This cycle will explore the relationship between agricultural practices, food production, and political power. A combination of readings and fieldwork will provide a framework in which participants can critically look at all the ways in which communities find independence through means of food production and food security.

As we explore different readings including the work of Michael Perelman on the economic, social, and environmental costs of the current global trend in agricultural systems, we will be exploring the concept of agriculture and liberation more specifically in the Palestinian context.

Alongside the theoretical frameworks provided in the readings, participants will be guided through fieldwork where they will take on different themes and investigate them through interviews with people in their community, family, and local farmers. Each participant will be required to choose one article from the readings and present it to the group. A public presentation will include the findings and recommendations of each participant in the areas they focused on.

By: Vivien Sansour

Biographical note

Vivien Sansour is a life style writer and photographer. In her work she has been capturing the stories of Palestinian farmers for the wider world. Trained in the field of Anthropology, Vivien worked with farmers in Honduras, Uruguay, and Palestine on issues relating to agriculture and independence. In the last three years while living with producer communities in the Northern West Bank villages in the Jenin, Nablus, and Salfit districts she created a series of producer and village profiles for Canaan Fair Trade.

In these 36 profiles of people and communities, she wrote about agricultural practices and how they relate to cultural traditions providing an ethnographic overview of rural life in Palestine. Vivien has been a contributing photographer for several magazines including Organic Processing Magazine, Specialty Food, Fair World Project, and This Week in Palestine, and Danish Fair Trade Magazine among others. Most recently she won the Fair Trade photo contest for the Fair Trade Resource Network in the United States for her photo “Aida”.

Vivien was Life and Culture Specialist at The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) prior to joining Canaan Fair Trade as the Promotions and Media Manager. Her most recent work, “Terrain: Palestinian Agri-Resistence”, a collection of landscape and portrait images, is being exhibited in Washington D.C. Vivien has both a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Theatre Arts, and an M.A. in International Studies with a focus in Anthropology from East Carolina University.

Reading Materials

Peoples’ Agreement – Acuerdo Pueblos [ENG]

If global warming increases by more than 2 degrees Celsius, a situation that the Copenhagen Accord could lead to, there is a 50 percent probability…

Learning to Learn from the Food Crisis [ENG]

“In every case, the geography of anger is not a simple map of action andreaction, minoritization and resistance, nested hierarchies of space…

Peoples’ Food Sovereignty Statement [ENG]

Food and agriculture are fundamental to all peoples, in terms of both production and availability of sufficient quantities of safe and healthy food…

Towards Food Sovereignty [ENG]

Throughout the world, civil society, indigenous peoples and new social movements, – rather than academics or professional policy think tanks …

In Zimbabwe Land Takeover, a Golden Lining [ENG]

When Roger Boka started his auction business in the 1990s, this city’s tobacco trading floors were hushed places, save the mellifluous patter…

Farming Palestine For Freedom [ENG]

For Palestinians, agriculture is more than a source of income or an economic category in budgets and plans. It is tied to the people’s history…

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