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Of Wine and Ovines: Livelihood and Diversity at the foot of the Pyrenees

Monday 6 September 2021
Pieter de la Court


Public initiatives to develop the economy in the district of Pallars Jussà (Catalonia) highlight “diversity” as its distinctive trait. Every activity in the public sector celebrates heterogeneous aspects of the regional economy by showcasing the variety of craft food the district produces. Public officials reiterate the centrality of diversity by promoting collective actions that involve multiple sectors of food production. Among these, winemakers and sheepherders develop different ways to relate to “diversity”. Food producers already live in complex and shifting ecologies. As they stand between markets and environments, their strategies for making a living involve the constant translation between different sets of heterogeneities.

I show how these translations help or hinder the food producers’ abilities to work with each other and to create ways to better secure their livelihood. In particular I will address the skill to incorporate and deal with different kinds of “diversity” in their livelihood.  Drawing on multimodal experimentations with images collected during my fieldwork, I interrogate these “diversities,” and how the food producers inhabit them. Far from being a univocal blanket category, diversity becomes a key to understand the strategies to make sense of life and livelihood. 

This research seminar was originally planned in March, but got postponed. 

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