TWILIGHT OF THE PEASANTRY, DAWN OF AGRARIAN URBANIZATION

Martín Arboleda

As a result of distinct, yet overlapping tendencies towards the concentration in land ownership, the mechanization and toxification of agricultural production, the financialization of rural households, and the intensification of armed conflict, millions of peasants have been forced to migrate to cities in recent decades. This project seeks to understand the extent and implications of the current phase of global depeasantization. Its objective is to make sense of how the systematic assault on rural modes of existence not only has manifested itself spatially in the staggering growth of fractured and precarious urban settlements, but has also generated its own counter-tendency: a dynamic political alliance between peasant movements, scientists, and the urban poor, which aims at the radical transformation of the global food system. By means of two case studies in Latin America, the project intends to illuminate the existing relation between the reorganization of the agro-food supply chain and the emergence of a globalizing, urban-rural movement under the banners of agroecology and food sovereignty. Through an engagement with recent discussions on real utopias, designs for the pluriverse, and post-capitalist futures, the project is intended to decipher the possibilities that the metamorphosis of world peasantries bring for the democratic, collective construction of alternative urban worlds.

Projected outcome: Journal articles, book, and documentary film.

Demonstration for food sovereignty in Bolivia (Source: North American Congress on Latin America –NACLA).