The industrial food system is a major driver of climate change. Food sovereignty is critical to any lasting and just solution. The Great Climate Robbery shows readers how the industrial food system causes climate change, how food and agribusiness corporations are getting away with it and what can be done to turn things around.
GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems.
In 2012 GRAIN published ‘The great food robbery’. We thought it was high time to do a sequel.
Over the past twenty-five years, GRAIN has worked with social movements and organisations around the world to defend local food systems and cultures from the advance of industrial agriculture. Part of our work has involved documenting the ill effects of this industrial food system – the growing hunger, the destruction of rural people’s livelihoods, the loss of biodiversity and cultures, the exploitation of labour and a range of health calamities – and analysing the ways through which this system expands, from seed laws to free trade agreements to secretive land deals.
But another important part of our work has involved connecting this analysis of the food system to larger issues affecting the planet and linking peoples’ struggles situated within the food system to those happening in other areas. Climate change is one important example of this.
During the past five years, we have pulled together the available data to show how the industrial food system is a major driver of climate change and how food sovereignty is critical to any lasting and just solution. With governments, particularly those from the main polluting countries, abdicating their responsibility to deal with the problem, it has become ever more critical for people to take action into their own hands. Changing the food system is perhaps the most important and effective place to start.
The various articles on climate change selected for this book should provide readers with solid information about how the industrial food system causes climate change, how food and agribusiness corporations are getting away with it and what can be done to turn things around. Other chapters provide a picture of how this climate-killing food system is expanding through the consolidation of corporate control over lands, seeds and markets, and how struggles are under way to stop it.
We hope this book will help readers to better understand the ways in which corporations seek to increase their control over the food system so that this control can be more effectively challenged. We hope it will inspire people to take action and we hope that it will provide readers with some information and analysis that they can use directly in their own work.
Africa Matters: Cultural politics, political economies, & grammars of protest provides a sampling of insightful articles from the first five issues of Nokoko, journal of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. It brings together pieces that the journal’s editorial board felt were particularly perspicacious in their analysis and resonant in their crafting. Uniting them in this book permits a new dialogue to emerge around the key themes of cultural politics, political economies and grammars of protest. Their intersection here sheds light on important issues for Africans in the twenty-first century.
Table of Contents
Introduction: On the matter of African matters—Blair Rutherford and Pius Adesanmi
Two cities: Guangzhou / Lagos—Wendy Thompson Taiwo
Catherine Acholonu (1951- 2014): The female writer as a goddess—Nduka Otiono
Filming home, plurality of identity, belonging and homing in transnational African cinema—Suvi Lensu
‘Spare Tires’, ‘Second Fiddle’ and ‘Prostitutes’? Interrogating discourses about women and politics in
The South African Reserve Bank and the telling of monetary stories—Elizabeth Cobbett
The neoliberal turn in the SADC: Regional integration and disintegration—Jessica Evans
Indian hair, the after-temple-life: Class, gender and 137 race representations of the African American woman in the human hair industry—Nadège Compaore
The role of radio and mobile phones in conflict situations: The case of the 2008 Zimbabwe elections and xenophobic attacks in Cape Town—Wallace Chuma
The story of Cape Town’s two marches: Personal reflections on going home—Stephanie Urdang
Beyond an epistemology of bread, butter, culture and power: Mapping the African feminist movement—Sinmi Akin-Aina
Setting the agenda for our leaders from under a tree: The People’s Parliament in Nairobi—Wangui Kimari and Jacob Rasmussen
Politics across boundaries: Pan-Africanism: Seeds for African unity—Gacheke Gachihi
Afterword: Incorporeal words: The tragic passing of Pius Adesanmi—Blair Rutherford
About the contributors
About the Institute of African Studies
ONLY AVAILABLE IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
We are pleased to announce that Daraja Press will soon be making Unearthing Justice, originally published by Between The Lines, available in Africa through our partners at Zand Graphics Ltd (throughout East Africa and the Horn) and Sherwood Books (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland).
Originally published in 2019, this new edition has an Introduction by Yao Graham, TWN-Africa. The author, Joan Kuyek, is a community-focused mining analyst and organizer living in Ottawa. She was the founding National Co-ordinator of MiningWatch Canada from 1999–2009 and continues to do work for MiningWatch and for a number of communities affected by mining.
The mining industry continues to be at the forefront of colonial dispossession around the world. It controls information about its intrinsic costs and benefits, propagates myths about its contribution to the economy, shapes government policy and regulation, and deals ruthlessly with its opponents.
Brimming with case studies, anecdotes, resources, and illustrations, Unearthing Justice exposes the mining process and its externalized impacts on the environment, Indigenous Peoples, communities, workers, and governments. But, most importantly, the book shows how people are fighting back. Whether it is to stop a mine before it starts, to get an abandoned mine cleaned up, to change laws and policy, or to mount a campaign to influence investors, Unearthing Justice is an essential handbook for anyone trying to protect the places and people they love.
The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher is a riveting account of the bumpy first decade of the work life of Karim F Hirji, a retired Professor of Medical Statistics. Filled with a distinctive variety of eye-opening episodes, it covers lecturing at the University of Dar es Salaam, the life of a political exile in a remote rural area and the challenges of setting up from scratch a one-of-a-kind educational institute in Africa. With a style that seamlessly combines the personal with the general, Hirji provides an illuminating description of different aspects of the Tanzanian political, educational, economic and rural landscape during the 1970s. Starting with a commentary on teacher training, he concludes with a critical comparison of modern university education in the nation with that of the earlier era.
A clearly written, excellently illustrated, valuable and absorbing reflection upon a rich lifetime in teaching that deserves an international audience. Richard Pring, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Education, and Emeritus Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.
The remarkable life of a principled Tanzanian educator told with emotion and humor. Peter Lawrence, Professor Emeritus of Development Economics, Keele University UK and Lecturer in Economics, University of Dar es Salaam, 1970-72.
Karim Hirji’s account of four decades of teaching in post-colonial Tanzania is a timely call on teachers to: “educate in ways that will promote equality and social justice”. Dr Anne Harley, Paulo Freire Project, Centre for Adult Education, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o with Rosa Hirji, holding a copy of The Travails of a Tanzania Teacher i.
Ce livre est un apport précieux pour demander à changer de focale et de perspective au sujet des migrations à l’intérieur du continent africain. Celles-ci sont bien plus importantes quan- titativement, mais aussi économiquement et historiquement, que les migrations de l’Afrique vers l’Europe. Elles sont beaucoup plus silencieuses et infiniment moins étudiées que celles du Sud vers le Nord. Ces migrations sont vitales, tant pour les pays de départ que pour ceux d’arrivée. Ainsi, des millions de jeunes partent chaque année pour les pays de la côte, et cela sans susciter les mêmes résistances, fantasmes et peurs qu’en Europe.
Cet ouvrage a le grand mérite d’intégrer les migrations dans la perspective plus large des mobilités, puis d’en examiner les liens avec le développement. Il est rédigé par de jeunes chercheurs africains, qui produisent à partir de leurs terrains spécifiques des analyses à valeur générale sur les sociétés contemporaines. Ils contribuent ainsi au renouvellement des sciences sociales à partir des pays africains.
On peut en revanche souligner que l’ouvrage a relevé un défi important : celui d’éclairer à la fois les dynamiques de l’expérience migratoire, des trajectoires suivies par les migrants et des espaces migratoires à l’intérieur de l’Afrique. — Sylvie Ayimpam, « Mobilités, circulations et frontières. Migrations, mobilités et développement en Afrique », Anthropologie & développement [En ligne], 51 | 2020, mis en ligne le 01 décembre 2020, consulté le 23 février 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/anthropodev/1068 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/anthropodev.1068
These companion volumes are refreshing because they introduce us to many less well- known instances which amply illustrate just how mobile African populations really are at the regional, intra-regional and global scales. – Paul NUGENT, University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Un ouvrage d’une grande actualité qui aborde la question des migrations sous un angle radicalement nouveau et original : l’articulation dynamique entre la migration, la mobilité et le développement en Afrique de l’Ouest. Ces deux volumes bilingues renouvellent le débat sur les migrations : de quoi faire réfléchir ensemble l’Afrique et l’Europe. – Marie-Caroline SAGLIO-YATZIMIRSKY, INALCO, CESSMA Paris (France)
Christian Bouquet, « Quelques éclairages nouveaux sur les migrations africaines », EspacesTemps.net [En ligne], Books, 2020 | Mis en ligne le 20 November 2020, consulté le 20.11.2020. URL : https://www.espacestemps.net/en/articles/quelques-eclairages-nouveaux-sur-les-migrations-africaines/ ; DOI : 10.26151/esapcestemps.net-jc2a-6b03
Avec la participation de Naluwembe BINAISSA, Alimou DIALLO, Nyalo Barkissa DRABO, Sylvester KOHOL, A. Aziz MOSSI, Loppa NGASSOU, Lawrence Rafaih OKELLO, Mutiat Titilope OLADEJO, Zakaria SORÉ, Astadjam YAOUBA et Irissa ZIDNABA.
Written in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, this publication celebrates the birth of Black studies as a liberated academic zone. Professor Mũgo reflects upon the significance of Africana studies, specifically within the context of America’s predominantly White universities, revisiting the hers/his/torical context that birthed Black studies as a field of knowledge. She reflects on the ownership of knowledge, its production, dissemination and custodianship while proposing utu/ubuntu as imperatives in defining transformative education. The hypothesis and heart of the argument is that knowledge and scholarship can either be colonizing, alienating and enslaving; or, alternatively, they can be conscientizing, humanizing and liberating, creating new human beings with the agency to transform life and the world, for the better. The latter constitutes what Professor Mũgo calls utu/ubuntu rooted-scholarship which, she argues, should define Africana studies, research and scholarship, all of which needs to have both a mind and heart. This should be the mission and vision that led to the birth of Black Studies as an academic. She dismisses the false myth of dominating, colonizing and imperialist cultures that claim to have a monopoly of knowledge and whose purpose is to justify the dehumanization of the conquered, the attempted erasure of their knowledges, heritages and ultimately, entire cultures.
The essay urges us to reflect on a number of critical questions: What is the objective of Africana research and general search for knowledge? In whose service are teaching, research work and publications by Africana scholars? Do their conference papers bring any Africana knowledge systems to the round table of ideas? Is the knowledge they produce liberating and humanizing, or for the advancement of careerist ambitions? What does Black scholarship contribute towards what Paulo Freire called the ‘dialogical education for problem solving’?
It is hard not to be effusive about the author of this pamphlet. Let’s just say it loud: Mῖcere Gῖthae Mũgo is a legend in her own time. And ours. Ours because, as she would say, paraphrasing universal African wisdom: without us, there is no her. From her native Kenya, a source to which she returns continually for yet more ancient wisdom; to Zimbabwe, where she once found refuge on being forced to flee her native land in the face of political persecution; to the United States of America, to which she eventually emigrated; and beyond, way beyond, Professor Comrade Sister Mugo has been a lodestar and wonder—in the academy and in the community, locally and globally. This pamphlet is a discursive offering to Africana studies, a notebook on a field of study born of struggle, student-led struggle. The organizing principle is Utu-Ubuntu, the universal African moral conception centered on the paramountcy of the soul over material accumulation. It is a stinging rebuke to capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism, heterosexism and all the other antihuman isms, Utu-Ubuntu. Here, indeed, is an Africana studies manifesto, one that should be required reading for all students of the field, in and out of the academy. She never ceases to educate, to enlighten, to energize—this soul sister, this scion of Utu-Ubuntu, this magnificent struggler in the cause of African vindication and human liberation, Mῖcere Gῖthae Mũgo. — Michael O. West, Professor of African American Studies; History; African Studies, Penn State University
An insightful essay that insists that Africana research and scholarship has “to have both mind and heart” to be truly emancipatory — for that is the essence of the meaning of Ubuntu and of Utu, the Swahili equivalent. That is the basis for challenging the dominant colonizing cultures that seek to dehumanize our people. The inimitable Micere Mugo forces us to think about the purpose of teaching and research: whose interests do they serve? — Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice & President of Supreme Court, Republic of Kenya, 2011-2016
An excellent celebration of the contribution of Utu/Ubuntu – African Indigenous Knowledge – to Africana scholarship by Professor Micere Mugo, an icon of Africana Studies. This epistemological imperative for the creation of ‘liberated academic zones’ advances the post-modern and critical theory traditions, while firmly establishing Africa’s unique contributions, not only to Africana Scholarship, but also to the Global Academy and to humanity. — Filomina Chioma Steady, D.Phil. (Oxon.) Professor Emerita and Former Chair, Africana Studies, Wellesley College
It is important to see both Marx’s brilliant generalisations about capitalist society and the very concrete ways in which he examined not only class, but also gender, race, and colonialism, and what today would be called the intersectionality of all of these. His underlying revolutionary humanism was the enemy of all forms of abstraction that denied the variety and multiplicity of human experience, especially as his vision extended outward from Western Europe. For these reasons, no thinker speaks to us today with such force and clarity.
It is clear today that the emancipation of labour from capitalist alienation and exploitation is a task that still confronts us. Marx’s concept of the worker is not limited to European white males, but includes Irish and Black super-exploited and therefore doubly revolutionary workers, as well as women of all races and nations. But, his research and his concept of revolution go further, incorporating a wide range of agrarian non-capitalist societies of his time, from India to Russia and from Algeria to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, often emphasising their gender relations. In his last, still partially unpublished writings, he turns his gaze Eastward and Southward. In these regions outside Western Europe, he finds important revolutionary possibilities among peasants and their ancient communistic social structures, even as these are being undermined by their formal subsumption under the rule of capital. In his last published text, he envisions an alliance between these non-working-class strata and the Western European working class.
This pamphlet tackles the question: how do we get from A to B, capitalism to post-capitalism?
It is critical reading to understand why:
The pamphlet is available in Spanish and Korean.
Rinky-dink Revolution involves actions and inactions that are easy, safe, mundane, unglamorous, and feasible within every person’s life.
Howard Waitzkin’s Rinky-Dink Revolution … is small to be sure—light-weight, unimposing in appearance, and with an abbreviated wing-span of just 72 pages total, including 11 pages of fore-and-after-matter. A quick read. But rinky-dink? Quite the opposite. …
Like the best revolutionaries in all times and places Howard Waitzkin is guided by a powerful sense of possibility as well as deep feelings of love. He’s pissed off to be sure, because he pays attention to the crimes of racial capitalism. But he also knows that “even anger at injustice makes the brow grow stern,” and that being pissed off will not take us where we need to go—only love and joy and generosity can do that. He illustrates over and over that the greatest weapon in the cause of liberation is our beating human hearts longing to be free.
This book is bantam-weight, as I said—the perfect mini-manifesto to slip into your back pocket or your backpack, a worthy companion as we mount the next action or tend the community garden. — Bill Ayers. Rinky-Dink billayers.org
But what exactly does revolution look like? Is it putting on a beret, slinging an AK-47 over your shoulder, and trying for that far-away look in your eyes? Well, no, that’s called suicide by cop (and nobody is going to put your face on a T-shirt). In the short pamphlet/e-book/PDF/audiobook Rinky-Dink Revolution (available on a donation basis from Daraja Press and at Monthly Review), Waitzkin suggests instead that we engage in postcapitalist forms of social organization. He gives us examples such as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, the Rojava in northern Syria, Jackson, Mississippi, and Rustbelt collectives such as the Horizontal Stateline Autonomous Zone in Northern Illinois. … Waitzkin calls it a Rinky-Dink Revolution because it’s everyday stuff that you can do while you scour the thriftshops in search of that beret.— Seiji Yamada On Howard Waitzkin’s Rinky-Dink Revolution. Counterpunch.org
Howard Waitzkin presents a clear, straightforward intervention for revolutionary change in the global capitalist economic system. He covers much ground, with sophistication, while keeping the argument grounded. His focus on ways to facilitate a challenge to capital and to build further revolutionary transformation is crucial at this historical juncture. The discussion of creative constructions and creative destructions is particularly useful. —Brett Clark, Professor of Sociology, University of Utah, and author of The Robbery of Nature: Capitalism and the Ecological Rift
The end of capitalism is possible. Waitzkin takes us a step further in the creative process for transformation. Through specific examples from organized groups within the United States and abroad, this work constitutes a practical guide for everyone. Waitzkin encourages our creativity for organized, safe acts and omissions to transcend capitalism. —Nylca J. Muñoz Sosa, lawyer, public health leader, and activist focusing on health justice and decolonization in Puerto Rico
Waitzkin is among the expanding list of authors who openly reject the imperative of capitalism for infinite economic growth. He clearly understands that the world can provide better lives for all of humanity while reducing the total mass of capitalist production, which is overwhelmingly wasteful…. Rinky-Dink Revolution is a great contribution to probing how we can live our lives in ways that prepare us for the society we hope to bring into being. It is more than worth reading – it is something to think deeply about.
Moving beyond capitalism now 8
Peculiar ways to struggle without confronting capitalism 12
Rinky-dink revolution and revolutionaries 21
Creative constructions 36
Creative destructions 49
The death of capitalism and the birth of something else 65
About the author 68
Vision statement: Moving beyond capitalism—now! — Howard Waitzkin and Firoze Manji 70
You can listen to the audiobook here:
Kitabu hiki kinaturudisha katika kipindi cha kusisimuwa cha miaka ya vita baridi, kipindi ambacho, sambamba na kipindi cha leo, madola ya kibeberu yamekuwa yakifanya njama za kubadilisha serikali zilizokuwepo na kuziweka madarakani zile zenye kufuata amri. Kwa kutumia kumbukumbu za picha za Johari, nyaraka za siri za Marekani na Uingereza, pamoja na mahojiano ya kina, kitabu kinatowa uchambuzi juu ya nafasi na satwa ya Chama cha Umma Party nchini Zanzibar na kiongozi wake mwenye upeo mkubwa wa mambo, Mwanamapinduzi mfuasi wa Itikadi ya Karl Marx, Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu. Kwa kuangalia kwa njia ya uwiano wa mifano inayokwenda sambamba ya wahka wa Marekani kuhusu Uchina ya Kikomunisti katika miaka ya 1960 na woga walionao hivi sasa kuhusu ushawishi wa Uchina, kitabu kinatafakari juu ya mivutano mipya iliyopo katika kupigania rasilmali za Afrika, kuundwa kwa kikosi cha AFRICOM, na jinsi Wanasiasa wa Afrika Mashariki wanavyoshiriki katika kuimarisha udhibiti wa Marekani katika nchi zao, na “Vita dhidi ya Ugaidi” katika ukanda wa Afrika Mashariki hivi sasa.
Now available from Mkuki Na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania: http://www.mkukinanyota.com