A New Publication: On Autonomy and Food Sovereignty (A Photobook)

The Photobook

This Photobook questions the classical historical narratives told from the standpoint of states and their elites while proposing an alternative history from the perspective of the people. By the means of documentary photography and cross-disciplinary scientific research, this visual history dwells on the questions of autonomy, state domination, food production models, colonialism and capitalism. Drawing on the archaeological record and contemporary anthropological and historical research, the first three introductory sections talk about the history of writing, pre-state and non-state modes of subsistence, and the state model to highlight the need for an alternative history while deconstructing the narratives of linear and civilisational progress. These sections give way to the first part which dives into the region of this study’s history. Beginning with the post-Neolithic Subpluvial migrations of the hunter-gatherer and pastoralist communities from Western Sahel to the Atlas Mountains, this part sets forth a summarised history of the autonomous communities that dwelled in Western High Atlas Mountains and the Haouz Plain and how the establishment of Marrakech in the plain, as a centre of state authority, affected their endogenous political, social and economic structures and how some of them managed to resist its domination. The second part talks about colonialism and the introduction of capitalism to the region and how it affected agriculture in the Haouz and imposed an alien political and economic model upon society. The last part discusses the consequences of colonialism, the nation state model and the ramifications of capitalism on food production and the agrarian and pastoral communities’ traditional modes of subsistence, food sovereignty and autonomy.

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Elias TerrasAuthor posts

Independent researcher, photographer and filmmaker. He works on topics related to rural studies and food sovereignty.