Talk: Women in Cooperative Agricultural Production and Consumption: The Case of Rio de Janeiro’s Rede Ecológica

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Ana Paula da Cruz Santos and Rodica Weitzman

May 28, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


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The presentation will illuminate the multiple roles played by women within the infrastructure of the Rede Ecologica (Ecological Consumers’ Network) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These include: relations established with the agroecological producers; campaigns and other educational activities focused on the theme of food, nutritional security, and family-based agricultural practices; communication and networking with other social movements, among others. Through an intersectional feminist approach, we will analyze concrete experiences within territories in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, such as the Serra da Misericórdia, which highlight the ways in which women with different racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds, lead collective efforts to combat the high level of hunger and food insecurity by reinforcing agroecological practices in different public areas and inventing new strategies for distributing products via direct links with consumers who enjoy the benefits of healthy, organically grown food. Such processes reinforce the links between producers and consumers, as well as bridging the division between rural and urban areas. They also reveal the ways in which a new logic for economic and social relations is being constructed, including a new approach to those “care-taking” tasks historically undertaken by rural and urban women that are vital for social reproduction and for fulfilling basic human needs within the capitalist system.

ANA PAULA Da CRUZ SANTOS is an urban farmer and co-founder of the community-based organization Center for Integration “Serra da Misericórdia” (CEM) in Rio’s Penha neighborhood. She belongs to the Ecological Network and is a member of the Food Security Council (RJ). She also participates in the women’s working group of the Agroecology Network of the Metropolitan area of RJ.

RODICA WEITZMAN holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IPPUR/ UFRJ) and carried out her post-doctorate research in the field of Social and Environmental Conflict at the Institute in Urban and Regional Planning and Research (IPPUR/ UFRJ). She belongs to the women’s working group in the National Agroecology Network, the research group Gender and Ruralities (CPDA/UFRRJ), the Ecological Network (RJ), and the Food Security Council (RJ). Since 1996, she has worked with diverse social organizations in Brazil and on the international level in the construction, evaluation, and monitoring of social projects and public policies, with a strong focus on gender issues and its intersections with family–based sustainable agriculture, food security, social and environmental conflicts, and climate change.

This event is part of the Feminismos desde abajo, y hacia el sur/ Feminisms from Below, and Toward the South series, which welcomes feminist militants from Latin America to share their perspectives and experiences on building popular power towards a mass feminist movement. Over the past decade, Latin American feminists have identified manifestations of gender-based oppression under capitalism in everyday women’s conditions in order to successfully mobilize them as part of a political movement. Feminists produce analyses and subsequent strategies around reproductive rights, resource extractivism, housing, debt, and more. This mass feminism has grown to be arguably the most insurgent political force across the continent.

Cosponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB History Department, UCSB Feminist Studies Department, UCSB Latin American and Iberian Studies Program, UCSB Global Studies Department, UC San Diego Latin American Studies Program, and UCSD Institute for Arts and Humanities



May 28, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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