Sunday, April 10, 2011

Stories about stories about stories

This is a renarration of a renarration.

Scattered over 2006, 2007, and 2008, I spent several months in India trying to learn about the opposition to genetically modified crops. I was first interested in this movement because I wanted to understand how local movements connected to the anti-globalisation/global justice movement. Did activists in Karnataka feel part of the international movement? Did they feel like the anti-WTO protests in Seattle were relevant to their work?

Along the way, my focus changed: I became far more interested in how local struggles to shape knowledge contributed to the global justice movement.

Because it matters whether we think the "experts" are local communities, activists, scientists working for corporations, or policymakers.
And it matters whether or not we can share information easily.
And it matters whether we control the technologies that are vital to our lives.

So many people talked to me. Farmers and environmental activists and journalists and academics and friends.

Some of them told me what I was expecting to hear, and some of them surprised me. Some of them talked about things I didn't think I cared about, until I realised that I did.

From that, I built a story. One part of it is here, and one part of it is here, and other parts of it are still tucked away in my thesis.

The material on this blog is an attempt to take some of these stories and retell them, not just alone but also with the help of other people. I can only ever retell stories in the languages that I have. Sometimes stories need a new language to have a new life.

Image: a sequence of photos of a man telling a story with animated expressions, courtesy of Noel A. Tanner.

No comments:

Post a Comment