Keynotes Speakers

Annette Aurélie Desmarais

Annette Aurélie Desmarais is Canada Research Chair  in Human Rights, Social Justice and Food Sovereignty at the University of Manitoba. She is researching food sovereignty struggles in various countries while also helping to consolidate a network of researchers who are exploring various elements of food sovereignty theory and practice.  Annette is the author of  La Vía Campesina: Globalization and the Power of Peasants (2007) that has been published in French, Spanish, Korean, Italian and Portuguese. She also co-edited Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community (2010) and Food Sovereignty in Canada: Creating Just and Sustainable Food Systems (2011). Prior to obtaining her doctorate in Geography, Annette was a small-scale cattle and grain farmer in Canada for fourteen years.  She also worked as technical support to La Via Campesina for a decade and continues to conduct participatory research with some of the member organizations of this transnational agrarian movement. 

Paweł Starosta

He completed  his PhD in 1984. Since 1997  he is an associate professor at the Institute of Sociology, University of Lodz (Poland) and head of Department of Rural and Urban Sociology. His scientific interests are in local community study, social participation, social capital and globalisation. He is the author of the book “Beyond Metropolies” published in Polish and coauthor and editor of four other books. He made contributions to the Polish Edition of “Sociological Encyclopedia”. His recent publications include such articles as   “Civic Participation in Rural Europe”, Przeglad Sociologiczny nr 2/2010, Structure of Social Trust in Postindustrial Cities of Central and Eastern Europe ,Przegląd Socjologiczny 1/2015, ‘Trust, Helpfulness, Fairness and Economic Growth in Europe’( in Polish with Ewa Ambroziak and Jacek Sztaudynger) ‘Ekonomista’ 5/2016, and co-author of  book “Recourses of Human and Social Capital in Lodz Region’ University of Lodz, 2012.  He has cooperated in the field of sociology with many sociologists from Western and Eastern  Europe. He has participated in three research programmes financed by the EU within the 5th and the 6th Framework Programmes. Currently he coordinates an international research  project „Resurgence of Postindustrial Peripheral Cities’ financed by the National Science Centre in Poland.  Partners in this project are; University of Miscolc (Hungary), University of Sakarya (Turkey), Technological State University Ivanovo (Russia), University Oradea (Romania), Vilnius University (Lithuenia)  He is a member of the editorial board of  the oldest Polish sociological journal „Sociological Review”. In the years 2007- 2011 was elected as  Member of Executive Committee of the European Society for Rural Sociology. Currently  member of scientific   Research Board of  Committee 10 International Sociological Association.      

Jan Douwe van der Ploeg

Jan Douwe van der Ploeg is emeritus professor of rural sociology of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Currently he is related as adjunct professor in the sociology of agriculture to the College of Humanities and Development Studies of China Agricultural University in Beijing. His research covers agricultural sectors in both the Global North and the Global South and pays especially attention to the intertwinement of social and technical aspects of farming.

Patrick H. Mooney

Patrick H. Mooney is a native of the rural upper Midwestern United States. He received his BA and MA in Sociology from the University of Northern Iowa (1975, 1977) and his PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin (1985). He is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Kentucky, where he has worked for more than 30 years. His work has focused primarily on the political sociology of agriculture and food in the United States, though he has also written on similar issues regarding the Polish transition. More specifically his work focuses on social movements, agricultural cooperatives. Most recently he has been engaged in research on food (in)security and is currently beginning research on the role of religious organizations, beliefs, and practices associated with food and agriculture movements. 

Natalia V. Mamonova

Natalia V. Mamonova is an agrarian studies scholar originally from Russia and currently based in the Netherlands. Before pursuing an academic carrier, she worked as a journalist for the Russian National Television and as an activist at the Centre for Environmental Initiatives in Moscow. Natalia moved to the Netherlands in 2009 to obtain her MSc in International Management at Radboud University. In 2016, she received her PhD degree in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University. Her research is aimed at bridging the gap between post-socialist rural studies and critical agrarian scholarship. She analyses the contemporary processes in the post-Soviet countryside in the context of the global debates on land grabbing, neoliberal food regime, peasant resistance and food sovereignty. One of her single-authored articles (‘Resistance or adaptation? Ukrainian peasants’ responses to land grabbing’, 2015) received the Erasmus ‘Graduate School Award for PhD Excellence’ in the category ‘The Best Article 2015’. Natalia also co-authored an article on ‘quiet food sovereignty’ as food sovereignty without a movement in Russia. Besides academic publications, Natalia wrote several activist and popular articles, for publications such as FIAN’s ‘Right to Food and Nutrition Watch’ and ‘The Land’ magazine.

Lucas De Man

Knight Stijn is a 30-year old boy that returns to his native country after travelling around the world for 12 years. His parents were pig farmers, his brother has taken over the farm, he himself always wanted to be … a knight !
In his performance 
We, Pig Country’, Lucas De Man uses the pig and the pig world as a metaphor for our current changing world, and his quest for his own part in it. For this performance he did intensive research which included internships at different pigfarms for a month, and interviews with grain traders, bankers, members of farmers associations, veterinarians and agricultural workers.

Lucas De Man established Company New Heroes which creates art projects and urban actions in the public space. The projects and actions are initiated by the heroes themselves, or by an outside party, and always obey three rules: Create from necessity; connect through and with the project; and search for the right audience to every project.