We are writing this piece to address not only the apparent lack of accessible grocery stores and fresh produce options throughout Minneapolis, but also the systemic inequities that have created what many term a “food desert”. We hope our website provides information to all Minneapolis residents, both those already involved or seeking to be involved in food justice as well as those who desire to know more generally about their communities and where they can assist. In our project, we aim to address not only physical barriers, but also economic, social, and governmental ones that may not be immediately apparent. As Walidah Imarisha states in the introduction of Octavia’s Brood, “Whenever we try to envision a world without war, without violence, without prisons, without capitalism, we are engaging in speculative fiction. All organizing is science fiction” (3). Octavia’s Brood and the visionary fiction stories it contains have inspired us to research and outline what we believe food justice entails. It has also inspired us to highlight those who have already been doing the work to provide food, education, and resources in order to increase food accessibility, sustainability, and a better economic reality within the city of Minneapolis, as well as beyond. We use visionary fiction as defined as,
a term we developed to distinguish science fiction that has relevance toward building new, freer worlds from the mainstream strain of science fiction, which most often reinforces dominant narratives of power. Visionary fiction encompasses all of the fantastic, with the arc always bending toward justice. We believe this space is vital for any process of decolonization, because the decolonization of the imagination is the most dangerous and subversive form there is: for it is where all forms of decolonization are born. Once the imagination is unshackled, liberation is limitless. (Imarisha, 4)
Within our work, we hope to emphasize the need for decolonization as well as freedom from capitalism, neoliberalism, and the many institutionalized and systemic oppressions. Such oppressions work against (perceived) identities and groups and include, but are certainly not limited to, racism (especially anti-blackness), colorism, (dis)ableism, classism, sexism, heteronormativity, transphobia, fatphobia, islamophobia, xenophobia and anti-semitism. Both individuals and institutions may make assumptions and demonize persons and groups based on these oppressions, as well as ones connected to criminal/carceral status, ethnicity, geography and geographical location, educational status, citizenship status, and religion. These all serve as barriers to achieving food justice.
Although we cannot go into a deep analysis of each form of oppression and normalization within the confines of this given space, they are all part and parcel of each other, and resisting them all is integral to our project for liberation. Food justice, like all causes, cannot be achieved until we address ALL barriers. As Mia McKenzie writes in her book Black Girl Dangerous, “Justice for some but not for others isn’t really justice at all” (12). Though some may posit that this is not a possibility, we posit that visionary fiction finds its possibility and power in the spaces of hope and imagination. We have chosen to define what our hopes are with the intent that they may guide this and many other projects.
To read more work we have done surrounding resistance and food justice, please search the tag “resistance”