Newsletter no 44 – Editorial

Communicating for food sovereignty: people’s culture and popular education

Illustration: Chille and Yemee for Amrita Bhoomi agroecology school in India.

Food sovereignty, among the multitude of ideas that it encompasses, is also about defending the billion diversities that exist on this planet, and is a celebration of our many unique practices, tastes, cultures and customs. An important pillar in this struggle for food sovereignty is the role played by popular rural cultures, of peasants, fisherfolk, family farmers and Indigenous Peoples. These communities are inheritors of a rich and diverse tradition of oral and visual forms of communication, whether in the form of folklore, legends, tales, proverbs, songs, murals and more. These varied forms of communication are also the recorded histories of human struggles and survival.

However, this diversity is, today, under threat. Just as the agro-industrial complex pushes for a homogenous, singular view of a global agrifood system, the international-corporate-media complex has also resulted in a singular, centralised form of mainstream communication. A handful of corporations today control much of what we read or watch and how people access information.

Despite the challenges, organised peoples and communities around the world are countering this marginalisation of peoples’ culture. The current edition of the Nyeleni newsletter focuses on the wide variety of popular, community-driven communication approaches, drawing inspiration from local symbols, context and culture. It explores how these approaches are integral to pedagogy among peasants, family farmers, Indigenous Peoples and fisherfolk, crucial for political formation and popular education, and an essential element of our struggle for food sovereignty.

Friends of The Earth International, Real World Radio and La Via Campesina