The immunization of the ‘mozzarella landscape’ in Campania, Italy

Authors: Laszlo Cseke*, Polytechnic University of Turin/University of Turin
Topics: Animal Geographies, Cultural and Political Ecology, Political Geography
Keywords: immunological biopolitics, securitization, more-than-human geographies, lively capital, buffaloes
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Roosevelt 7, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Northern part of Campania region where the production of the PDO buffalo mozzarella is concentrated has been presented in the news media in recent years as a region permanently struggling with toxic waste pollution. The sector has been hit hard as mozzarella and other agricultural products have been suspected of containing traces of dioxin. In addition, large-scale zoonotic diseases such as brucellosis have impacted the buffalo farms in the region. As a response, the local and national government, researchers and agricultural producers have made various efforts to secure and immunize buffalo farming and mozzarella production from the external socio-environmental conditions. One of the elements of this securitization process was the introduction of a state-of-the-art traceability system. Over the last few years, tracing and control have become buzzwords of the local agriculture.

By mobilizing Roberto Esposito’s concept of the immunization paradigm, I investigate how the Campanian mozzarella landscape has been securitized in an effort to calm public opinion regarding the extent of pollution and to prevent contagious zoonotic diseases. My objective is to uncover how the lives of the buffaloes and their relations with humans have been impacted by the immunization processes. My work provides empirical analysis about the various ways in which certain nonhuman lives viewed as economically valuable are secured from the damaging conditions of their environment (i.e. pollution; intensive farming methods). This presentation aims to contribute to recent debates on the securitization of agrarian landscapes and human–nonhuman relations from a biopolitical perspective.

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