Breadlines: Exploring food and social justice in the UK
To open the very first edition here is the link: BREADLINES
Breadlines is a space for people to talk together about food in ways that will move each person into a greater awareness of the critical importance of food in all our lives.
Not only does food mean slightly different things to different people but some of these meanings highlight contradictions and blind-spots within the food systems of the UK and so appear controversial when compared with the mainstream academic and specialist ways of speaking about the subject – so what can be made of this?
Who is a food expert? Is the one who producers it, shares it or consumes it? If the latter, then it makes all of us experts, but how is that expertise factored in to food governance and decision making?
Here at Breadlines we’d like to engage with a diversity of ‘expert’ voices and to try to support a series of conversations about food justice across different, but pertinent themes, with the hope that we can understand how to better practice, teach and learn and to move towards policies and practices which endorse a more food secure and sovereign world. We wish to promote social justice more generally because we have already understood that it underpins a more just food system.
This is an emergent forum – one that will evolve over time. Our vision is for Breadlines to be a space where critical and controversial discussions on food and food systems are made visible and vigorously debated. We strive to open a space for a wide range of voices, especially those less heard, so that we can listen to a more textured set of narratives and arguments of substance.
As editors, we feel our work is to make this space attractive and welcoming to potential contributors, supporting the representation of the issues raised, whilst only offering a light editorial hand. We intend to be selective in choosing pieces to ensure they reflect a focus on social justice rather than it being an afterthought or peripheral in nature, as it often is.
We feel this is doing justice to food: how people eat, grow, trade, process and waste are all implicated in profound ways on the social, political and economic justice delivered at the end of the day. How can we, those of us concerned about food justice, disentangle our own social, cultural and political selves to recognise more clearly how they impact upon how we speak about the food systems of the UK?
To unravel food justice in the UK – one of the world’s most impactful global empires – requires deep reflection, reconstruction of the systems that support injustice (with which we are complicit) and more shared conversation and collective action. We hope that the content of this journal will focus on that awareness raising as it relates to the UK, but it will also draw connections with related issues and movements in other parts of the world.
We welcome contributions in a wide array of styles and formats – art, video, poetry, writing and stories – that:
- Speak to how our engagements with food in the UK reflect the deep history of colonialism, the enormous inequalities in society and the obstinate systems of racism, class-ism, patriarchy, heteronormativity and neoliberalism.
- Provide inspirational examples of people, organisations, communities and social movements who are contesting and resisting the disastrous influences of colonialism and neoliberalism and who are creating alternatives.
- Are about food grown in the UK or for the UK as well as food grown across the globe, local food, food politics, culture, food lore and cuisines, food histories and food futures. We also welcome the intersections of food and non-food items which were or are grown in the UK or for the UK market and which play a part in the narratives of food and social justice.
- Articles and reflections on food sovereignties and food security, food poverty, food excesses and wastage, hunger, malnutrition and views on the root causes of food injustices as well as stories in which food justice is being attained.
We hope this issue and further issues will be received as providing thoughtful and provocative contributions, stirring each reader to raise comment on the different pieces of writing and to come forth with their own perspectives.
Breadlines is an emergent forum and we welcome your input and feedback. Enjoy the creative pieces of work offered in the issues as they are posted here, and shared more widely.
We hope they will prompt deliberation between everyone involved in food systems-UK on how to restore justice to each of its constituent food and social systems in ways that feel meaningful and relevant, in ways we can all see ourselves in and therefore ways in which we can each powerfully engage.
Colin: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Mama D: email@example.com
with contributions, ideas, questions or comments