Themenwoche: "Land and Food Struggles in Latin America"
Wann: Mo, 18.10.2021, 18:00 Uhr bis Do, 21.10.2021, 20:00 Uhr
This event takes place in English and Spanish.
In the course of the last 30 years, many Latin American countries have once again oriented their economic policies towards commodity-based development models. The exploitation of primary resources that has been practiced since colonial times thus continued, placing Latin America and particularly South America in the focus of global sustainability debates. Increasing deforestation, desertification and the loss of biodiversity are the consequences, among others. At the same time, manifold social struggles over the use of land and access to nature are emerging. However, the deeper causes of these policies lie less in the individual regions. Rather, they must be considered in the context of socioeconomic linkages with the global North. Above all, international trade in primary agricultural commodities such as soy, corn or sugar cane is a major driver of Latin America's socio-ecological problems.
At the same time, Latin America is considered a birthplace of various emancipatory movements and alternative concepts of life that attempt to overcome these dependencies. Through indigenous and feminist movements, the discourse on rights for nature, the demand for food sovereignty, and the right to a good life (buen vivir), a number of counter-hegemonic projects have recently developed, some of which have also been adopted in government programs. Despite their diversity, these movements are often in the tradition of the dependency theory and Latin American liberation theology and philosophy of the 1960s and are currently being taken up by the globalization-critical discussions on post-development. In parallel, the scope for critical scholarship and political activism is narrowing in many Latin American countries – on the one hand due to state repression and on the other due to pressure from private-sector actors. This phenomenon of shrinking civic spaces can be observed worldwide, but seems to be particularly pronounced in countries such as Brazil and Colombia.