The Vanishing Public Sphere: Eric Holt-Giménez Speaks at Community Land Trust Meeting (Video)

Eric Holt-Giménez | 04.21.2015

Eric Holt-Giménez speaks at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires held on March 21st in Great Barrington, Massachusetts as part of Food First’s 40th Anniversary Speaking Tour. 

Globalization has crippled our capacity to respond to poverty, hunger, and malnutrition by destroying much of the public sphere. This has meant more than the paring back of health, education, and welfare functions of government. The social networks within our communities have been weakened, exacerbating the violence, intensifying racial tensions, and deepening cultural divides. People are challenged to confront the problems of hunger, violence, the recession, and climate change in an environment in which social institutions have been restructured to serve global markets rather than local communities.

Notably, the food justice movement has stepped up—supported largely by the non-profit sector—to provide services and rebuild community agency in the face of the alarming dysfunction of our food system. Consciously or not, in many ways the community food movement, with its projects for a fair, sustainable, healthy food system is rebuilding our public sphere from the ground up. This is simply because it is impossible to do one without reconstructing the other.