Oct 292012

The Aberdeen City Arts Board and The Shared Planet Society have teamed up to bring you a couple more thought-provoking events in November.

First up is “The Industrial Workers of the World” taking place on Sunday 4th November, from 2 p.m. at the MacRobert Building, room MR268, Aberdeen University.
In this, the second of Aberdeen City Arts Board’s Autumn series of talks, Dek Keenan will give a broad outline of the organisation’s work and practice both here and abroad as well as provide some historical context.

Dek Keenan is an organiser and key member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).  The Wobblies, as they are often affectionately known, is an international radical workers’ union whose aim it is to unite all workers, irrespective of trade, with the common purpose of overthrowing the employing class.

It is a rank-and-file organisation with a long and inspiring history. The IWW boasted 100,000 members in the 1920s. More information can be found at http://www.iww.org/ .

For those coming to the University for the first time, a group will meet outside the MacRobert Building, just off King Street near the roundabout at Seaton, to enter the building together.

The second talk, “Food Sovereignty in Practice” will take place on Tuesday November 6th from 7.30pm at the Taylor Building, Aberdeen University.

The speaker is Professor Redimio Manuel Pedraza from the Study Centre for the Development of Animal Production (CEDEPA) at the University of Camagüey Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz,Cuba.

Professor Pedraza will be looking at developments in sustainable agriculture in Cuba and how they relate to the concept of Food Sovereignty.

Professor Pedraza’s presentation will be followed by a screening of Simon Cunich’s film on Food Sovereignty in Venezuela, ‘Growing Change’.

Here is a wee summary of what this is about:

For the first time in human history, over a billion people have been officially classified as living in hunger. This record total is not a consequence of poor global harvests or natural disasters.

Hunger on this scale is the result of a global economy in which hundreds of millions of small farmers, fisherfolk, pastoralists and indigenous people have faced ruin through the hijacking of the global food system by large agribusiness and food retailers. The Food Sovereignty movement is a response to this situation.

This is the definition of Food Sovereignty, taken from the declaration of Nyéléni:

Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.

“It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.

“It defends the interests and inclusion of the next generation.

“It offers a strategy to resist and dismantle the current corporate trade and food regime, and directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems determined by local producers and users.

“Food sovereignty prioritises local and national economies and markets and empowers peasant and family farmer-driven agriculture, artisanal – fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, and food production, distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economic sustainability.

“Food sovereignty promotes transparent trade that guarantees just incomes to all peoples as well as the rights of consumers to control their food and nutrition.

“It ensures that the rights to use and manage lands, territories, waters, seeds, livestock and biodiversity are in the hands of those of us who produce food.

“Food sovereignty implies new social relations free of oppression and inequality between men and women, peoples, racial groups, social and economic classes and generations.”

For more information on the definition of Food Sovereignty Please see : http://www.foodsovereignty.org/FOOTER/Highlights.aspx

This event is part of Aberdeen City Arts Board’s Autumn Series and was organised in conjunction with The Shared Planet Society.

For newcomers to the University who may unfamiliar with the geography of the campus, a group will meet outside the Machar Bar on the High Street in Old Aberdeen at 7.15pm and will take the two-minute walk from there to the Taylor Building.