Food sovereignty and solidarity initiatives in rural Ukraine during the war.

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: IRES Library, Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor
  • Lecturer: Natalia Mamonova, Associate Research Fellow, Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutet), Stockholm
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Mattias Vesterlund
  • Föreläsning

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has seriously threatened Ukrainian and global food security. War-related destruction of agricultural facilities and infrastructure, Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea ports, its seizure of Ukrainian grain from the temporarily occupied territories, and burnings of agricultural fields near the zones of active hostilities have drastically undermined Ukraine’s agricultural capacity. A number of assessments have been made to evaluate the impact of the war on Ukrainian agricultural production and export. However, little is known about the situation on the ground. This research is the pilot study of farming practices and grassroots initiatives that took place in rural Ukraine in the first year of the war with Russia. Based on primary qualitative data conducted remotely, it investigates how different food producers – both large and small – deal with the hazards and uncertainties of war, and how their coping strategies influence the societal discourse and practices of food sovereignty in Ukraine. 

Natalia Mamonova is an Associate Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutet) and a Research Consultant at the Department of Political Science of the University of Notre Dame. Natalia’s research interests primarily focus on contemporary grassroots (rural) politics in post-socialist settings. She studies rural social movements, food sovereignty, everyday (hidden) resistance, right-wing populism and state-society relations in Russia, Ukraine, and some other countries of Eastern Europe. After completing her PhD ‘Rethinking rural politics in post-socialist settings’ at the Institute of Social Studies of the Netherlands in 2016, Natalia was a visiting researcher and lecturer at the University of Oxford, the New Europe College in Bucharest, and the University of Helsinki. Currently, Natalia Mamonova , together with Brian Kuns, is working on the research projects ‘Food security, food sovereignty and solidarity initiatives during the war in Ukraine’ and, with Susanne Wengle, ‘Ukrainian corn’. She is the principal coordinator of the European team of the Emancipatory Rural Politics Initiative (ERPI Europe), which is a scholar-activist community that aims at understanding, challenging and building alternatives to globalized neoliberal agriculture in rural Europe.