Engaging in the ‘multi-territorial site of the political’: Political practices of Latin American landless movements in the struggle for food sovereignty
In both the global north and south the claim for food sovereignty (FS) has become a powerful antithesis to the globalized economy of food. Drawing on scientific debates around the spatial and political dimensions of FS, we will focus in this contribution on how this emerging claim materializes in practice and space. Therefore, we will analyze in an exemplary manner political practices of the Brazilian and Bolivian Landless Movements, which adopted the idea of FS as a guideline for their political action. Our results reveal that these groups do not only fight for FS in the form of ‘typical’ representational and overt political actions such as land occupations, the blocking of roads and manifestations. Rather, we will show that the Landless Movements also express their claims quite subtly, in surprising but yet very powerful ways through multifarious, spatially effective and meaningfully interconnected social practices, which reveal their political character only upon second glance. In order to conceptualize our observations and to recognize the political momentum of these practices, we draw on insights from social theory and political theory and identify three constitutive principles that enable us to make political practices in their ‘worldliness’ distinguishable and recognizable. Building on this conceptualization, we will further propose the approach of the ‘multi-territorial site of the political’ as an analytical tool to investigate the complex geographies of social movements, in particular but not exclusively, in the context of FS in Latin America.
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