FPE Dialogues Italy: a six-episode radio show


In the summer of 2020, half a year into the pandemic, a group of women coming from different political experiences and life paths working and living in Italy decided to come together as a rural feminism collective called Tutte Giù Per Terra and learn autonomoulsy how to organize, host and record several radio episodes. Anna Katharina Voss, Ilenia Iengo, Irene Leonardelli are PhD students and Stefania Barca mentor in the WEGO-ITN project, Miriam Corongiu is a farmer, Maddalena Cualbu a shepherd and Katya Madio a teacher. We gathered weekly to discuss topics, news, share experiences in order to build a collective knowledge upon which we planned our episodes. 

Radio shows were again very popular since the beginning of the pandemic, which reduced the spaces to encounter and discuss in person, but allowed for new and old methods of dissemination and organising to bloom. We sought the opportunity to participate in a radio channel called Radio iafue per la terra, an information and dissemination project run by Alleanza sociale per la sovranità alimentare, an Italian movement bringing together farmers and farm workers for food sovereignty. 

Picture: Irene Leonardelli

This is how we started the FPE dialogues in Italy, shaping them around 6 radio episodes, where the collective Tutte Giù Per Terra aimed to create a space for encounters of different grassroots experiences that engage with agroecology, women and LGBTQIA+ self-determination in rural areas, ecofeminist struggles against environmental contamination and neoliberal processes in the rural world and alliances across rural and urban feminisms. We intended to reach a public of alternative agricultural networks, undergraduate and graduate students and activists engaged in Political Ecology and transfeminism across the country.

We propose below the recording of these six radio episodes (all in Italian) with a short summary in English indicating the speakers and the main topics discussed. With this experience we grew collectively from the internal discussions, preparation and organisation, and we acquired editorial and hosting skills for radio shows. We aimed to share and amplify knowledge in the fields of feminism and agriculture/rurality in Italy, especially regarding alternative agricultural practices and political networks working on commons, depatriarchization of practices and environmental violence.

Yet the FPE Dialogues in Italy did not only involve online conversations through the different radio episodes. At the end of September 2021, some of us physically met in Naples to learn more about each other’s work and strengthen our collaboration. In particular, Ilenia, Irene and Stefania spent an afternoon with Miriam Corongiu at her Orto Conviviale, the farming project that she manages just outside of Naples, where she also lives. As activists and researchers in the Land of Fires (La Terra dei Fuochi), Ilenia, Stefania and Miriam have known each other and worked together for a long time. Instead, Irene, who is from the North of Italy and currently lives in the Netherlands, met Miriam for the first time. 

We walked around the farm admiring the plants and trees that Miriam (together with her husband and daughter) is growing. We sat together and listened to Miriam’s experience about what it means to be a woman farmer in the Land of Fires. We discussed the strength of her work as a political project. We shared experiences and stories of other women farmers involved in agroecological projects in different places where we have lived and worked (India, north of Italy, Spain, Romania). We talked about the struggles and the joys that come from farming a land with attention to preserving traditional seeds and trees and learning from traditional practices, taking care of the soil, the water and cherishing the harvest each season. Miriam’s Orto Conviviale represents a place of resistance and struggle in the midst of a land that keeps burning. It is also a place of conviviality and sharing where local women meet to buy fruit and vegetables but also to sit together and discuss, share experiences, do politics.

Picture: Irene Leonardelli

Learning from Miriam’s project while being there in person, enjoying the delicious food she prepared with all her harvest, was incredibly inspiring to reflect on what it means to actually practice feminist political ecology and on the importance of farming collaborations blurring the binaries between research and activism and urban and rural socio-ecological spaces. We hope that the FPE Dialogues in Italy, and all the conversations we fostered through and beyond the radio programmes, will continue to flourish in this direction….

Watch – and listen to – the full episodes here:

Episode 1 – An introduction to rural and peasant feminisms

Episode 2 – A dialogue on feminism and care for the territory with Comunità rurale diffusa

Episode 3 – A dialogue on patriarchal violence in agriculture with Simona Lanzoni and Stefania Prandi

Episode 4 – A dialogue on the restanza movement in Irpinia with Maria Laura Amendola

Episode 5 – A dialogue on farmers protests in India with Irene Leonardelli and Arianna Tozzi

Episode 6 – A dialogue on the 8M feminist strike and territorial resistances

Registrations are open for ‘FPE Dialogues on Re-thinking Food’

Registrations are now open for our ‘Feminist Political Ecology Dialogues on Re-thinking Food’ on July 1st & 2nd at University of Passau. Register via the following link: https://bit.ly/2TUaoPp

About Rethinking Food Passau

Food is essential to sustaining relational webs of life. Difficult times around the world have only further demonstrated this interdependence and the need to think differently about food systems. To attend to the question of what constitutes alternative agriculture and food practices, and why it is important, the “Feminist Political Ecology Dialogues on Re-thinking Food” has been organized by the University of Passau. It is part of a series of events organized by  WEGO-ITN. The two-day event will be held online on Zoom on the 1st and 2nd of July from 16:00 to 18:00 CEST. Since this is an international event, translation from English into German and Indonesian Bahasa will be provided.

Food production and supply has changed dramatically over the past few decades, contributing to unjust processes of production and distribution of food around the world. The global food industry is also closely interrelated with climate change. In addition, the homogenising effects of factory farming and monocultures mean that regional suppliers find it increasingly difficult to participate in food markets. These inter-related concerns make the need for alternative forms of agriculture and food consumption ever more visceral. The aim of the FPE Dialogues is to share insights from ongoing research projects and engagements with alternative food and economic practices in Indonesia, India and Germany; with the hope to stimulate conversation about what constitutes “alternative” agriculture or food consumption and why it matters.

The keynote speaker for the first day will be Dr Parto Teherani-Krönner. She will speak about her concept of ‘meal cultures’ and its relevance in re-thinking the multiple layers of food relations. We very much look forward to welcoming her to Passau via zoom, and hope to see some of you there.

Day 1
Dr Parto Teherani-Krönner on ‘Meal Cultures’
Followed by questions and discussion with the audience
16.00-18.00 CEST

Day 2
Roundtable on Re-thinking Food
Dimas Dwi Laksmana, Patrick Keilbart, Marlene Gómez Becerra, Siti Maimunah and Enid Still
16.00-18.00 CEST

Presenters will share perspectives from research on organic agriculture in Indonesia, community kitchens in Berlin, the relationship between food security and coal extraction in Indonesia and agricultural collectives in India.

The roundtable will then reflect with the audience on questions of inclusivity and the meaning of alternative in food systems.


Information provided by: Passau University