Molaka- Popular Education for Community Activists of the Food Sovereignty Alliance

Food Sovereignty, Social Justice and Buen Vivir: Reflecting on our Praxis

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We (Food Sovereignty Alliance,India and Kudali Intergenerational Learning Centre) successfully completed “Molaka” – a Popular Education workshop for Community Activists of the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India on ‘ Food Sovereignty, Social Justice and Buen Vivir: Reflecting on our Praxis’ at Kūdali Intergenerational Learning Centre . 25 community leaders from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, participated in the workshop organised from April 13th-25th 2017. Various creative transformative and emancipatory methods  such as visualisation in participationart in transformation, media for action, and forum theatre based on ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’, were used to deepen reflection for advancing actions.

Beginning each day with ‘Mayasabha’ : the community assembly of activists

IMG_20170414_104804Remembering Ambedkar : 14th April 

Screenshot_20170504-102521My beautiful village on the banks of the Godavari and resisting the Polavaram Dam  

IMG_20170420_102022160Commemorating Indravelly April 20th ………

IMG_20170422_102348725Earth Day April 22nd 

Confronting Caste 

Capitalism: The project of death

So this is how the rich become richer: understanding class and capital playing                 ‘Molaka Santha’

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Monopolies—-Mergers—–Complete Control 

Land, Food and Farming: Past – Present and Future 

By-passing Food and Agriculture Empires : Critical dialogues in our local markets

          Critical Dialogues on the past, present and future of Food and Social  Justice

                      Forum Theatre: Deepening Critical Dialogue for transformative Action 

         

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Celebrating Seeds of Resistance

Women of Adivasi Aikya Vedika -Telangana from districts Asifabad-Komram Bhim, Nagarkurnool, Jayashankar-Bhupalpalli, and Adivasi Aikya Vedika-Andhra Pradesh from districts  East Godavari, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Vishakapatnam and West Godavari; Dalit Mahila Sangham, Medak; Deccani Gorrela Mekala Pempakhadharula Sangham (DGMPS), Medak; Dalit Mahila Sangham, Chittoor and co strugglers celebrated Women’s Day across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

We celebrated the day, resolving to deepen our fight against capitalist patriarchal corporate control, by asserting and defending our collective rights to our lands, forests, water, air, indigenous seeds, animals, diverse food cultures, knowledge systems and local markets towards realising our vision for food sovereignty and social justice.

We collectively identified and visualised through art, the specific forms of violence that exist within our families, our village, our schools, our agriculture fields and forests, the larger society, and shared these with one another.  Our struggle is not an individual one but a collective fight against all forms of structural violence.  We commit to organise around these common concerns, and foster our collective strength to creatively challenge this violence.

Women from the  Food Sovereignty Alliance, joined  women and  women’s movements from across the country in Nagpur on March 10th 2017, at the “Chalo Nagpur” event,  to denounce growing fascism, and the right wing forces of Manuvad and Hindutva, that are in total violation of our constitution. We shared about the growing violence experienced by adivasi women whose territories (land, water, forests, knowledge, local governance systems) are under attack, and whose constitutional rights are being systematically undermined.

Nagarkurnool

Medak and Sangareddy at Kūdali

East Godavari

Asifabad-Komram Bhim

Chalo Nagpur

Newspaper Clippings:

Nagarkurnool

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Vishakapatnam

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Food Sovereignty Jatra

The deliberate dispossession of traditional seeds, practices and knowledge, promoted by agricultural policies, is systematically displacing women as custodians of seeds and sovereign food-farming, and converting them to units of subordinate labour of agri-business and consumers of their agricultural inputs.

In action to reclaim our sovereign food systems, the Food Sovereignty Jatra, started in May 2016, in districts Medak, Sangareddy, East Godavari, Chittoor and Adilabad.

This village to village campaign, generated discussions around ways to secure our seeds, regain control over food, collective farming, right to forest produce, drought resistant food systems and women led strategies towards food sovereignty.

This jatra was a caravan of posters, film screening – ‘ What is Food sovereignty’, animated debate and discussion, signature campaigns against GMO seeds and the growing atrocities against dalit students in universities. Over 1000 kgs of food crop seeds was mobilised by the Alliance and around 300 women exchanged seeds and committed to grow agro-ecologically food crops such as finger millet, traditional maize, sorghum, black gram, green gram, red gram, foxtail millet and pearl millet.

After this year- long effort to grow food crops, currently meetings are being held in villages to build our seed banks in the villages, deliberate on plans for agriculture in the coming season and vision ways in which more women can be involved in strengthening our food systems, knowledge and decision making. This also formed an important part of the conversations of Women’s Day 2017..

 

 

Drawing Women’s Agenda for BRICS

The BRICS Summit is scheduled to be held in Goa on October 15-16, 2016. The stated theme for the Summit is Building Responsive Inclusive and Collective Solutions. Civil society activists and women’s collectives such as the 30 year old Bailancho Saad in Goa1, realised that women and women’s issues are conspicuous by their absence in the BRICS Summit  agenda. So how is it Inclusive and Collective?  Bailancho Saad decided to lead the effort to draw up a women’s agenda for BRICS. To celebrate 30 years of its formation the Collective organised a vibrant celebration on October 12th in Goa. The celebrations included a sharing of experiences by women activists from various national and international civil society groups as part of “Drawing Women’s Agenda for BRICS”.

Food Sovereignty Alliance, India was invited to join in the celebrations and participate in drawing up this agenda. Others who shared their experiences included activists from the Transnational Institute (TNI) (Dorothy-Grace M. Guerrero and Brid Brennan), Stop Wall Outreach, Palestine (Maran S K), Goa Foundation (Norma Alvares), Domestic Workers Forum, Goa (Sister Escaline) and Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (Albertina Almeida) participated in the discussion.

The various speakers pointed out that the BRICS does not provide any alternative to the hegemony of the dominant countries of the global north and the corporations that are increasingly shaping international treaties and agreements to gain greater control of our lives, livelihoods and food systems.

Drawing from its struggles for seed and food sovereignty, FSA drew attention to the fact  that one of the most profound impacts of climate change is on our food and farming and seeds are central to our food systems.  It emphasized the centrality of women’s role in seed sovereignty and pointed out that while the industrial seed business is being built on women’s knowledge and their labour it is alienating this very same knowledge, exploiting their labour and reinforcing patriarchy. FSA also expressed that any alternative strategy to the dominant system must reject the increasing privatisation of knowledge, resources and life. Unless the strategy rejects the status quo of corporate hegemony and is aimed at being transformative through a collective, commons approach it is impossible to ensure a more equitable and just world.

While sharing their experiences the various speakers reiterated that the alternative must resist corporate hegemony and demand policies and legal mechanisms to protect the land, water and biodiversity which is the basis of the lives and livelihoods of communities. They urged that social movements in the BRICS countries must fight against corporate impunity in their own countries since it is corporations from the BRICS countries that are grabbing land, polluting water resources, destroying biodiversity and the livelihoods of communities who have no recourse to this domination. The need for a collective effort in solidarity with each other was expressed strongly whether it is women domestic workers, farmers, fishworkers and others whose resources and knowledge are under threat by corporatiions and private interests.

1Bailancho Saad, a non-funded women’s collective in Goa celebrated its 30th anniversary on October 12th, 2016. The collective was started in 1986 by a small group of women to resist all forms and symbols of patriarchy. Bailancho Saad is a non-registered body and has a non-hierarchical structure since its founding members viewed hierarchical processes as contradictory to the organisation’s values of working “towards equality through collective functioning”. (Fore more on Bailancho Saad see: http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/2722/15/15_chapter%206.pdf)

Bhutalli- Mother Earth

Bhuthalli – (Earth Mother) a play in Street Theatre Format, captures the relationship of adivasis, dalits, shepherds and peasants with Mother Earth, interrogates the forces that are systematically dispossessing people from their land, livelihoods and resources, and celebrates the diversity of people’s resistance. The play is performed by actors from adivasi, dalit , shepherd and peasant communities.

Bhutalli was first performed at Sompeta, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, on March 8th 2013, in solidarity with the peoples struggle against a Thermal Power Project. It has been performed across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh between 2013 and 2015. This video captures the performance at the Food Sovereignty Summit-2013, Pellipadugu,  East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh.

The play continues to be as relevant today as it was in 2013, in view of the relentless attempts by the State to takeover people’s land in the name of dams, reservoirs, sanctuaries, plantations, forestry programs and other so called projects for public purpose. We stand in solidarity with people who continue to struggle and defend their rights to their land and resources. 

55 minutes. Telugu with English sub-titles . Please ensure that the CC/subtitle option is turned on to view subtitles (CC on the lower right part of your screen will be underlined in red when CC/subtitles are on) 

Directed by: Madhoo 

Madhoo– street-theatre playwright, works with adivasi people’s movements, part time agro-ecological farmer, on-time tea drinker, life-long learner and other significant things. He is also a member of the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India.