Successful PhD defence by Anne Siebert
On 21 November 2019, Anne Siebert successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled Food Sovereignty and Urban Agriculture: Understanding interlinkages and exploring implications in the South African context.
She investigated urban food producers’ lived realities and efforts toward food sovereignty in marginalized urban settings. Her central questions focussed on why and how urban agriculture initiatives emerge, and whether or not they engage with food sovereignty in the contemporary context of highly exclusionary dynamics in cities and the agri-food system.
What are the impacts of the commercialized agri-food system on the ground?
The aim of this study was to explore how urban food producers become active in exposing and fighting inequality. Understanding the mobilization and politicization of urban agriculture initiatives helps to shed light on the multi-dimensional impacts of the commercialized agri-food system on the ground.
The study zoomed in on the case of an urban agriculture initiative involving diverse urban food producers including backyard gardeners and smallholders rooted in the deprived working class in George, Western Cape, South Africa.
The study ultimately argues that urban agriculture initiatives have the potential to expose inequalities and propose alternatives, both of which are related to food sovereignty.