Presentation at Utrecht University

On 18 April 2018 Giuseppe Feola gave a research talk at the Transmobilities seminar series, at the Department of Human Geography and Planning, Utrecht University.

Governing agriculture in peri-urban spaces in Sogamoso, Colombia: a critical analysis

This talks presents the initial findings of an ongoing project on peri-urban agriculture in the context of post conflict Colombia. The project analyses discursive and practical interconnections between the emerging geographies of food sovereignty, sustainable agriculture, and peace making. It critically explores the links between specific socio-political arrangements and peri-urban agriculture, and the potential of peri-urban agriculture to support models that are alternative to capitalist, growth-oriented Development. This talk specifically focuses on (i) competing imaginaries of development, and (ii) land use conflicts in and around the study area of the city of Sogamoso. First, the talk discusses the apparent tension between imaginaries of modernization and Development, and counter-imaginaries that elaborate core food sovereignty themes of environmental sustainability, autonomy and dignity. Second, the talk discusses the inconsistency of national environmental and development policies that trickle down at urban level by creating new, or amplifying already existing land use conflicts (e.g. between mining and agriculture, or conservation and agriculture). In their turn, these conflicts exacerbate long standing barriers to governance of peri-urban spaces, including social fragmentation and lack of trust among actors. Some actors deal with conflicts by employing strategies that aim to influence –not always legally- key decision makers, while others employ ‘exit’ strategies of autonomy. This results in an uneven landscape of winners and losers, which appears to make the prospect of conflict resolution yet less likely.