The Funambulist #31 – Politics of Food


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“A magazine with an activist line that does not follow the same political standards when it comes to its production has no reason to exist.” – Freunde von Freunden

The Funambulist is a magazine that engages with the politics of space and bodies. Our hope is to provide a useful platform where activist/academic/practitioner voices can meet and build solidarities across geographical scales. Through articles, interviews, artworks, and design projects, we are assembling an ongoing archive for anticolonial, antiracist, queer, and feminist struggles. The print and online magazine is published every two months and operates in parallel with an open-access podcast and a blog. 

Politics of Food is an open-ended examination of various dimensions behind food and the act of cooking: labor, ingredients, memories, identity, self-orientalization, marooning, infrastructure, transportation, societal hierarchies and, as usual with us, space. The main dossier includes four texts (each associated to a recipe generously provided by our contributors) about the history of jerk, a Jamaican Maroon cooking style born in the struggle for existence against slavery (Tao Leigh Goffe), the links between the Caribbean and the diaspora in the U.K. through the well-known ‘opposition’ of bananas and plantains (Akil Scafe-Smith), the veganist solidarity with the struggle against Indian structural casteism and anti-Muslim racism, despite what may seem to oppose them at first sight (Rama Ganesan), and the personal and political wanderings of a chef between the Indian Konkan Coast and Marseille (Zuri Camille de Souza). It also includes three interviews about the relationship between food production, colonialism, and ecocide (Cooking Sections), the idea of reparations for Black folks through food demonstrations (Tunde Wey), as well as the numerous political daily dimensions involved in being a chef in Bethlehem, Palestine (Fadi Kattan, interviewed by Funambulist-friend Karim Kattan).

As usual, our News from the Fronts section that opens each issue and complements the main dossier, includes articles reflecting on ongoing struggles. In this issue, we look at a history of migration between Algeria and Palestine (Lina Soualem), anti-Blackness in Scandinavia (Awa Konaté), the Detroit “race walls” (Victoria Hattam), Mapuche resistance against oil extraction in Vaca Muerta, Argentina (M7Red & Arena Documenta), and the forms of solidarity between the struggle against the gentrification of Chinatown in Vancouver and the fight against settler colonialism (Céline Chuang).

The cover of the issue shows a banquet on July 5, 1962, the day of the Algerian independence, organized in Nanterre (northwestern Paris banlieue) where thousands of Algerians were living and had taking part in many ways to the anti-colonial Revolution. In the context of this issue dedicated to the politics of food, it appeared to us as non-innocent that the ultimate political victory after 132 years of French colonialism was celebrated around a meal in the center of the housing quarters. May we all share a revolutionary banquet at least once in our life!

“Publications are here to relay, produce and curate knowledge. As far as The Funambulist is concerned, the only important thing about this knowledge is that it can be useful to the political struggles with which it stands in solidarity.” – Archinect

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