Drawing on data from an ethnographic study of urban agriculture in Massachusetts, this paper investigates the multiple meanings of soil for contemporary urban farmers and gardeners. I first consider how urban farmers speak for and with the soil in their neighborhoods to call attention to historical and ongoing environmental racism. These narratives highlight how racialized social processes – including redlining, blockbusting, white flight and disinvestment – have harmed both the health of urban soils and of the residents of BIPOC neighborhoods. I then describe how urban farmers and gardeners articulate the importance soil for health and well-being, especially for people whose relationships with the earth have been disrupted by colonialism and racism. These narratives draw on both scientific and spiritual frameworks to highlight the healing potential of re-establishing direct relationships with nature, reclaiming ancestral knowledge about the healing properties of plants, and reconnecting with the ancestors themselves. Analysis of these interlinked narratives contributes to emerging scholarship on the situatedness of ways of conceptualizing and interacting with soils; it calls attention especially to the role of racialized inequities in the processes through which harmful soil materialities are created and the possibilities of socioecological repair.
Séminaire EnviroBioSoc « Incorporation biologique, environnement social »
Organisé par Francesca Merlin
IHPST (CNRS & Université Paris 1, 13 rue du Four, 2ème étage)
Dans le cadre du projet ANR EnviroBioSoc (https://envirobiosoc.cnrs.fr/), la prochaine séance du séminaire « Incorporation biologique, environnement social » aura lieu le mardi 7 juin 2022 de 15h à 16h30.
Nous aurons le plaisir d’écouter Sara SHOSTAK (Brandeis University) qui nous parlera de
“When you heal the soil…”: Environmental racism and socioecological repair in contemporary urban agriculture
Cette séance aura lieu exclusivement en ligne (sur Zoom). Voici le lien :
ID de réunion : 979 3541 2238
Code secret : 246044