Manifesto

The manifesto has often been a rhetorical tool and device through which to situate the demands of a collective or individual.  Often co-written through processes of careful deliberation and thought, manifestos have been historically and contemporarily used by feminists in order to advocate for change.  These lists have proven invaluable to the defining and shaping of movements, especially during the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries.  Although we have many critiques of the radical white feminism particularly prevalent in the 1960s, it is also true that radical white feminists have often used the power of the manifesto to spread their messages, goals, projects, ideals, and beliefs.  Manifestos have often indoctrinated persons into political and social projects, as well as introduced persons to the importance of feminism(s) writ-large.  

In particular, the power of the manifesto has often been connected to its rethinking of temporality.  Manifestos provide a desire and outline of what should come, while also connecting such to the present.   They offer a way to rewrite histories within the present in order to create new and more just futures.  Sam McBean explores this concept of manifesto time, stating,

Manifestos have a tendency to be rapidly produced from urgency felt in the present as a way to shift what is considered an imaginable or possible future…In other words, manifestos are always linked to the present in which they are written.  The manifesto then does not have an uncomplicated relationship to futurity, as its version of futurity always attempts to rewrite narratives of history from a situated present. (112-113)

Although this concept of writing from a situated present is incredibly important, the challenge to linear time embedded within the manifesto also offers a broader political project that is constantly changing and being rewritten.  As such, though we have collectively written our manifesto intending for it to be as global and far-reaching as possible, we strive for its contents to shift with conditions over timespace.  The importance of this fluidity and ability to shift is explored in the piece of social justice science fiction Octavia’s Brood via the concept of emergence.  The authors explain that,

Emergence is the way complex systems and patterns emerge from a series of relatively simple interactions. Instead of linear, hierarchical, outcome-oriented strategies and strategic plans that can’t adapt to changing conditions, we need ways of strategizing together based on understanding and respecting change. (Due, 280)

We hope to constantly be working through states of emergence, and offer to you our manifesto with the hopes that it will inspire something similar within you.  Our manifesto does not end with punctuation marks, as we hope that it will continue to evolve and grow. We invite you to share, edit, and participate with us in this process. 

 

Our Food Justice Manifesto

  1. We want access to a healthy and sustaining diet for all
  2. We want all communities to have access to community gardens
  3. We want accessible and interactive education about food and nutrition for all age levels
  4. We want an end to the ties of capitalism with the dynamics of the food industry
  5. We want an end to food industry lobbying in government legislation and decisions
  6. We want increased rights, working conditions, and equitable wages for food producers around the globe; we want more subsidies for farmers, and an end to the buying out of small farms by large corporations; we want increased options for food bartering and cooperation between food farmers, producers, consumers, and community members
  7. We want transparency about where food comes from, as well as labeling regarding what is in it and under what conditions it is sourced and produced
  8. We want an assurance of timely and accessible transportation for all to a wide variety of grocery store options, including adequate space on such transportation for groceries (although we do intend to transform the concept of a “store)
  9. We want a provision of education about cooking, as well as access to the utensils and appliances to cook
  10. We want an end to the use of unsafe materials in food packaging, as well as limits on the amount of food packaging used (and for packaging to be compostable when it is)
  11. We want an end to food waste, and to require grocery stores to donate unsold produce for food shelves in the community; we want an end to the capitalistic influence in needing to sell only aesthetically appealing produce
  12. We want to increase funding for people and programs who are working towards concerns of equitable and accessible food justice
  13. We want and end to the continuous colonization of indigenous peoples through assimilation/oppression foods; we want for there to be work towards supporting (but not imposing) education about traditional and culturally significant foods; we want for there to be protection and economical/physical provision of access to traditional foods for the indigenous peoples of the United States if they so wish

 

Please check out the following video on some contemporary food justice activism by people of color that discusses slavery, immigration, colonization, the powers of reclamation, and critiques/proposals of potential government policies! https://youtu.be/ydZfSuz-Hu8