The Global Politics of Local Food: Community Resistance and Resilience in eThekwini, South Africa.  Bulletin of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars. Issue 88 (Fall 2012).


The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the number and scope of alternative food systems, ranging from school and community supported agriculture to urban guerrilla gardens. The emergent alternatives can be seen in large part as a response to the perceived failures of a globalized system of food production and consumption. Today these failures are expressed both in the tragic irony of widespread malnutrition coexisting alongside epidemic obesity and in the price instability of agricultural commodities in global markets. In this paper, I examine several emergent examples of community resistance and resilience in the face of the pressures of globalized food markets. Drawing on recent fieldwork in eThekwini (Durban), South Africa, I argue that emergent forms of resistance challenge the marketization of food security and articulate instead a regime of food sovereignty in which networks of food production and consumption are reembedded in a broader moral economy of provision.

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