SOAS University of London

Seeds of Freedom and Food Sovereignty

Theresa Anderson
Ms Teresa Anderson (The Gaia Foundation)

Date: 27 February 2013Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 27 February 2013Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4421

Type of Event: Seminar

Seeds of Freedom, a film by the Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network, charts the story of seed from its roots at the heart of traditional, diversity rich farming systems across the world, to being transformed into a powerful commodity, used to monopolise the global food system.The film highlights the extent to which the industrial agricultural system, and genetically modified (GM) seeds in particular, has impacted on the enormous agro-biodiversity evolved by farmers and communities around the world, since the beginning of agriculture. Seeds of Freedom seeks to challenge the mantra that large-scale, industrial agriculture is the only means by which we can feed the world, promoted by the pro-GM lobby. In tracking the story of seed it becomes clear how corporate agenda has driven the take over of seed in order to make vast profit and control of the food global system. Through interviews with leading international experts such as Dr Vandana Shiva and  Henk Hobbelink, and through the voices of a number of African farmers, the film highlights how the loss of indigenous seed goes hand in hand with loss of biodiversity and related knowledge; the loss of cultural traditions and practices; the loss of livelihoods; and the loss of food sovereignty.  The pressure is growing to replace the diverse, nutritional, locally adapted and resilient seed crops which have been bred by small-scale farmers for millenia, by monocultures of GM seed. Alongside speakers from indigenous farming communities, the film features global experts and activists Dr Vandana Shiva of Navdanya, Henk Hobbelink of GRAIN, Zac Goldsmith MP (UK Conservative party), Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser, Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace International, Gathuru Mburu of the African Biodiversity Network, Liz Hosken of The Gaia Foundation and Caroline Lucas MP.

A presentation of Teresa Anderson (the Gaia Foundation) and a question and answer session about the issues raised will follow the film.

Teresa Anderson, one of the makers of the film "Seeds of Freedom" will share her experience with working with the African Biodiversity Network and the global movement for Food Sovereignty. Teresa joined the Gaia Foundation in 2001, where she is international advocacy coordinator for the African Biodiversity Network.  Teresa also helped to pioneer the very first "Transition Town" in Totnes, Devon and set up the food group, working with the community to build resilience in local food production, and reduce dependency on oil. Over the years, she has studied organic husbandry, worked on organic farms in Canada and South Africa, and has settled down in Devon.

All events are free and open to students and non-students. No registration is required.

Organiser: Virginie Rouas

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