Common Grounds? Migrants and radical urban movements building (food) autonomy in the city of Athens, Greece.

Authors: Ines Morales-Bernardos*,
Topics: Immigration/Transnationalism, Political Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Athens, politics of autonomy, radical food geographies, common grounds
Session Type: Paper
Scheduler ID: FRI-044-3:20 p.m.
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Poydras, Sheraton, 3rd Floor


Contributing to re-politicize the everyday life, giving continuity to historical class, anti-fascist and anti-racist struggles since the 90's, migrants together with urban movements are constructing radical food geographies in Athens since 2015. The arrival of thousands of migrants in the hurt center of the city since 2015, has led to create mutual aid relationships covering both material and emotional needs. Thus, they proposed new forms of organizing and maintaining lives in the city re-constructing the food autonomy in the everyday life. After two-year (2015-17) ethnographic research exploring the new food geography resulted we aim to analyse the "common grounds", the new socio-spatiality and political grammar proposed by the mutual aid relationships between migrants and urban movements. Furthermore, we aim to analyse the tensions that shaped these spaces: whether by navigating between anti-racist and anti-fascist struggles and by the building of collective kitchens, taking part in farmers markets or farming ventures in the agrarian peripheries of the city, they are exceeding the paternalistic and colonial relations reproduced by the various institutions set up to consume their vulnerabilities through food aid and donations. As well as if by the sharing of these spaces they are challenging class, gender, race and ethnic barriers among migrants and between migrants and "supporters". Thus, if as for “solidarity reasons” they are accepting new forms of organization that have no reason to accept grounding the paternalistic and colonial relations that they are willing to exceed, establishing the identities of “receiver” and “supporter” and hindering their collective emancipation.

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