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In the Land of Milk and Yogurt, We Don’t Want Coca-Cola”: Gandhi-Inspired Moral Ecologies of Rural Development in India, with Dr Georgina Drew

For the Food Values Research Group’s June seminar, we are pleased to welcome Dr Georgina Drew.

“In the Land of Milk and Yogurt, We Don’t Want Coca-Cola”: Gandhi-Inspired Moral Ecologies of Rural Development in India

Dr Georgina Drew, Anthropology and Development Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of Adelaide

The Coca-Cola insignia is omnipresent in contemporary India but so, too, are discourses critiquing the multinational company’s land and water use practices. This talk highlights the knowledge production and cognitive practices of rural Indians who successfully opposed a Coca-Cola bottling plant near agricultural lands during a decadal fight. Their claim that “In a land of milk and yogurt we don’t want Coca Cola” offers a condemnation to the land contamination and water theft that the company has allegedly caused while leading to an erosion of village products derived from milk and fruit. Of conceptual concern are the movement’s efforts to use Gandhian-inspired repertoires of resistance that frame rural water rights within a moral economy of rural development. The evidence offered to support this assertion includes the strategic use of semiotics and the careful deployment of discourses—such as slogans and protest songs—that produce knowledge about villagers’ rights to rural subsistence and survival.

 

Dr Georgina Drew is a senior lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Adelaide. Her work explores the cultural and religious politics of resource management, and the challenges of inclusive and culturally sensitive resource use She is the author of the book River Dialogues: Hindu Faith and the Political Ecology of Dams on the Sacred Ganga (University of Arizona Press, 2017).

When: Wednesday 6th of June, 12-1 PM

Where: Ira Raymond Room, Barr Smith Library, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide (click here for campus map)

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