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PhD candidate Maria Vasile presents her research in the talk show Weekly Seeds

Maria discusses her case studies with a broader public

On May 10th 2021, Maria discussed about her research in Turin together with Federico Andreotti (agronomist and PhD candidate at Wageningen University) and Amalia Sacchi (agronomist and baker in Milan), organizers of the talk show Weekly Seeds. This was the first event of the show, which aims at disseminating knowledge about short food chains, sustainability, agroecology and gastronomy (in Italian). Every Monday, until June 28th 2021, the organizers will host a different researcher or expert, who is invited to discuss about his or her own work in accessible terms and in a friendly and informal atmosphere. 

Weekly Seeds organizers also aimed at experimenting new channels for scientific dissemination. The talk show is organized on the online platform Twitch, with the idea of reaching a diverse (and maybe new?) audience. Twitch also has a chat which allows for anyone to freely ask questions and directly engage with the speakers. All Weekly Seeds episodes are also recorded and later made available on YouTube and Spotify to allow for further dissemination. They are also part of the UN Food Systems independent dialogues 2021

Maria Vasile was invited to speak about her research and, in particular, she introduced four of her case studies, namely urban gardens, food markets, food surpluses collection and redistribution projects, and food-related community initiatives. The event was an opportunity for further collaboration with some research participants, which were invited to take part in the show by sending a message explaining about their involvement in and ideas about these different spaces and practices. Their contribution was the starting point of Maria‚Äôs broader reflections, open questions to the audience and conversation with the hosts. 

The discussion included reflections on the multiple meanings and practices of urban gardening, their role in urban regeneration and their possible exclusionary features. Food markets were presented both from the perspective of long-term vendors as well as from the one of workers of local non-profit organizations involved in the collection and redistribution of food surpluses. Maria pointed to the important impacts of such sustainability projects as well as to the precarious working conditions of these workers and the broader governance mechanisms which have brought the non-profit sector at the heart of such practices. By discussing how communities and mutual aid systems can develop around food practices, Maria hinted to the ways in which some initiatives try to overcome the distinction between food giver and food receiver, while not always managing to ensure their continuation over time.

After the discussion on the different cases, the hosts asked Maria about what can ultimately be considering as food citizenship. Questions from the chat included queries about the positioning of the researcher, the boundaries between the realm of research and private life, and the potential importance of the research for the participants themselves. Overall, for Maria this was an opportunity to communicate about her research and the Food Citizens? project in simple terms and outside of the academic sphere. She saw this event as one of the occasions for possible public restitution and conversation with research participants and the people she met in the field.

You can find the recording of the event at the following links (Italian only):

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5HsCzSvg4D2OtEhrVrk421

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV1IY3vue1oCtqFXDA6YcCg

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