The Politics of Food and Blackness in Venezuela

Part two of our collaboration with Groundings delves deeper into Venezuela's African history and food sovereignty struggles. 

In part two of this series, Groundings‘ Devyn Springer talks with Christina Schiavoni, a scholar and activist who deals with issues of food, food sovereignty, and agriculture. Her work in Venezuela has been very important to dispelling misinformation about food, food shortages, and agricultural production in Venezuela, as well as the great strides towards food sovereignty that the Bolivarian Revolution has made. The interview specifically references an essay of hers titled “The Politics of Food in Venezuela” that masterfully combats myths and intentional misinformation surrounding the subject.

VA’s Jeanette Charles speaks with Dr. Akinyele Umoja, head of Georgia State University’s Black Studies department and co-founder of the Malcom X Grassroots Movement.  His work joins social, political, and cultural movements of today across the African Diaspora and continent. In this interview he discusses the long history of Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s solidarity work with Afro-Venezuelans, how the Bolivarian Revolution is a Black revolution, and how the government has taken great strides to help African people both in Venezuela and around the world. Dr. Umoja has traveled several times to Venezuela, including for the International Meeting on Reparations for African peoples which was held in Caracas in May 2018.

A very special thank you to Jonathan Chai-Chang Azterbaum, who did post-production for this episode, as well as part 1. If you missed part 1, where we cover the grassroots activist perspectives of the importance of the Bolivarian Revolution and elections in Venezuela, you can listen here.