Leiden University logo.

nl en

Conference and Winter School

The ERC Consolidator project Food Citizens? Collective food procurement in European cities: solidarity and diversity, skills and scale (2017-2022) organizes Conference Friday 4 February and Winter School 24 January to 4 February 2022.

Food Citizens? Conference: What we’ve done, how, where and why

The team working at the project Food citizens? Collective food procurement in European cities: solidarity and diversity, skills and scale has included two post-docs (Robin Smith and Federico De Musso), three Ph.D. candidates (Ola Gracjasz, Maria Vasile and Vincent Walstra) and two research assistants (Hanna Stalenhoef and Marilena Poulopoulou) working with Principal Investigator Cristina Grasseni.

Beginning in 2017, the project involved a literature review on the topics of solidarity, diversity, skills and scale in the anthropology of food, as well as case study essays on urban agriculture, short food chains, and local food councils authored by Robin Smith and available open access on our project’s public resources portal.

The PhD candidates received bespoke training in audiovisual methods and participated in dedicated seminars with experts in the topics and regions they studied over the period 2018-2021. Guest speakers included ERC laureates Tim Ingold, Erik Bähre, Anouk de Koning, Marianne Maeckelbergh, Martijn Koster, NWO-VICI winner Bart Barendregt and Spinoza laureate Birgit Meyer. Three symposia were held to discuss work in progress with the project’s advisory board members in 2018, 2019 and 2020 in the cities of Leiden and Gdansk. The project blog documents the multiple ways in which team members have participated in local and international societal debates, in person and online, through workshops, conference presentations, and media engagement. Local restitution workshops are being planned in the cities of Turin and Gdansk.

The Ph.D. candidates conducted 18 months of fieldwork each in the cities of Gdansk, Rotterdam and Turin respectively (including the COVID outbreak in 2020), interspersed with periods of intensive teamwork. These ‘taking stock’ periods were aimed at progressively constructing a matrix of case studies, reporting on first findings and synergizing insights, hurdles and directions taken in the field. Ethnographic field-sites were identified and brainstormed for their potential significance in the contexts of food self-procurement, short food chains and food governance. They were investigated, according to the project’s research protocol, with the method of participant observation with an additional battery of qualitative methods including in-depth interviews, mapping, documentary analysis, focus groups and video- or photo-elicitation. The project’s Digital Platform, edited and coded by Federico De Musso, will represent this field research in a synoptic and comparative way.

The teams’ publications and featured dissemination activities examine the different types, premises and consequences of collective forms of food production, distribution and consumption in the three European cities and beyond. The project’s Winter School crowns this four-year long period of research, engagement and apprenticeship by passing on the project’s methodological tool-kit to a selected cohort of ten Master and PhD level candidates. The project’s conference presents the results of the field research, the Digital Platform and the Winter School.

Conference Program

9.30-10.00 Doors open
10.00-11.30 The Food Citizens? project and field research (Cristina Grasseni, Ola Gracjasz, Maria Vasile and Vincent Walstra)
11.30-12.00 The Food Citizens? digital platform (Federico De Musso)
12.00-13.00 Discussion (Discussant: Francesco Ragazzi)
13.00-14.00 Break
14.00-15.30 The Food Citizens? Winter School student projects (Federico De Musso and the Winter School students. Discussant: Sander Hölsgens)
15.30-15.45 Break
15.45-17.00 Collaboration, Mediation and Comparison: discussion (Discussants: project's advisory board members)
17.00 Closing


The Conference will take place in Pieter de la Court building in room 1A20. The morning program will be also streamed online.

To register (for both online and offline attendance) please fill in the registration form.

Winter School: Digital Visual Engagements in Anthropological Research

The winter school builds upon and disseminates the project’s methodological toolkit for ethnographic research. This methodology has been developed over the last four years by the project team for studying collective food procurement networks, namely citizens’ initiatives involving for example foraging, short food chains and local food governance. The school is aimed at graduate students from the social sciences and humanities who are trained in field research (for example, Masters, Research Masters and 1st year Ph.D. candidates). The goal of the school is to help develop their interests and skills in multimodal anthropology, comparative and collaborative perspectives (including audiovisual methods). Please consult our project's public resources to find out more about the topic and methodology of our research. The school is co-directed by Cristina Grasseni and Federico De Musso.

The winter school aims to train and supervise a maximum of ten participants to plan and execute up to five short research projects over two weeks, working in pairs and using collaborative and audiovisual methods. The Food Citizens? team will teach modules with a special focus on collective and interactive research processes and research ethics, including participant observation, anthropology at home, cultural mapping, ethnographic photography, and video and digital documentary. Previous film-making experience is not required. Understanding and (some) experience of ethnographic fieldwork-based research is a prerequisite. The modules are designed to reflect on hands-on methodologies fostering collaboration among field-researchers. The participants will present their project/artefact at the Food Citizens? Conference on Friday 4th February 2022 which will profile the Food Citizens? project’s research outcomes to a broad audience of researchers and stakeholders.


This website uses cookies.