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i WAS BEDEUTET BIO FR EUCH ? EXPLORING COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH ON A DEMETER FARM IN GERMANY BY LEE ELLEN REED A Thesis Submitted to the Division s of Social Science and Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requireme nts for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and German Studies Under the sponsorship of Professor Uzi Baram and Professor Wendy Sutherland Sarasota, Florida May 2009
ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost I would like to thank U zi Baram for reading this thesis time and time again giving me suggestions, and really making me think hard about what I was saying, and why I was saying it. He has always been there for me since my first week at New College. I truly believe that he is the most dedicated advisor that this school has an invaluable part of the New College faculty Glenn Cuomo and Wendy Sutherland I would like to thank for pushing me to succeed in furthering my skills in the German language. Maria Vesperi I would like to than k for always challenging her students to think critically and for her welcoming smile. Bob Johnson I would like to thank for being such an enthusiastic, intelligent, professor, who challenged me to reevaluate my view of the world through an engaging stud y of American History. New College in general is an amazing place. I have changed so much for the better by having gone to school here. I believe that I am truly a product of a New College education it is an orientation to the world that I will have with me for the rest of my life. I want to thank Krista Harper and Catherine Sands, as well. Krista went out on a limb and sponsored two independent study projects while I was at Umass. It was she who introduced me to photo voice, as well as Catherine Sands and her amazing Farm to School program. I would also like to thank all of the people who participated in the summer research in Herleshausen, especially Ina and Manfred. Ina and Manfred are incredibly hardworking, caring, passionate individuals. Of cour se, there are also my friends where would I be without them? They have been so important in my personal and intellectual development. I would especially like to extend my gratitude to Adele, who has been the most influential and inspirational person in my academic and social life since orientation week first year. She, Nina and Agne have been central figures this year, creating a stable home environment amid the chaos and stress of the thesis process and undergraduate life in general. I would also like to t hank Caleb for sitting down with me and reading over my entire thesis, word for word. And, although he will never read this, Alex G. for convincing me that I was smart enough to apply to New College. Thank you all... so much.
iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF IMAGES iii ABSTRACT iv CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER II: ANTHROPOLOGY AND COLLABORATION 11 CHAPTER III: THE PLACE AND THE PEOPLE 35 CHAPTER IV: EXPLORING "ORGANIC" ON A DEMETER FARM 47 CHAPTER V: ENGAGING IN COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH 74 ON GRTNERHOF IM ZIPFEL CHAPTER VI: DEMETER FARMING, RUDOLF STEINER 112 AND THEIR EFFECTS ON A WORLD VIEW CHAPTER VII: EXHIBITING POSTERS AND POST EXHIBIT 135 POLLING CHAPTER VIII: CONCLUSION 147 APPENDICES 153 BIBLIOGRAPHY 184
iv LIST OF IMAGES Image 1. Herleshausen, Germany. Next to the Werra River. Image 2. Herleshausen in relation to Eisenach and Eschwege Image 3. Entrance to the Hof Image 4. The first fields and the Hof Image 5. The Hof, second fields and barn Image 6. The first, second and third fields, and the Hof Image 7. Bio kuss Image 8. Superdickmann's Image 9. Recognized organizations of ecological agriculture in Germany Image 10. Ina and Manfred's kitchen Image 11. Lee Ellen selling vegetables in Eisenach Image 12. Cows and Corn "foo d" Image 13. Ina making rolls Image 14. Ute making marmalade Image 15. The kitchen in Unhausen Image 16. We work without genetic modification Image 17. An overhead view of the exhibit layout
v WAS BEDEUTET BIO FR EUCH ? EXPLORING COLLABORA TIVE RESEARCH ON A DEMETER FARM IN GERMANY Lee Ellen Reed New College of Florida, 2009 ABSTRACT This thesis explores the developing literature on collaboration by elucidatating the theoretical underpinnings of contemporary collaboration in anthro pology and by placing collaboration on a spectrum ultimately demonstrating the benefits of explicitly collaborative research within anthropology. The case study is ethnographic collaboration conducted on a Demeter certified, organic farm in Germany in the summer of 2008. Through photograph centered focus group conversations, participants (including myself) discussed issues broadly related to organic agriculture in Germany. The thesis itself focuses on two of the prominent themes which developed through the research: the contemporary ambiguity of the term "organic" (or "BIO" as it is called in Germany), and the contextualization of Bio Dynamic agriculture in the lives of the small farming community. Background on the development of Demeter farming and the pol itics of organic labeling in Germany allow a contextual view of those themes. The collaboration was brought to a public context through a multimedia exhibit held on the New College of Florida campus in November, 2008. Signature: Signature ___ _________ ___ ______________ ___ ___________________________ Uzi Baram Wendy Sutherland Division of Social Sciences Division of Humanities
1 CHAPTER I: AN INTRODUCTION Collaboration is a newly revitalized paradigm in anthropology, which is part of a larger atte mpt to address weak points of positivist approaches that dominated 20 th century social science, and academia in general. Luke Lassiter states that "collaboration with research subjects is today becoming one of the most important ethical, theoretical, and m ethodological issues in anthropology" (2005:x). As a whole, collaboration exists on a spectrum collaborative research on the same topic may be conducted differently, but may still be considered explicitly collaborative if the approach incorporates a set of five central principles, which I will expound upon in this chapter. There are many different methods of collaboration used within the context of contemporary anthropology. The one on which I will focus most of my discussion in this, and the following ch apters is "collaborative ethnography" primarily proposed and defined by Luke Lassiter (1998, 2005, 2008). However, I will also engage other approaches, such as Public Anthropology, Participatory Action Research and the particular method of "photo voice," w hich have a similar set of ethics as collaborative ethnography. In anthropology, Luke Lassiter is the most recognized and well published proponent of collaborative ethnography (1998, 2005, 2008). He presents collaborative ethnography as: an approach to e thnography that deliberately and explicitly emphasizes collaboration at every point in the ethnographic process, without veiling it from project conceptualization, to fieldwork, and, especially, through the writing process. Collaborative ethnography invite s commentary from our consultants and seeks to make that commentary overtly part of the
2 ethnographic text as it develops. In turn, this negotiation is reintegrated back into the fieldwork process itself. Importantly, the process yields texts that are co co nceived or co written with local communities of collaborators and consider multiple audiences outside the confines of academic discourse, including local constituencies. These texts can and often do include multiple authors; but not exclusively so. Collabo rative ethnography, then, is both a theoretical and a methodological approach for doing and writing ethnography (Lassiter 2005: 16). This thesis is an attempt to situate and elucidate collaboration within anthropology, and especially collaborative ethnog raphy as defined by Lassiter. I will be relying a great deal on his theoretical and methodological explanations of collaboration with the assumption that his intentional, explicit focus on collaboration is an ideal in contemporary anthropological research. According to Lassiter (1998, 2005, 2008), collaborative anthropological research, which includes participation of and conversation with traditional research subjects, is only recently becoming a central, and necessary component of anthropological resea rch and academia in general. Although perhaps not a complete paradigm shift, it and other similar (applied and activist) approaches, raise new questions in anthropology. These approaches relate to the publications in the 1980s, such as Marcus and Fisher 's "A Crisis of Representation in the Human Sciences," (1986), James Clifford's "Partial Truths" (1986a), and Renato Rosaldo's Culture and Truth: Remaking Social Analysis (1989). Collaborative ethnography focuses both on engagement of the subject population (in research and writing) as well as engagement with a wider public (both local, non local, professional, and non professional). Lassiter (2008) writes: we... must resist the temptation of academic solipsism and together build more deliberate opportunitie s for public engagement. A powerful way in which we can do so is through collaborative research. Such research and the partnerships on which it is based can press theory and practice
3 into service in ways more direct and immediate in our common search to ma ke a difference in our world, however small or large ( 2008:81). As a part of the outcome of his dissertation research, Lassiter wrote a collaborative ethnography with a group of Kiowa a tribe of Native Americans singers, and published it in 1998. As a y oung man, Lassiter was involved in, and had a talent for, Kiowa singing. He ended up joining a group of Kiowa singers in Oklahoma, although himself is not a Kiowa. He lived with this group of singers in the summers of his youth, and performed with them at ceremonial powwows. It was not until graduate study, when Lassiter had to decide upon a dissertation topic, that he chose to engage in ethnographic research with his friends and other members of their community. This experience led Lassiter to emphasize fr iendship and respect within the research context, especially since the majority of this Kiowa community had had distinctly negative experiences with other anthropologists prior to his arrival. In this collaboratively written ethnographic work, Lassiter se lf reflexively narrates the power of song for the Kiowa people in Oklahoma. Within this text, Lassiter focuses a great deal on problematizing and deconstructing accepted models of ethnographic fieldwork and writing practices as they existed in 1998. In lat er works (2005, 2008), Lassiter does not argue for an absolutist approach, although he states he may have done so when he was younger. He recognizes (2005) that full collaboration is not applicable in every research context, but does emphasize its "enormou s potential" as a methodology in contemporary anthropology (2005:xi). Explicit collaboration is powerful and effective for a number of reasons. One of the most potent is that it explicitly takes into consideration the value of non
4 professional' knowledge Lassiter was trained in anthropology, a discipline which does this. Indeed, this is what drew me to anthropology in the first place. There are many contemporary avenues of anthropology that explicitly incorporate these ideals in addition to collaborative ethnography (and other applied and activist approaches). Although such collaborative approaches are not specifically the panacea of anthropological approaches to research and writing, they are taking further steps towards addressing issues that were raise d in the "Crisis of Representation" in anthropology, a discussion instigated by Marcus and Fisher in the 1980s. I see such approaches as taking steps in a positive and critical direction further encouraging anthropologists to reflect upon, and redefine the ir roles as researchers, academics, and social actors. Not all anthropologists who attempt collaboration have to attain the collaborative ideal proposed by Lassiter. As Lassiter articulates fully in The Chicago Guide to Collaboration (2005), all ethnogra phic projects are individualistic. One cannot use a rigid template or a specified formula to engage in anthropological research. Different methods can be employed depending on the particular context, and individuals involved. Additionally, full collaborati on is not always applicable or possible in any given project, as I discovered through my own intentionally collaborative project (described below). It is up to the discretion of the researcher and project participants to figure out exactly what level and w hat type of collaboration will work. That being said, I amalgamated key elements from social scientific literature on collaboration (e.g. Foley and Valenzuela 2005, Lassiter 1998, 2005, 2008, Tedlock 2005, Tricket and Espino 2004, Wang 1997). Many anthrop ologists suggest that contemporary researchers should attempt to integrate these elements into their fieldwork and writing
5 projects (or at least keep focused on during the process of research and writing) if they are trying to be explicitly collaborative. Some of these elements may be stressed more or less than others situating the individual project on a spectrum of collaboration. The first three of these elements are already common in contemporary anthropology, the final two are not. If an anthropologist wants to engage in explicit collaborative research she should consider, and attempt to integrate: 1) Acknowledg ment of the existence of subjectivity, and the absence of positivist objectivity. She should recognize that although anthropologists are subjective actors, useful, engaging stories may still arise from anthropological research. 2) Recognition that there is not a dichotomy between research and life. The researcher should understand that she is a social actor herself, and when she engages in research she should attempt to explicitly and continuously negotiate her role with the research participants. 3) Engagement in critical self reflection and reflexivity at all stages of the research process. She should recognize that this reflection on herself and her in teractions with others will help her from making premature conclusions. She should recognize that this reflection will help readers of a text understand biases, and create a more realistic account of social interaction within the context of fieldwork. 4) Enga gement in dialogue with project participants about the research, and attempt to continue conversation after leaving the field. 5) Attempt to make the ideas of the project, and the theories she is using within the text, accessible to the project participants and non academics in general. Another, non central goal towards which collaborative researchers should strive, is extra disciplinary communication communication between academic disciplines. These are all elements which I will revisit many times in the t hesis. The following are examples of how an anthropologist have employed collaboration in a number of different ways:
6 The anthropologist could have a more or less directive role in the process. The participants may approach an anthropologist with a topic, or an anthropologist may approach a community with a research idea. The anthropologist and/or the participants may decide to engage in an explicitly activist project, or a non activist project. An anthropologist may employ different methods to collect data. She could use photo elicitation with photos that the participants took of their lives, or photographs that others took. He could use focus groups (more collaborative), or she could have one on one interviews, or both. He may give video cameras to pa rticipants in a community, and those participants may conduct interviews with people in their community. The duration of time may vary. Lassiter (1998) insists on generally creating projects with longer durations. However, differing constraints affect th e lengths of time that an anthropologist can be involved in any given research project. An anthropologist could spend a couple months actively collaborating, or an anthropologist could spend her whole life. The end results of the research may vary. Anthr opologists and participants may decide to create exhibits, co write a text or texts, create a documentary film, or an interactive, informative website. The writing process (or alternatively video, or website production) may be more or less collaborative. Participants could co write texts with an anthropologist, an anthropologist could write a text and allow participants to read and edit it, an anthropologist could write a text and merely attempt to share the ideas with some participants before the text is published. The goal would be to have participants involved as much as possible but as long as participants have been explicitly encouraged to engage in this level of collaboration, the project can be considered collaborative. Chapter Summaries In the next chapter of this thesis, I will provide a history of collaboration within the field of anthropology. I will provide rationale for employing collaboration in a globalizing world. However, I also point out in this chapter that collaboration is not void o f inconsistencies, and because of this I offer varied critiques of the approach. Ultimately, though, I explain that collaboration is a useful orientation to research which can be employed effectively, to varying degrees, in a wide range of research conte xts. I
7 emphasize in this chapter, as I do throughout this thesis, that collaboration exists on a spectrum. Based on the assumption that collaboration is a valid, useful methodology, I designed and implemented my own explicitly collaborative research proj ect, and use it in this thesis as a case study in collaboration. In the third chapter, before describing the project itself, I will introduce the people involved (whom I term "participants," rather than "informants" or "consultants"), and the setting in w hich the project took place (Herleshausen, Germany on a Demeter organic farm). The project has a multi layered aspect to it because the thesis entails two Areas of Concentration (AOCs): Anthropology and German Studies. Therefore, the thesis not only deta ils the collaborative aspects of this pilot study, but also two primary German themes which developed through the collaborative project: organic agriculture in Germany, and the role of Rudolf Steiner's philosophy on the world views of two German farmers. T hrough collaboration, I developed these themes with the project participants primarily during the summer, but also to an extent through the writing process. To provide a grounding for the project of this thesis, I introduce a hotly de b a ted topic in the f ourth chapter, one which I brought with me to Germany and explored with the project participants. This topic is the meaning of the word "organic," or BIO as it is known in Germany a focal point in the lives of the people who were involved in the research In the fourth chapter I look at this term (both in its relation to food, and other aspects of life), and explicate the complexity and ambiguity of it in a globalizing world. Using many insights offered by the project participants, I take a detailed look into the contemporary social scientific literature on organic agriculture and marketing in Europe,
8 with a particular focus on Germany. Rather than being a topic which explicitly deals with collaboration, BIO is a theme which radiated from collaboration. It ended up being the major focus of the project this summer, through a conscious, deliberate decision process with the farm's two owners. Germany is a particularly interesting case for following the organic movement. It has, as many recognize, the most ac tive Green party in the world, as well as a historically unique relationship with the environment, which arose out of a German romanticism (Pfaltzgraff et al. 1983:15). The fifth chapter is an explanation and analysis of my collaborative research project For two months in the summer of 2008, I engaged in this project on an organic, Demeter farm in Hessen, Germany. During this time, I worked as a voluntary farm laborer, as well as headed a collaborative photo ethnography with the project participants, wit hin which we expounded upon the conceptions of what BIO (organic) meant to us, and what we thought it meant to others. This chapter expands upon the descriptions of participants that I give in Chapter III and also the responses that participants had to a p ost participation survey I gave them before I returned to the United States. It is in this section of the thesis that I will simultaneously explain the project with collaborative methods (detailing my own subjectivity and critical self reflection and refle xivity), and clarify the project through the lens of collaboration, examining where it lies on the aforementioned spectrum. In the sixth chapter, I delve into Demeter agriculture and the role that Bio Dynamic farming and Anthroposophy have on the world views of two of the main participants in the summer project: Ina and Manfred, the farmers of G rtnerhof im Zipfel.
9 This chapter is the most collaborative of the themed chapters, in that I developed this particular theme based on post research email corres pondence with Manfred and Ina. Manfred chose the theme (I had originally suggested genetic modification), and he and Ina also responded to a host of follow up questions and written assumptions that I had about their relationship to Demeter and Anthroposop hy. Demeter is an interesting topic to investigate in relation to the chapter on BIO because Bio Dynamic farming provides the organic movement with much of its ideological basis Bio Dynamic agriculture was the first recognized form of intentional organic agriculture in the world, and is still being practiced world wide (Lockeretz 2007:14). The ideas of Rudolf Steiner the founder of Bio Dynamic farming are also most popular in Germany, which has a greater prevalence of Bio Dynamic farms than any other coun try (Demeter International website). Collaborative ethnography is closely connected with public anthropology. In an attempt to engage a specific public, and to facilitate extra disciplinary communication, I constructed a multimedia exhibit based on respon ses of project participants from the post participation survey that I create d. This exhibit allowed me to sample how well collaborative, multimedia exhibits can communicate ideas to an audience. In chapter VII, I detail the exhibit, as well as the response s to the exhibit, which I accumulated from a post exhibit, online survey taken by twenty three visitors. The exhibit took place over the course of three weeks in November, 2008, on the New College campus in Sarasota, Florida. This exhibit was another way o f collaborating and getting feedback on the project that I had just completed.
10 CHAPTER II: ANTHROPOLOGY AND COLLABORATION In this chapter I will be looking at collaboration through contemporary, cross disciplinary literature on the subject. In the int roduction, I listed five characteristics of explicitly collaborative projects, and in this chapter I will use this framework to look at the benefits of collaboration, and especially collaborative ethnography through the five elements I introduced in the fi rst chapter. Again, these elements revolve around 1) subjectivity 2) a spectrum instead of dichotomy in research, 3) critical self reflection and reflexivity, 4) dialogue and communication, and 5) accessibility. Then, I will address critiques of collaborat ion as a method, and give suggestions for improvement. Although explaining the benefits as well as the potential drawbacks of collaborative approaches, I ultimately contend that collaboration is a useful, versatile approach in contemporary anthropological research. An Introduction to Collaboration Although collaboration has developed considerably since the postmodernist critique of Anthropology in the 1980s, it is still an evolving idea. Some identify political movements of the 1960s as having a major in fluence in the development of contemporary collaboration. These movements brought about a consciousness that people, and especially disenfranchised people, had relatively little power in affecting the general processes governing their lives. Many people co uld not control how their personal information was used in academic research, or the further consequences of the research in politics or policy (Trickett and Espino 2004:4).
11 In the 1970s, across the social sciences, discourses of dialogic participation in research began to upsurge. The metaphor of collaboration developed in the 1980s, specifically replacing a dialogic metaphor in the realm of critical anthropology. According to Luke Lassiter (2008), collaboration did not gain a strong foothold at that poin t. Lassiter writes that, instead of replacing the concept of rapport, collaboration became another word for rapport; that is anthropologists thought of collaboration through the existing category of rapport, instead of conceiving of it as a category of its own. Relatively successful collaborative projects were not considered, and ultimately the focus on explicit collaboration was abandoned at the time (Lassiter 2005:93). Recently, Lassiter (1998, 2005, 2008) has been a leader in the creation of collaborati ve ethnographic projects that are pushing through the notion of what collaboration was considered to be, and in defining new territory (in particular, I am referring to The Power of Kiowa Song: A Collaborative Ethnography (1998) but also to The Chicago Gu ide to Collaboration (2005), and "Collaborative Ethnography and Public Anthropology" (2005)). These works, along with other suc c essful applied and activist approaches, have been influential in the development of collaborative approaches, and there is a rev italized interest in collaboration within contemporary anthropology. The interest in collaboration may in part stem from the fact that contemporary anthropologists and other social scientists are continually being faced with new challenges in field work. Paul Rabinow explains that these challenges present a "new set of emerging norms and expectations for fieldwork, for which collaboration is a key trope and transformative practice for the whole ethnographic enterprise" (in Lassiter 2005:94). Contemporary ethnographic fieldwork as it is commonly conceived of and put
12 into practice entails a strong element of collaboration as compared to a field such as medical science, or traditional psychology, in which there is a strict and explicit separation between a r esearcher and a subject. Collaborative ethnography systematically focuses on collaboration in both research and writing ethnography. This heavy emphasis on writing is particular to Lassiter, who contends that many contemporary ethnographers focus primarily on collaboration only while in the field: "Few ethnographers... have sought to extend the met a phor of dial o gue to its next logical step the collaborative reading and interpretation... of the very ethnographic text itself" (2005:3). Subjectivity In th is section, I will explain issues of subjectivity, how collaborative research addresses subjectivity, and how an acknowledgment of subjectivity can create more accurate and representative accounts of different cultures. In the past, anthropologists stud ied indigenous groups, peasants, and other relatively powerless people. An anthropologist went to a field site, lived with her subject population, took notes, interacted, participated in the cycle of engagement and disengagement, and then returned to her a cademic institution to write up an ethnography. The anthropologist took her data (notes, audio recording etc.), and made sense of it on her own. The problem with this methodology of field work was that the anthropologist seemed to be "taking something awa y, something essential that rightfully belongs to the subjects of the research, something that will now become the property of the researchers" (Trickett and Espino 2004:10).
13 In the earlier history of the discipline, a great emphasis was placed on the exp erience of the academic, something which has now been thoroughly critiqued in anthropology. When an anthropologist came back from "the field," he had a great deal of control over the representation that he then wrote up about the group of people he observe d Renato Rosaldo (1989) introduced the term "multiplex subjectivity" to describe how individuals exhibit many different subjectivities depending on their personal backgrounds. He also explained that these subjectivities in turn affect the way people perce ive the world (1989:168 195). Kirin Narayan took this concept and expanded upon it, explaining that everyone has a multiplex subjectivity, and that in any number of diverse circumstances, a person can tug on the different strings of her identity to fit in or stand out in a given context (Narayan 1993:671 686). Both Rosaldo and Narayan wrote these works in a period of time wherein anthropologists were being vocally critical of the discipline a period labeled "The Critique," or alternatively, the "Crisis of R epresentation" (Marcus and Fisher 1986). Narayan (1993) explains, that when anthropologists do fieldwork they "enact hybridity" (1993:671 686). This means that they all have had individual experiences that will shape the way that they engage with other pe ople, and the way that they interpret the world. Narayan states that all anthropologists should and many do take explicit responsibility for their own subjective position, and the theories that they are postulating in their texts. Even if an anthropologist does not feel that she has a hybrid identity, she is at least hybrid in the sense that she lives in both the professional researcher role, as well as the personal subject role.
14 Narayan and Rosaldo are not explicitly collaborative ethnographers. However, their critiques have been employed by collaborative, applied, activist and critical anthropologists to approach research and writing in anthropology. Collaborative ethnography, for example, explicitly takes subjectivity into consideration and actively eng ages "consultants" (instead of "informants") in reflective conversations. These conversations are used by the anthropologist to empower the consultants, as well as to keep her subjective experiences of events or interpretations of quotes in check. Accordin g to Lassiter, the way that a fully collaborative ethnographer approaches the writing process of ethnography is to have consultants read, comment on, and be able to change the ethnographic text before it is published. This is clearly a reflection of the re cognition of subjective experience. Distrusting and Deconstructing the Dichotomy of Research and Life Related to subjectivity, Narayan points out that every person has a multiplex identity multiple strands of identity that he or she can pull on in any n umber of given situations. For example, a professional, middle class, white female lawyer in a group of professional, upper class, white male lawyers is simultaneously an insider and an outsider. She can tug on her string of identity as white, or as a lawy er, or her string of identity as a woman, or as middle class. The insider/outsider dichotomy is thus too simplistic, and it continues to dissolve in anthropology because many anthropologists recognize that people can be simultaneously insiders and outsider s. Kirin Narayan uses the following quote from Stuart Hall's description of "cultural identities," explaining that his argument can be extended to personal identities:
15 Cultural identities come from somewhere, have histories. But like everything which is historical, they [identities] undergo constant trans formation. Far from being eternally fixed in some essentialised past, they are subject to the continuous "play" of history, culture, and power. Far from being grounded in a mere "recovery" of the past, which is waiting to be found, and which, when found, will secure our sense of ourselves into eternity, identities are the names we give to the different ways we are positioned by, and position ourselves within, the narratives of the past (Hall 2006 :435) Instead of reducing complex issues to dichotomies such as the insider/outsider dichotomy of fieldwork people should be willing to understand multiple dimensions (Greenwood and Levin 2005: 52), as exemplified in Rosaldo's concept of multiplex subjectivity. Problems in the world do not get delivered in "neat disciplinary packages"; they are much more complicated than binaries (2005:52). As Rosaldo (1989) states: The Lone Ethnographer's guiding fiction of cultural compartments has crumbled. So called natives do not 'inhabit a world fully separate from the one ethnographers 'live in.' Few people simply remain in their place these days. When people play 'ethnographers and natives,' it is ever more difficult to predict who will put on the loincloth and who will p ick up the pencil and paper. More people are doing both, and more so called natives are among the ethnographer's readers, at times appreciative and at times vocally critical (1989:45). An anthropologist both affects and is affected by the people that she studies. These actors (ethnographer and subject) are "engaging each other creatively, producing the new phenomenon of Self and Other, becoming interdependent of Self and Other, sometimes challenging, sometimes accommodating one another" (Lassiter 2005:92) As Richardson and Adams St. Pierre point out, "The ethnographic life is not separable from the Self. Who we are and what we can be what we can study, how we can write about that which we study are tied to how a knowledge system disciplines itself and its members and its methods for claiming authority over both the subject matter and its
16 members" (Richardson and Adams St. Pierre 2005: 965). Collaborative ethnography explicitly confronts this the dichotomy of research against life. "New" ethnographers are uncomfortable with the dichotomy of Self and Other that was a trope of anthropology since its beginning. Lila Abu Lughod (1990a) explains that, "By working with the assumptions of difference in sameness... of a self that participates in multiple identific ations, and an other that is also partially the self, we might be moving beyond the impasse of the fixed self/other or subject/object divide" (1990a:25 26,27). Although not a new practice per se, by constantly reflecting upon their own subjectivity, collab orative researchers in particular are actively attempting to break down these dichotomies, encouraging collaborative relationships with consultants. Critical Self Reflexivity at all Stages of the Research and Writing Process When an ethnographer writes an ethnographic text, she is engaging her Self in the writing process. An author may see some elements of the ethnography as objective, because from her perspective and personal experience, what she is writing seems unquestionable. Not only might this not be the case, but also pointing out this subjective personal history to the reader is useful not as a method to ground authority in experience, but to question authority through a concise recognition of biases and motivations. It is, however, impor t ant to f ind a balance between talking about oneself and talking about the people with whom one worked. Many ethnographers are quite conscious of subjectivity, and engage in critical self reflexivity during research and in writing. However, when they do not, and when they ground their authority primarily in experience, Lassiter contends:
17 Whether consciously crafted by the author or not, the use of... experience solely as a rhetorical device sends a powerful message to most readers: 'I'm an insider -one of them. I know what I'm talking about because I know what they know. My voice need not be validated or challenged.' For consultant readers the message is all too clear: 'My expert voice is more important than yours' (Lassiter 1998:9). The late 20 th century post modernist critique of ethnography may have already peaked, but the movement itself left anthropology with important and useful lessons which many anthropologists have integrated into their fieldwork and writing practices. Critical self reflexivity is an es pecially important concept of post modernist anthropology, a concept which has been fully integrated into collaborative ethnography. As Richardson and Adams St. Pierre (2005) note, "Writing is always partial, local, and situational... our selves are always present no matter how hard we try to suppress them but only partially present because in our writing we repress parts of our selves as well" (2005:962). Critical self reflexivity creates a more realistic account of social interaction, because, in expos ing her personal history and motivations, the author becomes more palpable as an individual personality. The author is not framed as an external third party, but is holistically integrated into the ethnographic story. Another useful lesson of late 20 th cen tury Postmodernism, and one which has been integrated into contemporary anthropology, was its effective critique of positivism; there are no objective observers. Thus, it makes sense to integrate the researcher into, instead of disassociate the researcher from the written text. As sociologists Denzin and Lincoln (2005) state: The use of quantitative, positivist methods and assumptions has been rejected by a new generation of qualitative researchers who are attached to post structural and/or postmodern sensi bilities. These researchers argue that positivist methods are but one way of telling stories about
18 societies or social worlds. These methods may be no better or no worse than any other methods; they just tell different kinds of stories (Denzin and Lincoln, 2005: 13) Luke Lassiter (1998) accounts his own experience of critical self reflexivity. Stating explicitly his own goals in doing research, and writing an ethnography was "the most honest (and least presumptuous) way I could talk about the understandi ngs that I sought to elaborate what others told me about their experience as I shared mine with them" (1998:223). Many of the people with whom Lassiter lived, worked, and sang had had distinctly negative experiences with anthropologists in the past. Beca use of this, he worked together with members of the Kiowa community to deconstruct and re negotiate the role of ethnographer; to explore with, and be directed by his "consultants" (instead of his "subjects" or "informants"): One of my consultants pointedl y noted that of all the anthropologists who had come and gone studying them none had turned the tables and studied themselves... This consultant appreciated being informed. This comment convinced me that my story is important, if only because it addresses my consultants' interests and answers questions that have surfaced in our conversations with and about each other. The way I see it, my consultants have the right to know who I am and what I am about as I seek to learn the same from them. Such exchange li es at the heart of dialogue and collaboration (1998:223). Communication Anthropologists work with informants, but the common practice has come a long way in terms of collaboration. For example, often people will point out that Franz Boas collaborated clo sely with his key informant, George Hunt during his research on the
1 9 Kwakwaka'wakw people. Briggs and Bauman (1999) point out, however, that there were obvious and "powerful asymmetries" in the relationship that existed between Boas, Hunt and the Kwakwaka'w akw (1999:480). For example, they state that Boas played a crucial role in determining what would be rendered as 'laws and stories,' the form and content of the corpus, the discursive frames in which it would be placed, and what sorts of authority would a ccrue to the texts" (1999:480). This example points to the complexities of the term collaboration. Lassiter (2005) focuses in particular on collaborative writing with his consultants. He explains that few anthropologists actively encourage informants to g et involved in the writing process. This process of involvement includes letting people respond to drafts of writing, and then including or integrating responses from informants into the texts (2005:3). This engagement in post research dialogue is one of the most important aspects of collaborative ethnography for Lassiter. Lassiter (1998) insists that the most meaningful questions about his collaborative projects came about through relationships with his informants, or who he calls "consultants." The con versations and experiences that he had with his consultants on an informal level (before he was a researcher, he was friends with many consultants) led to narratives, and through these narratives he recognized a lack of "intersubjective, phenomenological, and experiential discussions... in all ethnographic literature" (1998:7). Instead of mirroring realistic human relationships, Lassiter writes that many ethnographies tend to use "academically positioned logic that, for the most part, yields patterned, dist anced, and normalized stories" (1998:7). He contends that these stories are primarily of use to other anthropologists, do not serve society at large, and may restrict
20 cultures to an ethnographic present defining them in such a way that it seems as if the c ulture is static and unchanging. Since this book was published in 1998, there has been a continual surge in applied and activist approaches that are actively taking this critique into consideration. Collaboration in projects should create relatively long term working relationships between researchers and project participants. This would lead to a sustained interaction between local and academic sources of knowledge, leading to a multi dimensional result. In collaborative projects, the community should in t heory be better able to use the information produced through collaboration because it should be more relevant to their lives. Sustained interaction has the potential to increase a sense of mutual ownership for the participants in the project. This sense of mutual ownership should, in theory, lead to increased engagement, and increased engagement should lead to a richer and more developed project. In some collaborative projects, the research project itself is also useful for communities because in order f or the research to be completed, researchers hire members of the community group to help carry out research activities, which can bring revenue into the community (Trickett and Espino 2004:7). However, it is important to keep in mind that many anthropologi cal projects which are not explicitly collaborative also produce results that are useful to the communities in which the research was conducted. Lassiter (2008) identifies that collaborative research is challenging. It cannot be an in and out process; it requires a fair amount of negotiation between collaborators, as well as between the anthropologist and the academic institution through which the
21 project is being completed. Both ethnographers and project participants have their own ideas of what they want from an ethnographic project. He explains that negotiating the wants, needs, and preconceptions of these parties is one of the biggest challenges in collaborative endeavors (2008:75). He follows that, in order for collaborative ethnographic projects to wo rk: both ethnographer(s) and consultant(s) must be willing to make concessions so they can work together in the first place... they must also be willing to open themselves up to a dynamic knowledge exchange, to stick it out, and to discover in their work t ogether emergent counderstandings, cointerpretations, and coinscriptions (which will always include points of disagreement) (2008:76) Accessibility Foley and Valenzuela (2005) ask, "How can academics possibly serve the people they write about if their subjects cannot understand what they write?" These authors focus on a better, clearer writing style in particular being "absolutely critical for creating a kind of linguistic reciprocity between the research subjects and the researcher." If academics wish to write useful stories, they have to push beyond "the pedantic, technical discourse of their disciplines" (Foley and Valenzuela 2005:224). Michael Edwards mirrors this statement, bringing up, "The barriers created by jargon, language, literacy, price, ava ilability and method create a situation where people are denied access to the information which is supposed to concern them" (Edwards 1989:123). Research projects and publications should be more physically accessible and understandable by non academics, an d project participants themselves. The ideals of collaboration specifically focus on these issues.
22 Trickettt and Espino (2004), although problematizing the concept of collaboration as an umbrella term, insist that collaboration can be useful in the creati on of knowledge that is more valid than the knowledge generated through conventional methods of academic research (2004:34). "Ideologically, collaboration rests on the premise that knowledge is power. When that knowledge is generated in collaboration with citizens it becomes a resource for them to use to better their own community" (2004:7). "Public anthropology" is another emergent corollary to the contemporary movement towards collaboration. Collaborative projects are converging with engaged public anthr opology, which also focus a great deal on this issue of accessibility. Lassiter (2005) situates collaborative ethnography in the center of this "newly emergent and publicly engaged trajectory" (2005:73). Both approaches, along with other applied and activi st anthropologies attempt to apply anthropology in a socially beneficial, and immediate manner; they focus on producing results (texts or exhibits) that are more accessible to non anthropologists (Lassiter 2005:94). Tedlock defines public ethnography a s: ...the type of research and writing that directly engages with the critical social issues of our time, including such topics as health and healing, human rights, and cultural survival, environmentalism, violence, equality, justice, and peace. Authors o f such works passionately inscribe, translate, and perform their research in order to present it to the general public. They also use the observation of their own participation to understand and artistically portray the pleasures and sorrows of daily life at home as well as in many out of the way places. In so doing, they emotionally engage, educate, and move the public to action... Public ethnography... is both a theory and a practice. It straddles the domain of lived experience and recollected memory of t ime spent interacting in the field, on one hand, with time spent alone in reflection, interpretation, and analysis, on the other (2005:473). The objectives of collaborative ethnography are slightly varied from public
23 anthropology involving less solitary r eflection, interpretation, and analysis. However, their goals are in line with one another, and they can benefit each other in their approaches to research and writing. In this thesis, I combined applicable elements from collaborative ethnography, public a nthropology and photo voice to create, carry out, and exhibit a collaborative research project on an organic farm in Germany. Although collaboration in research will be presented in this thesis as offering anthropology new relevance and possibilities, I a m cognizant of its critiques, and the many different types of efforts of collaboration in anthropology. In the next section, I will point out, and address some of these issues and possibilities. Critiquing Collaboration Greenwood and Levin are activist a nthropologists, who argue for a reform of the social sciences through Action Research an activist approach to collaboration (2005). Greenwood and Levin explain that there are many critiques to collaborative and activist approaches, specifically addressing one related to scientific validity:' Because of the dominance of positivistic frameworks and episteme in the organization of the conventional social sciences, our view automatically is heard as a retreat from the scientific method into 'activism.' To hard line interpretivists, we are seen as so epistemologically naive as not to understand that it is impossible to commit ourselves to any course of action on the basis of any kind of social research, since all knowledge is contingent and positional the ultima te form of self justifying inaction. The operating assumptions in the conventional social sciences are that greater relevance and engagement automatically involves a loss of scientific validity or a loss of courage in the face of the yawning abyss of endle ss subjectivity (2005:53). These contentions necessarily raise larger questions, such as (1) What is valid knowledge? And (2) Does sharing power in research decisions compromise the value of
24 products of research? The former would be the case if one requ ires "scientific rigor" to be a "sine qua non of valid information" (Trickett and Espino 2004:9). If one defines scientific rigor as emphasizing quantitative or deductive analysis, then indeed collaboration is not scientifically rigorous. However, this do es not mean that it is not scientific. Explicit collaboration is still attempting to increase general understanding, but does so in a way that emphasizes ethical treatment of participants over the need to prove or disprove specific hypotheses, as does much of contemporary anthropological research. In relation to the latter question, sharing power in research decisions should increase the value of research products, rather than decrease them. This is so because the products of research in collaboration inc lude the attempt to describe reality in the most inter subjective way possible: through multi vocality. The answer is not to disassemble academia. Just as collaboration exists on a spectrum, the different types of knowledge produced do as well. A more sc ientifically rigorous approach is appropriate for knowledge which is quantitative, and limited in its generalizability. It is important to identify when it is appropriate to use what kinds of methods qualitative or quantitative to produce what kinds of kno wledge. It is also important to always be critical of accepted procedures in the collection of knowledge, and always be open to different and more ethical ways of getting results. Another critique of collaboration comes from Cooke and Kothari (2001), w ho critique participation and collaboration as a "new tyranny" in research. In Participation: The New Tyranny. Cooke and Kothari (2001) state that collaboration does not achieve the goals that its proponents claim it can, and in fact reinforces what propon ents claim it
25 can eradicate: conventional power relationships. Many collaborative approaches, such as Participatory Action Research, engage in projects with members of disenfranchised groups. This might be seen by the researcher as an activist form of rese arch. She may be attempting to empower rather than objectify people who have been objectified and exploited in the past. However, approaching research in this way is also problematic. Diane Nelson an activist anthropologist partially mirrors Cooke and Kot hari's concern. She writes that when Western, white researchers enter a historically disenfranchised context with the pretense of helping people they are in some ways discounting the agency of the local population. Either with words or without, the anthrop ologist explicitly states through this action that her positioning is a form of the "paternalism of first world benevolence" (Nelson 1999:70). Nelson, however, also has a potential answer to this notion for those who wish to become anthropological activis ts: Acknowledging that none of these identities are solid or a historical may also help us to think beyond the responding white guilt genre (without of course merely heaving a sigh of relief and going on with business as usual). This is vital because the self flagellation of the 'mea culpa move' deeply reinscribes the power of white North Americans and the powerlessness of everyone else. The critiques of power essential to fluidarity must go beyond these simple binaries... to only condemn Western society a s repressive runs the risk of muting heterogeneities within both sites and bolsters the Western versus third world contrast that underpins the very power relations that anti colonial studies seek to destabilize... However, although we must be aware of the paternalism of first world benevolence, we also need activism, as well as strategies of writing that flow from self consciousness of, and political resistance to, the privilege that makes that benevolence possible (1999:69 70) Nelson's approach to this type of ethnography, however, also implicitly critiques collaborative ethnography. This critique is useful in addressing the issue of "friendship" and personal relations within collaborative research. In Nelson's conception of fieldwork,
26 she emphasizes rec ognition of the relation of power, while still establishing rapport. This recognition emerges through maintenance of tension and discomfort in fieldwork. Nelson explains that she thinks tension and discomfort are crucial sources of critical self reflection ethical sensibilities, and political affiliations. Nelson remains skeptical of attempts to "level these differences" through claims of collaboration or solidarity because, for her, ethnographic research is defined by "inherent inequality" or the asymmetr y between ethnographer and subject that is constituted in the foundational anthropological division between research and life. Nelson thus insists that a "truly collaborative project may be an unobtainable ideal," not in order to discourage such activity b ut indeed to move discomfort and asymmetry to the center of a "larger and necessary process of social repositioning, redefining, and reworking of historical power relationships" (Nelson 1999:48). Although I find much of the rest of her activist approac h effective and applicable, I do not agree with Nelson's stance that discomfort and tension must be maintained to do accurate, ethical, self reflexive anthropological work. Conflict can, indeed, lead to a "creative integration among the needs of those invo lved" (Trickett and Espino 2004:35). However, non conflictive, or minimally conflictive projects such as Luke Lassiter's collaborative ethnography, The Power of Kiowa Song can still be valid. Merely because a friendship develops does not mean that the rese arch should be discounted. The power relationship between an anthropologist and an informant or participant should be recognized, critiqued, and analyzed by the anthropologist and the project participants (through critical self reflection, reflexivity and an acknowledgment of subjectivity). To say that the tension must be maintained is to create a false dichotomy
27 between research and life instead of focusing on the nuanced and individualistic nature of the relationship between an anthropologist and project participants Lassiter (1998) pronounces that the most meaningful questions and answers about Kiowa song emerged through his established friendships. Complicated narratives developed through the combination of friendship, dialogue, and collaborative exper ience. Lassiter himself does not mention much conflict within his ethnography. This may be because it was an ethnography that was collaboratively edited and revised by his consultants. It could be that an element of conflict was edited out. He does mentio n the conflict that he had with his consultants as he discussed engaging in an anthropological project with them. Many were initially opposed to the idea because they, as well as their ancestors and recently deceased family members, had had negative and ex ploitative relationships with anthropologists in the past. In my own research, described in the chapters to come, I identify with these experiences of Lassiter. As Lassiter, I also had a preexisting relationship with many of the project participants. Thi s heightened, I believe, my emphasis on negotiation. There was a certain tension because of my role as a researcher. But, through collaboration, I attempted to lessen the tension and resolve conflicts as I would have done outside of the research context. In collaborative projects, as in all research projects, there is a question of, "To whom is the researcher accountable, and for what?" (Trickett and Espino 2004:60). In The Vulnerable Observer Ruth Behar states: Our intellectual mission is deeply paradox ical: get the 'native point of view,' pero por favor without actually 'going native.' Our methodology, defined by the oxymoron 'participant observation,' is split at the root: act as a participant, but don't forget to keep your eyes open. Lay down in the
28 m ud in Columbia. Put your arms around Omaira Sanchez [the girl trapped, dying in the aftermath of a mudslide]. But when the grant money runs out, or the summer vacation is over, please stand up, dust yourself off, go to your desk, and write down what you sa w and heard. Relate it to something you've read by Marx, Weber, Gramsci, or Geertz and you're on your way to doing anthropology (1997:5). Although to an extent integrated into contemporary anthropology, this issue is still important to reflect upon it co mes into play when considering the personal relationships that researchers have to negotiate in the field. Is the researcher ultimately focused on the community, or her academic discipline when completing collaborative projects? Researchers have to balance objectives of their particular employment or funding agency with the needs of the community in which they are doing work. Long term projects may be more helpful for the community, but may not receive support from a funding agency. As Lassiter explains: collaborative research struggles within and against a multitude of simultaneous and often conflicting motives. It is often, for instance, an academically based project, one that requires, on the part of the ethnographer(s), balancing the demands of produc ing relevant knowledge (and, for academic practitioners, all that goes with it, including the demands to 'publish or perish') with the desire to do applied research, to 'make a difference' in local communities (Lassiter 2008:76). In any type of research project, a researcher affects the research situation, and also the people whom she is researching. However, in explicitly collaborative ethnography projects, researchers are encouraged to intentionally reflect upon their influences on the collaborative pro cess. Although Trickett and Espino (2004) personally engage in collaborative projects, they clarify that in interdisciplinary collaboration "there is, at present, more theology than conclusion, more dogma than data, about the varied claims for what collab oration
29 can accomplish" (2004:62). There is a great need for examples of collaborative projects, and examinations of how the projects can help communities what collaborative projects are good for (2004:62). Some have tried to categorize different types o f collaborative projects by looking at the degree to which the community involved has a role in the process of participation. The authors identify this as a useful guideline for the assessment of projects. They explain that by recognizing the extent to whi ch a researcher is collaborating with her research participants, it will be easier for readers and other academics to assess "the relationship between collaboration rhetoric and collaboration reality" (2004:14). Conclusion: Collaboration's Place in Con temporary Anthropology In the first five sections of this chapter, I reviewed the benefits of collaborative approaches through the five principles that I introduced in the first chapter. Again, these revolve around (1) subjectivity, (2 ) dichotomies of re search and life, (3) critical self reflection and reflexivity (4) dialogue and communication, and (5) accessibility. I discussed in each section how applying collaborative approaches addresses and can potentially reduce unresolved issues. Anthropology as a whole seems to be moving in a more socially connected, relevant, and reformist direction, and collaboration is a particularly interesting way to approach and continue this development. An academic must not decide whether to collaborate or not, but the degree to which she can collaborate. Collaboration exists on a spectrum. Anthropologists do not have to give up "theorizing"; there should still be standards, there should still be a
30 concern and an interest in exploring the range of human variation. Allow ing for a strong element of collaboration does not mean a retreat into total relativism. Anthropologists should have many research and writing options at their disposal. In the sixth section of this chapter, I addressed some unresolved issues within col laboration, but ultimately concluded that explicitly collaborative approaches have much to offer contemporary anthropology. I contend that explicit collaboration is a goal towards which anthropologists can strive. It has the potential of making the jump be tween academic and applied anthropology that much smaller; of creating a dialogue, and coming to conclusions about pragmatic action. There are steps that anthropologists can take in order to integrate more collaboration within their own research projects from letting consultants or participants read their texts before they are published, to more actively reflecting on their own subjectivity in research and wri ting. T his is not an easy process; the more collaboration, the greater the time commitment and per sonal commitment required from a researcher and project participants. I think that the more explicitly collaborative projects there are completed, and the more engagement with the topic of collaboration there is in anthropology, the more legitimate it will become as a viable option for anthropologists. However, again, it is not always an applicable approach to be fully collaborative. Sometimes full collaboration is inconvenient and unimportant for participants themselves. The importance is, however, that re searchers attempt to collaborate as much as they can or as much is appropriate to the context. Collaboration in anthropology is still developing. This thesis is to a certain extent addressing a relative lack in literature on explicit collaboration. Luke L assiter's
31 contribution to the field of collaborative ethnography is to demonstrate the extent to which collaborative ethnography can be effectively used within anthropology. Lassiter's framework of collaboration, as well as those of several other collabora tive approaches, led me to design and carry out my own collaborative pilot project on an organic farm in Germany in the summer of 2008. This project, which I will explain in the chapters to come, was useful in order to gain a detailed view inside collabora tive research. It provided me with a strong basis from which to understand and critique collaboration as a viable research option. In the spectrum of collaboration, the research was fully collaborative in its intentional approach to collecting data. The whole project was less collaborative in its approach to setting up an exhibit (Chapter VII) and writing about discussed themes (Chapters IV, and VI), because of a lower amount of accessibility, and discussion during the writing process. In the following sh ort chapter, I will introduce the people involved in the research project and the locale(s) in which the project took place. I do so in order to give the reader orientation for the fourth chapter, which is an exploration of the term organic ( BIO ) in German y.
32 CHAPTER III: THE PLACE AND THE PEOPLE Before delving into the first, orienting theme of the project BIO it is important to introduce the reader to the people who were involved in, as well as the location(s) of the project. In this short chap ter, I describe the participants using relatively traditional bases those of kinship, social identity, and level of education beginning with the most involved participants, and ending with the least. These descriptions were amalgamated from various convers ations I had with participants in the summer of 2008. Participants did not have a chance to read, edit or expand upon these particular descriptions of their identity. It is possible that, if questioned now, they might choose to construct their identities d ifferently. Full collaboration in this project was not possible, for reasons that I will expound upon later on in the thesis. However, the recognition of the level to which they collaborated in each part of the research and writing process is an essential element of the collaborative endeavor. The Participants Manfred and Ina the owners of G rtnerhof im Zipfel are husband and wife, married in 2000. They moved into their Herleshausen homestead in 1998, shortly after having their first child, Melena. Since then, they have had three other children: Malte, born in 2000, Jonte in 2003, and Linus in 2005. Ina grew up in the neighboring village of Unhausen on her parents' organic farm, which is still active. Manfred did a Praktikum 1 on this farm as a young man, a nd this is where Ina and he met. Both Ina and Manfred 1 Praktikum: internship
33 graduated from Gymnasium (level 1 high school), but neither went to college. Ina and Manfred, both born in 1969, have settled into what they describe as traditional roles for their genders. Manfred do es most of the farm work (sometimes working as much as 12 hours a day), and thus creates most of the income for the family. Ina has a more domestic role, in which she takes care of their children, cooks, and cleans all activities that she enjoys, but that, as for many people, are sometimes a cause of stress. Sometimes, Ina also engages in farm work, an activity which she enjoys. I asked Ina what role tradition played in her life, and she wrote: Ich denke wir leben teilweise sehr traditionell, anderer Seit e sehr untraditionell. Teils beabsichtigt, teils gezwungenerma§en, teils unbewusst. Die Geschlechterrollen sind in uns erer F amilie noch sehr traditionell besorgt. Mann trifft Hauptentscheidungen bezglich des Betriebs (und) regelt die Maschinenarbeit. Frau regelt hauptschlich Haushalt und Kinder. (Wir) leben mit christlicher Tradition, aber sehr offen. I think that we live in part quite traditionally, and in part quite untraditionally. This is partially by intention, partially by necessity, and partly unc onscious. The gender roles are still very traditional in our family. The man makes the most important decisions regarding the business, and manages the machine work. The woman mostly takes care of the household and the children. We live in the Christian tr adition, but very openly. In terms of kinship, there is a place in Ina and Manfred's family for "woofers." Woofers are individuals who have used the organization "World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms" (WWOOF) to find a farm on which they can live an d work in exchange for room and board. WWOOF is a popular world wide program. In my high school alone, five of about two hundred seniors engaged in WWOOF programs immediately after graduating traveling to New Zealand, Ireland, France, and California, among other destinations.
34 Although not necessarily regularly (but sometimes frequently), woofers drop in to help for either a couple of days en route to somewhere else, or for several months. The woofers eat meals with the family, live in the house or bake hou se, as well as help with both domestic tasks (cooking, cleaning etc.), and farm work (weeding, planting, harvesting etc.). Teo, a woofer, was born in 1988, and is an eco construction worker (which means that he uses "natural" building materials) whose pri mary residence was in Bretagne, France at the time that this project was completed. Teo did not graduate high school because he did not feel he was getting very much out of it. Instead, influenced by his father also a construction worker who works with "al ternative" (old, or non conventional) materials Teo engaged in many paid internships over the course of about three years, also working for his father. At the time of the project, he was traveling around Europe in his small car (equipped with a bed), using WWOOF to locate farms on which he could live and work. Teo defines himself as "alternative" and an activist, especially on the battlefront of Genetic Modification, and "government manipulation." He had been on G rtnerhof im Zipfel for a month when I arriv ed, and he stayed until right before I departed. Ute is Ina's sister in law. She is married to Ina's brother, and is the mother of two boys. The family lives on Ina's parents' farm in Unhausen. Although I am not sure of her age, I think that Ute is a litt le older than Ina and Manfred. Like Manfred, Ute came into the family through a Praktikum 2 on the Tr ll's farm. Unlike Manfred, Ute went to college for agronomy, living in Burkima Faso, among other places. With a college education, Ute handles many non lab or intensive tasks on the farm (ambiguous, because 2 Praktikum: internship
35 I do not have a clear grasp of them myself), as well as cooks and sells jam made from fruits grown on the farm (gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, currants, cherries etc.). She shares th e tasks of cooking and cleaning for the entire family with Ina's mother. Like Ina, she also enjoys cooking, but sometimes sees cooking for others as stressful and frustrating, especially if people are not appreciative of the food. Harald is Ina's cousin, and lives on the other side of Herleshausen, near McDonald's and the supermarket Rewe. He resides by himself in a two story house, and works independently as an inventor of various products. He went to college as a young man for economics at the Universit t Bonn Harald did not grow up in a farming family, and is not currently involved in farming, although he does have a small garden in his backyard. Less "alternative" than many other participants in terms of the way he lives his life, Harald focused much o f his commentary during the project on the concept of "compromise": reaching a compromise between many elements in life (e.g. nature vs. humans, sustainability vs. non sustainability, progress vs. conservation). Anna is Manfred's sister, and is married to Felix. They live in an intentional village of about 400 people, called Heckenbeck, which is located near Bad Gandersheim. They have a well managed, relatively new, two story house, and three children. Felix went to a university to become a music teacher, but then decided that that was not the right profession for him, and now works for a friend handling stocks through his personal computer. I am not positive whether Anna went to a university. I am also not positive exactly how old they are, but I am fairly sure that Felix is in his 30s, and that Anna is in her 40s, and a few years older than Manfred. In terms of social identity, the two seem to view themselves as relatively "alternative" in comparison to mainstream
36 German culture as do most of the people in volved in this project. Nora was a woofer from Germany who was on the farm for about three days, and participated in the project by taking pictures and by being present at one of the focus group discussions. At the time, she was in her mid 20s, pregnant, and traveling around Germany with the baby's father (her boyfriend or husband, I am not sure). They were stopping in Herleshausen en route to help build a straw bail house somewhere in Germany. Nora graduated from high school, and attended a year or two of college, but decided that it was not right for her, and told me that she would probably not go back. Hilmar was a close neighbor of Ina and Manfred's when I visited in 2005. He was married at the time with three kids, but got divorced sometime between m y visit in 2005 and 2008, and moved up the road, on the outskirts of the village. At the moment he works for his family's Ger stbau 3 business. He and Manfred are still good friends, and spend social time together. Hilmar is a little younger than Manfred. H e graduated from a university in East Germany in the (early) 1990s. In the rest of the thesis, I will also be providing quotes from "Josefine" and "George," which are pseudonyms for two other people involved in the project. These people indicated that I c ould use their words and their ideas, but that they did not want to be identified beyond pseudonyms, or described. This group of people was, to an extent, a community. However, it is difficult to place exactly what can be defined as a "community" what th e parameters of community are. It depends on whether the people consider themselves to be a community. If the parameters of community include residing within walking distance of each other, then only Manfred, Ina, Teo (during the summer), and Harald could be 3 Ger stbau : scaffolding
37 grouped together. If the parameters of community are defined on the personal, regular connection between and among the individuals, I would say that, during the summer, all members of the group except Nora, Josefine and George were members of this commu nity. It is very difficult for me to generalize and indicate whether this is a typical collection of people on an organic farm because this is the only organic farm in Germany that I have worked on. Without experience elsewhere, I cannot justify making ana logies or cross farm comparisons. The ethnographic research took place over the course of two months, mostly centered on the farm G rtnerhof im Zipfel. However, since members of the group did not all live on the farm, discussions also dealt with other loc ales notably Unhausen (the village in which Ina grew up, where her parents' farm is located, and where Ute, Ina's sister in law, currently lives), Heckenbeck (Anna and Felix live in this intentional village with their three small children), and other parts of Herleshausen (Harald, Ina's cousin, lives on the other side of Herleshausen near Rewe and McDonald's, which Manfred and others sarcastically call "McDoff" 4 ). The Place: Herleshausen, Hessen, Deutschland Herleshausen is a municipality in the Werra Mei§ner Kreis in the province of Hessen, Germany (see Image 1). The village of approximately 3,000 residents is nestled almost directly in the middle of Germany, literally on the old West and East divide. Before the fall of the Deutsche Demokratische Repu blik 5 in 1989, border patrol guards 4 McDoff: Mc Stupid 5 Deutsche Demokrati sche Republik: German Democratic Republic
38 were stationed on the banks of the Werra River, which is a five minute walk from G rtnerhof im Zipfel. Image 1: Herleshausen, Germany. Next to the Werra River (Credit: Google Earth) Herleshausen is auf dem Land ," 6 according to Manfred, one of the farm's owners. The nearest city is Eisenach; it is located in the former East, about twelve kilometers to the south, and with a population of about 43,000. Eisenach is well known for having been the place where Joha nn Sebastian Bach was born and lived. It is also the city where Martin Luther lived as a child, was given sanctuary by Frederick the Wise (in the Wartburg Castle), and where he translated the New Testament into German. The streets in Eisenach are a mixtur e between pavement and cobble stone. In its center there are many small hills and shops. The next nearest city to Herleshausen is Eschwege, which is located about twenty two kilometers north, and has a population of about 20,000. Ina and Manfred, the farme rs of G rtnerhof im Zipfel, sell their produce in both 6 Auf dem Land: in the countryside
39 cities at weekly farmers' markets (see Image 2). Image 2: Herleshausen in relation to Eisenach and Eschwege (Credit. Google Earth) Although a small municipality, Herleshausen has all the essential amenities for its residents a pharmacy, bike shop, butcher, baker, flower shop, restaurant, convenience store (the chain, "Schlecker"), crafts/clothing shop, Getr nkemarkt 7 supermarket (the chain, "Rewe"), McDonald's, and an elementary school. There is on e main street running through the town that features 17th century style houses; some of which are actually from this time period and some of which are modeled after this style. These houses are usually more than one story; white/off white with dark, wooden beams criss 7 Getr nkemarkt : beverage store
40 crossing within large, meter wide wooden squares on the fa ade. Behind the houses on the main street on the western side there is a panoramic view of farmland surrounded by the large rolling hills of the valley in which Herleshausen is situate d. Down one of the cobble stone side streets in the center of town, there is a house that looks older than most of the others. It belongs to Ina and Manfred, and is the home base for G rtnerhof im Zipfel Partly hidden between two well kept buildings, th e first thing I noticed when I arrived at the farm in 2008 was the Ger st the scaffolds that extend up to the second level of an opened structure (see Image 3). During the summer, a bright yellow Anh nger 8 was positioned in a nook between the neighbor's ho use, a cement wall, and a tree, with the caption G rtnerhof im Zipfel: regional, frisch kologisch ." 9 During the market season this is where Manfred kept the trailer. During the off season, the trailer stays in the barn. Image 3: Entrance to the Hof (Ph otographed by Manfred) 8 Anh nger : Trailer 9 regional, frisch kologisch: r egional, fresh, ecological
41 The actual entrance to the Hof 10 and house is about three meters across. The Hof itself is rather large cobble stoned, with numerous, green plants growing up between the cracks in the rocks. When I stood in the center of the Hof the barn surrounded me (behind, left, and right) and the house door was directly in front. Behind me, there was a small "farm shop" (part of the barn) with glass windows, and no door. A cabinet inside serves as a pantry, housing eggs (from Ina's parents), and dried goods (such as pasta, rice, or crackers). The house was probably built in the 1600s. Over the centuries there have been additions and alterations, but the basic structure has stayed the same. Ina and Manfred were working on an addition to the house when I was there in the summer of 2008, using similar building materials as those with which the house was originally constructed (clay, mud, un fired bricks, and wood). Manfred and Teo were the ones who primarily worked in the Baustelle ." 11 The colors of this house are not as bright as those of the houses to the left and right. Manfred told me that this, in combination with a perceived "unkempt" appearance, seems to bother some surrounding neighbors; however, it does not bother him or Ina. Manfred said he thinks this is related to an over emphasis on cleanliness in Germany: "I think in Germany that it's too much. It's not bad of course, when you put the trash into a bucket... (but) when you don't do it... the people say, 'Hey! I'm getting the police man !'" 12 Ina and Manfred have three sizable fields hosting a wide variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables (lettuce, peas, beans, kohlrabi, broccoli, egg plant, tomatoes, radishes, parsley, thyme, peppers, squash, zucchini, pumpkin, carrots, onions, etc.). Th e fields are 10 Hof: courtyard 11 Baustelle: construction site 12 Quote originall y in English
42 spread apart, but all are off of the same road behind their house. It takes about 30 seconds to bike ride (the vehicle of choice) to the first field, another 30 seconds to reach the second, and another three minutes or so to reach the third (s ee images 4, 5 and 6). The fields are sandwiched among slices of conventional farm fields of monoculture grains. This situation is not ideal for Manfred and Ina because of (1) the possibility of chemical leeching, (2) the effects of negative energy from th e conventional crops (see Chapter VI on Demeter), (3) the lack of biodiversity, and (4) the destruction of animal habitats, among other reasons. Image 4: The first fields and the Hof ( Cred it: Google Earth)
43 Image 5: The Hof second fields, and barn (Credit: Google Earth) Image 6: The first, second and third fields, and the Hof (Credit: Google Earth)
44 CHAPTER IV: EXPLORING "ORGANIC" ON A DEMETER FARM Before going to the farm, I had a strongly developed idea that, since it was an o rganic farm, the participants and I would in some way address the subject of food in our lives. Ultimately, we did end up focusing on the meaning of BIO (organic) in our lives. However, this topic was not forced upon participants, and was the result of a g reat deal of negotiation. In this chapter, I will explore the complexity of BIO using the information gleaned from focus groups during the summer of 2008, along with a review of literature on the subject. This chapter is not an attempt to summarize how participants thought about BIO and how this is informed by their world view, but rather to integrate their commentary into an analysis of BIO that I began before going to Germany. Because of this, the chapter is organized in a relatively standard, structu red way. I took conscious steps to employ collaboration as much as I could while writing by contacting some participants through email. However, because of logical constraints (distance and participant involvement), full collaboration through the writing p rocess was not an option in this project. The project is thus not the collaborative ideal of Luke Lassiter's, but exists on the spectrum of collaboration. By writing this chapter on BIO I am taking explicit recognition of my initial subjective interes t in the concept of "organic" in relation to food. On my application for the Institutional Review Board (see Appendix C), I explained that food was an initial focus of the project. However, I also explained that I wanted to allow participants to
45 influence the focus of the project. Throughout the summer, I encouraged participants to come up with other topics besides food that they found to be more salient to their lives. As a researcher, I recognize that my initial interest shaped the project in many ways. Because the topic of organic interested me greatly, I most likely directed much of our discussions during the summer around the concept of food. At the same time, organic agriculture is a focus of the lives of many of the participants. I knew this before going to the farm, and we actively discussed this before delving into the research process. This chapter is an analysis of the concept of "organic" constructed through collaborative conversations; and a review of the literature on organic agriculture i n Europe. Unfortunately, participants were not able to comment on this chapter before its appearance in this thesis because of a limitation in conversation. Still, by addressing the theme of organic throughout the summer with participants, and through the use of many direct quotes, this chapter approaches the writing process more collaboratively than does traditional anthropology. Globalizing Organic? Image 7: Bio kuss: 16 kleine appetitliche Mini Schaumksse mit knackiger Zartbitterschokolade in de r 125g Frischebox." (photographed by Ute)
46 Ute took the above picture (Image 7) to demonstrate how convoluted, and ambiguous the term BIO (organic) has become. Josefine explained that, "in the beginnings of the BIO idea in Germany it was very strict. When natural foods shops started to sell products with sugar there was much discussion about that should it be allowed or not?" Bio kuss 13 is a certified organic marshmallow cookie covered in a crispy layer of chocolate its most prevalent ingredient is glycos e syrup. Bio kuss is marketed as an organic alternative to a conventional, popular European cookie. In Germany, this cookie was called Negerkuss 14 and Mohrenkopf 15 until the 1980s, when the names were banned in West Germany for being explicitly racist (see Image 8). Now the cookie is called Schokokuss 16 and is primarily marketed by the Dickmann corporation. Image 8: Superdickmanns "...die Echten in der Frischebox" (credit: http://germanfood shop.com/Dickmann.jpg ) Bio kuss is marketed by Linea Natura. It is certified BIO nach EG ko 13 Biokuss: organic kiss 14 Negerkuss: negro kiss 15 Mohrenkopf: moor head 16 Schokokuss: chocolate kiss
47 Verordnung" in Germany. But how exactly is it BIO ? The ingredients, it turns out are very similar to its conventional form ( Superdickmanns ) the only real diffe rence is that there is an asterisk by most of the Biokuss ingredients which demarcate them as coming from kolandbau. 17 The ingredients are as follows: Superdickmanns : Glukose Fruktose Sirup, Schokolade 23% (Zucker, Kakaobutter, Kakaomasse, Vollmilchpulver magerer Kakao, Emulgator Sojalecithin, Aroma), Waffel (Weizenmehl, Zucker, l, pflanzlich, Weizenst rke, Eigelbpulver, Sahnepulver, Salz, Aroma, Backtriebmittel, Natriumhydrocarbonat), Hhnerei Trockeneiwei§, Feuchthaltemittel Sorbit, Aroma: Glucose fru ctose syrup, chocolate 23% (sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, whole milk powder, low fat cocoa, emulsifier soy lecithin, aroma), waffel (wheat flour, sugar, plant oil, wheat starch, egg yolk powder, cream powder, salt, aroma, baking agent: sodium hydrocarbo nate), dried egg white, wetting agent: sorbate, aroma Biokuss: Glucosessirup*, Schokolade 35% (Rohrzucker*, Kakaomasse*, Kakaobutter*, Emulgator: Sojalecithine*), Waffel (Weizenmehl*, pflanzliches l, Emulgator: Sojalecithine*; Backtriebmittel: Natriumhy drogencarbonat), Hhnerei Trockeneiwei§*, Geliermittel: Agar Agar; Bourbon Vanille* Glucose syrup*, chocolate 35%, (raw sugar*, cocoa mass*, cocoa butter*, emulsifer: soy lecithin*), waffel (wheat flour*, plant oil, emulsifier: soy lecithin*, baking agent: sodium hydrocarbonate*), dried egg white*, gelling agent: agar; bourbon vanilla* Cocoa, sugarcane, agar, and vanilla are not made in Germany; they are all produced in tropical climates in countries that may have different certification criteria for org anic than does Germany. The ingredients have to be shipped by land, sea, or air from all over the world to a production and packaging facility located in Werther, Germany. There, the Bioschaumksse are manufactured on large machines, packaged two fold in plastic and cardboard, then shipped (again by land, sea, or air) all over Germany. The 17 kolandbau: Ecological farming
48 production of Bio kuss is not small, not local, and not sustainable but it is certified BIO So, what exactly does BIO mean? On Grtnerhof im Zipfel in the summer of 2008, project participants and I explored what role the term BIO played in our lives. Through a review of the literature within the discourse of alternative agriculture in Europe, as well as through conversations with project participants, we determined th at BIO exists on a spectrum. It is a complex, somewhat taken for granted term that does not necessarily demarcate the approach that a practitioner has to agriculture, and thus does not inform consumers of a particular set of values or even practices that w ent into the production of their foodstuffs. Even within a group of people with relatively simialr ideas about BIO (as stated by Ina), conceptions differed. For Anna, BIO means nat rlich, nicht kompliziert, Schadstoff arm oder frei, sauber, friedlich." 18 Josefine said, "When I think about BIO I think in the first place about natural food without poison ad chemicals. I think about sustainability." Felix stated, BIO ist halt ein Lebensgef hl." 19 For Teo, BIO means the existence of biodiversity. In contras t, Nora expressed: "Also, ich denke, es ist einfach ein Regelweg Da sind einfach Gesetze, die Mindesstandards festlegen, und man kann sich diesen Mindesstandards ganz sehr ann hren und ganz an die Grenze gehen..." 20 Within the academic discourse of alter native agriculture in Europe, the meaning of BIO is also contested. Some support organic agriculture in its entirety; others point to a set of contradictions between what BIO should be, and how some businesses are 18 natural, not complicated, free of harmful materials, clean, peaceful ." 19 BIO is an attitude towards li fe ." 20 Well, I think it's just a set of rules. There are just simply these laws that set minimum standards, and people can either work very close to these standards, or push them to their borders ."
49 actually practicing it. There is currently a wide range of practitioners of BIO agriculture in Germany, Europe, and world wide. Some adhere strongly to a conception of BIO as it existed in the early 1980s: a Lebensgefhl a way to live life. Others jump through loopholes in the organic certificati on process simply to be stamped with a label that will sell more of their goods to a wider consumer base (Rigby and Bown 2003). Anna stated that these big businesses (e.g Linea Natura), sie sich einige L cher finden, noch mehr Geld zu verdienen. 21 However although the practices of large "conventional" corporations manufacturing organic products may contradict what many view as the ideological basis of organic, they do not run counter to established regulations of BIO and thus technically are BIO So, aga in, what exactly does this term mean? In this chapter, I explore the contemporary complexities of organic agriculture in Germany, using information that arose out of my collaborative ethnographic research, as well as that obtained from contemporary liter ature on alternative agriculture in Europe. I explain that, in a globalizing world, the definition of BIO has evolved from its original conception to a complex mix of Lebensgefhl 22 and a concrete, regulatable practices. I elucidate the history of the term, and the spectrum of current meanings that it has for practitioners and consumers (from BIO as a way to approach life to BIO as a capitalist, profit maximizing endeavor) through the following areas of contention within the current alternative food discours e: locality, scale, sustainability, and certification. 21 "are finding some holes in the system in order to make more money." 22 Lebensgefhl: way to live life
50 A History of BIO "/"Organic" The beginning of the development of ecological agriculture in Germany can be tied to a Lebensreform Bewegung 23 at the end of the 19 th century. [Diese Bewegung] wandte sich gegen Urbanisierung und Industrialisierung in der 'modernen' Welt. Ziel war Rckkehr zu einer 'naturgem§en Lebensweise', die u. a. folgende Aspekte umfasste: Vegetarismus und Ernhrungsreform; Naturheilkunde und Krperkultur; Siedlung, Schrebergrten und Gartenstdte; sowie Tier Natur und Heimatschutz. This movement turned against urbanization and industrialization in the 'modern' world. The goal was a return to a 'natural mode of life,' that, among other things, would encompass the following asp ects: vegetarianism and nutrition reform; natural medicine and fitness training; settlement, allotment gardens and garden cities; as well as the protection of animals, nature and homeland. Out of this reform, there came, in the 1920s and 1930s, an agricu ltural system called Natrlicher Landbau ." 24 The main proponents of this movement were Walter Rudolf who published the magazine "Bebauet die Erde" (Cultivate the Earth") and Erwald Knemann who compiled the work, Biologische Bodenkultur und Dngewirtscha ft (1939). 25 In Germany the primary influences for contemporary organic agriculture are biologisch dynamisch or Bio dynamisch 26 and organisch biologisch 27 agriculture. Both of these influences developed in the early 20 th century. Bio dynamisch, a concept developed by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s (now regulated by the Demeter organization), was the first form of intentional kologischer Landbau 28 Although not terribly 23 Lebensreform Bewegung: life reform movement 24 Natrlicher Landbau: natural farming 25 "Biological Natural Resources and Fertilization Economy" 26 Bio dynamisch: Bio Dynamic 27 Organisch biologisch: organic biol ogical 28 kologischer Landbau : ecological agriculture
51 influential on a country wide scale, Bio dynamisch farming provided the BIO movement with m uch of its ideological basis (Haccius and Luenzer 2000:10); although it is in some ways quite divergent from organic. It is also relevant to my summer research, because G rtnerhof im Zipfel was certified by Demeter. Steiner founded Anthroposophie in 192 4. During that year, he held eight lectures on the theme "Geisteswissenschaftliche Grundlagen zum Gedeihen der Landwirtschaft" 29 in Gut Koberwitz, a village near Breslau (Willer et al. 2002:2). The foundation of what came to be called Bio Dynamic farming ca me out of an enhanced recognition of the connections between nature and human thought (ideas which were very connected to Steiner's spiritual philosophy, Anthroposophy). Steiner taught that a farm should be thought of as a living organism (Willer et al. 20 02, Lachman 2007, Wilson 1985 ) I will explain much more about Bio dynamisch near the end of this chapter, as well as in Chapter VI. In the 1960s, and 1970s in West Germany the negative environmental effects of industrialized farming (such as soil erosio n, habitat and eco system destruction, chemical leaching etc.) were recognized by many citizens, which led to the beginnings of the BIO movement (Haccius and Luenzer 2000:3). In 1972, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) w as founded. In the 1980s, the concept of BIO started to develop more rapidly (Michelson 2001). Rahmenrichtlinien 30 for BIO agriculture were defined in 1984 by the German government, and in 1988, the ArbeitsGemeinschaft kologischer Landbau 31 (AG L) an umbrel la association for 29 Translated into English as The Spiritual Foundation of Farming 30 Rahmenrichtlinien : Common, basic standards 31 Association for Organic Farming
52 producer organizations in Germany was founded (Haccius and Luenzer 2000:111). Willer et al. (2002) explain that the situation was different for the former East Germany: In den neuen Bundeslndern hat sich die kologisch bewirtschafte te Flche nach der Wiedervereinigung 1990 rasch ausgeweitet. Dort war es besonders schwierig, die Vermarktung aufzubauen, da man in der ehemaligen DDR Bio Produkte gar nicht kannte (2002:4) In the new states the ecologically farmed lands expanded rapidly after the reunification in 1990. It was especially difficult to build up the marketing of BIO products there because BIO was completely un known in the former GDR The expansion of BIO agriculture, and the increasing appearance of BIO products thereafter, can be attributed to these developments, and also to financial support from the state, originating from the EU's "extensification programme" in 1989, and thereafter from EU Regulation 2078/92. There was an explosive growth of organic agriculture in Europe between 1990 and 2000. Thereafter, the boom leveled off and, currently, certified organic agriculture constitutes approximately 3.4% of the total agricultural land utilized in the EU, 5.1% of arable land in Germany, and is as high as 26.4% in Lichtenstei n (Willer and Yussefi 2006:131). In 2002, Germany had the biggest market for Bio groceries in Europe (26% of all BIO groceries) (Willer et al. 2003:9). The distribution of organic farms in contemporary Germany varies by region. Willer et al. (2003) expla in that the highest concentration of ecologically managed land is in south Germany. In 2002, Bayern had the highest area of farmland in the country (116,163 Hectares, with about 4,232 biologically managed Hectares). The highest number of Bio farms (605, or 12% of all farms) was in Mecklenburg Vorpommen. The highest percentage of Bio hectares in all usable
53 agricultural lands was in Brandenburg (8.3% of all usable agricultural lands is ecologically managed) (Willer et al. 2003:8) "Organic" won the battle of language early on, in that it was defined as the opposite to "conventional" agricultural practices (Goodman 2004); conventional practices being those considered mainstream, standardized, globalized and placeless (Sonnino 2007). This conception continues to linger in the view of many consumers and practitioners, although it is not necessarily legitimate. Because the practice of BIO exists on a spectrum, it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict what the stamped label BIO EG actually means when one see s it on product packaging in a supermarket (see Image 9). Image 9: Recognized Organizations of Ecological Agriculture in Germany (Credit: http://www.lifeguide berlin.de ) Anna explained that there was once an einfache 32 BIO : Als es so anfing in Deutschland also in den 80ern, als es nur um K rner ging. Ja und nicht um .... auch um Fastgut... fertig Pizzen oder so was da gab's ja nicht. Es hat sich auch noch mal 32 Einfach: simple
54 ver ndert." 33 Felix went on to elaborate what he saw as the differences between BIO on a supermarket shelf and "real" BIO He explains that BIO EG is not very different from conventional because of elements such as world wide transportation, unethical treatment of animals, and a lack of trust between produc er and consumer. Felix stated: Also BIO im Supermarkt ist ja EG Bionormzertifikat. Das bedeutet vielleicht im besten Fall dass bestimmte Dngemittel nicht eingesetzt worden sind. Und das hei§t... eine bessere Qualitt als jetzt zu viele Pestizide und was w ei§ ich nicht alles. Aber es ist nicht zu vergleichen. Man hat trotzdem die langen Transportwege der Nahrungsmitteln und man hat trotzdem Massentierhaltung aber dann eben ohne vielleicht bestimmte Futtermittel. Also... ich denke, es macht keinen gro§en Un terschied zu Konventionell. Also man kann es nicht wissen. Man wei§ nicht, wie viel Betrug dabei ist. Man kann es nicht kontrollieren und BIO fr mich ist was jetzt, wenn ich wei§, wo es angebaut ist, oder wer das macht. Das hat auch noch was wie Vertrauen sverhltnis dabei. Also... das eine ist unpersnlich im Supermarkt zu kaufen... Ja! Da fehlt auch so bisschen das Biogefhl. [Ich finde], dass BIO, was Persnliches ist. Und ob man daran berhaupt interessiert ist die Sachen zusammenhngen... ich glaub' auch nicht, dass es irgendwie verordnet werden kann. Oder das es... Ich meine es ist jetzt eine Modewelle gewesen und Wellness" und BIO" und Gesundheit". Ich komme mir auch mittlerweile schon albern vor, wenn ich im Supermarkt die Biosachen kaufen woll e... einfach nur BIO E.G" drauf steht. Ja, das ist das ein, und ich glaube auch ich verasche mich auch selber damit, ne? Also ich bilde mir halt ein, dass das vielleicht hoffentlich gesunder ist, als das andere Produkt, weil das ist schon gar nichts ein g ro§er Unterschied. Also es wird auch viel mit Angst gearbeitet, glaube ich Angst vor diesen Spritzmittel. BIO in the supermarket is just an "E.G." certification of organic standards. That means perhaps in the best case that certain fertilizers are not bei ng used. That means... a better quality than when they use too many pesticides and who knows what else. But there is really no comparison. You still have the long distance transport of the foodstuffs and you still have factory farming just maybe without ce rtain specified feeds. So, I think it really isn't that big of a difference compared to conventional farming. You just can't know. You don't know how much 33 "When it began in Germany. So, in th e 80s when it was still mostly about grains. Yeah and not... about fast food frozen pizzas and things like that weren't around. It's definitely changed."
55 deception is going on. You can't check on it. And BIO for me is when I know where it's being grown, o r who is producing it. It has a lot to do with a relationship of trust. One is impersonal to buy things in the supermarket... yeah! It's missing the BIO feeling somehow I think that BIO is something personal, and whether someone is interested or not, the things are related... I also don't think that it really can be regulated... I mean, it it's becoming a fad: "wellness" and "BIO" and "health" and all that. In the meantime, I look pretty foolish when I want to buy organic food in the supermarket, when the only thing on the cover is BIO EG. When BIO EG is the only thing on the cover. Yeah, that's the first thing, and I think also that I'm just kidding myself with this stuff. I mean, I really am imagining that maybe it's a little more healthy than the ot her product because there's really not that big of a difference... I mean they really do work with fear here, I think fear of these chemical sprays. Why BIO ? Most early participants in organic agriculture, and especially Demeter, considered the pra ctice of organic agriculture to be at its root a way to live life, a relationship with nature, and a divergence from the conventional (Holt and Reed 2006:299, Michelson 2001); as Felix described it, ein Lebensgefhl ." 34 Although the supply and demand of th e organic market in the 1980s was motivated by this ideology, and some people still think of organic as a "spiritual connection with our environment, and the only means to sustain the productivity and aesthetics of the environment for future generations," researchers have found that the majority of contemporary urban consumers in Europe do not conceive of organic agriculture as related to, or purchase organic products because of these ideological reasons (Holt and Reed 2006:299). So why are consumers buyin g BIO? 34 "A way to live life"
56 Reasons for the consumption of organic food which is steadily increasing worldwide are very complex, but seem to reflect a practice based organic (e.g. no pesticides), more than organic based on original values (e.g. sustainability). Research by Harper and Makatouni (2002) shows that the purchase of organic products most frequently stems from concerns for personal health and well being. Generally, those who buy organic also perceive it to be "natural" and to taste better than conventional food Other considerations range from concerns for animal welfare to ethical trading practices (2002). Most contemporary, urban European consumers seem to buy organic because they conceive it to be pesticide free, and thus safer. It also seems to still be conn ected to an ethical consumerism, ideologically, despite its increasing use by large scale conventional enterprises (2002). Felix expressed that BIO has become a fad in a way: Ich meine es ist jetzt eine Modewelle gewesen und Wellness und Bio und Ge sundheit .'" 35 Ina also gave some perspective into what she thinks is happening with organic in supermarkets, versus organic found at local farmers' markets: [The farmers' market is] very special, and I think that there are special people coming. But, the m ain stream of the people, or the mainstream of the organic buyers -I would say -I think they would go to the supermarket... But, I think that it's [unconscious]... They just do it because they go to the supermarket, and now there's BIO and you get it easy and it looks perfect. I think only the people who think a little bit more about where does the food come from, and [who] want it from the original surrounding, they maybe go to the market and go to an old man and buy [it]. He's only selling a few things. .. eggs, potatoes, vegetables, sometimes jam. It's getting more, but if you go to the supermarket, you have every thing. It's much easier. 36 35 "I think it's become fashionable Wellness and BIO and Health and all that" 36 Quote originally in English
57 There are still many people who conceive of BIO as a way of life, and do not merely buy it, or produce it because it's a Modewelle 37 Until the 1990s, organic farmers in Europe were primarily small scale, and locally distributing -like Grtnerhof im Zipfel and Familie Trll (the relatives of the farmers on Grtnerhof im Zipfel who run a farm up the road). This connect ion to locality stuck in the minds of many consumers (Rigby and Bown 2003). Grtnerhof im Zipfel and Familie Trll are examples of two farms in Germany that are living and working similar to the original conception of BIO Grtnerhof im Zipfel focuses on s mall scale vegetable production, whereas Familie Trll is somewhat larger with livestock, grain, fruit, and potatoes. To both of the families, BIO seems to be a way of living life, rather than only a set of regulations that they must abide by to get certif ied. Familie Trll converted to BIO agricultural production from conventional production in the early 1980s, before BIO was governmentally regulated and supported, and before it was a Modewelle to do so. Ina grew up on this farm, and started her own Demete r organic farm, G rtnerhof im Zipfel with her soon to be husband, Manfred, in the late 1990s. Although there are still many small scale, BIO farms in Germany such as these, large scale conventional actors have also begun to move in and take over many asp ects of production, as reflected on the shelves of many supermarkets, but also in Biol den ( BIO stores). These conventional actors ship products over increasingly further distances, thus BIO seems to be continually diverging from the ideals of locality, an d sustainability, and further into ambiguity (Vitterso et. al., 2005) -as demonstrated by the example of Bio kuss. 37 Modewelle: fad
58 Sustainability, Food miles, and Seasonality Even if practices on a BIO farm are sustainable, the ensuing international distribution of a product produced there may not be (Amilien et al. 2007, Rigby and Bown 2003, Holt 2007). Food miles is a term used to describe the distance a food travels from its point of production to its point of sale, and the related environmental impact of that jour ney. Felix explained that the situation is quite complex with examples such as Demeter bananas: Ich meine, ich knnte auch Demeter Bananen kaufen und die kommen aus Argentinien... Das ist denn vielleicht Demeter da angebaut, aber trotzdem mit einem Flugze ug hierher geschleppt. Trotzdem unreif geerntet... und das ist denn die Frage. I mean, I could just buy Demeter Bananas and they're from Argentina... So, maybe they're being grown with Demeter standards there, but they're still being flown all the way her e in a plane. They're still being harvested unripe. So, that's the question, then. However, "food miles" is not something specified in BIO certification. Thus, finding food miles contradictory to BIO agriculture is keeping with associating BIO agricultu re with an ideology. The practices of certified BIO farms that distribute internationally base their actions on a set of certifiable practices (e.g. not spraying certain pesticides). Thus, one can make a generalizing assumption that internationally distrib uting BIO farms are not as connected to the original conceptualization of BIO because a main element of that original concept was Nachhaltigkeit 38 because such practices are not sustainable. An even trickier situation arises, however, when a corporation p urchases organic products from a Demeter farm, and then is responsible for 38 Nachhaltigkeit: sustainability
59 shipping the product worldwide, in that, although the actual farm might participate in a sustainable system, the ensuing world wide transport is not sustainable because of the high count of food miles. On the USDA website, sustainable farm systems are defined as those "capable of maintaining their productivity and usefulness to society indefinitely. Such systems... must be resource conserving, socially supportive, commercially compe titive, and environmentally sound'" (USDA 2007). Product and process are integral to the practice of Nachhaltigkeit According to Georgina Holt a widely published contemporary author in the European organic food discourse such products are supposed to be s easonal, fresh, and produced and consumed within a local food system. The process is supposed to include "short supply chains and 'ecological' production systems:" production systems ultimately non threatening to the Earth, or to humans (Holt 2007). In man y conceptualizations of organic, Nachhaltigkeit is regarded as being essentially synonymous with BIO Others, however, point out that the combination is a conflation of two separate concepts, based on the regulation of organic agriculture (Rigby and Bown 2 003:3). Although many connect the concept of sustainability to organic agriculture, and IFOAM hint at sustainability within their four principles of organic agriculture, certification of organic farms is currently not based on sustainability. The actu al practice of Nachhaltigkeit within BIO agriculture is varied, with unsustainable actors existing on both large and small scale. There are mass producing BIO corporations that engage in unsustainable monoculture, as well as international distribution, but also small scale family farms that engage in what Hall, an organic inspector, terms, "organic by neglect:"
60 the misguided belief that something is organic or sustainable just because "nothing has been put on it" (Rigby and Bown 2003:3). BIO certification provides a one size fits all framework, and assumes an underlying basis of values for practitioners that may or may not exist. A farm is either certified organic, or it is not. Rigby and Bown explain that "objectives such as the sustainability of farm fam ilies, farm workers, and rural communities, which are frequently espoused by Organic groups, are simply not amenable to this type of regulation. Individual producers may be committed to such goals, but most standards do not include them, and it is difficul t to see how they could" (Rigby and Bown 2003:5). In a revised edition of the same paper, they note that "organic has come to be defined precisely in a way that allows inspections and certification" (2007:84). Some large corporations are currently taking a dvantage of these relatively loose, over arching definitions, and are finding loopholes to achieve a desired result, without adopting the values associated with organic (2007: 86). The topic of sustainability, seasonality, and the world wide transport of organic products came up frequently on the farm. Harald stated during one focus group, "... if I have BIO fruit from New Zealand, it's for me not BIO It might be [certified] BIO but it's a long way to send it from New Zealand to eat it here. That's not sustainable" (originally in English). Ina's father, a farmer of Familie Trll, stated that he thinks Biolden 39 are only for exotische Produkte" 40 : Auch die Rezepte, die drin sind. Immer nur Produkte aus Entwicklungsl ndern..." 41 Ina also gave her insights into the nderungen 42 in the 39 Biolden: BIO stores 40 Exotische Produkte: Exotic products 41 "Even the recipes that are on the packages. They're always ingredients from developing countries."
61 grne Bewegung 43 in Germany explaining that in the late 1980s to early 1990s a lot of people were talking about seasonality and sustainability, but now it is really not very popular: diese Gedanken von s sonal und regional waren eben sehr stark in den 80er Anfang 90er Jahre... das ist nicht mehr so stark... das sind wirklich wenige Leute ." 44 Many of the participants this summer ate primarily products grown locally and seasonally. An especially pertinent example of this is a dis cussion that revolved around Erdbeeren 45 Familie Trll has a very large field of strawberries, and for about six weeks in the summer, the field is full with ripe Erdbeeren The kitchens on both farms have a nearly constant supply of BIO Erdbeeren during th is time, and the children, adults, and woofers essen sich satt mit Erdbeeren 46 But, after Erdbeerzeit 47 is over, neither family will buy Erdbeeren from the market: Also wir haben nicht Erdbeeren im Winter. Sondern, es war Erdbeerzeit und es gibt frische Erd beeren und man isst sich satt mit Erdbeeren und... genau. Und danach gibt's keine Erdbeeren. A u§ er ein bisschen Marmalade und mal so, ne? Aber eigentlich kaufen wir denn keine Erdbeeren Ina We just don't have strawberries in the winter, but rather, it w as strawberry time and there were fresh strawberries, and you eat your belly full of strawberries and... exactly. And then there aren't anymore strawberries. Besides in some marmalade or something, you know? We just don't buy strawberries after that time. Also ich kaufe nie im Winter Erdbeeren aus Prinzip. Erdbeeren gehren in die Erdbeerzeit, finde ich. Da kann man sich so richtig darauf freuen und wenn es ist vorbei ist es vorbei Josefine 42 nderungen: c hanges 43 Gr ne Bewegung : Green movement 44 These thoughts of seasonality and regionality were really strong in the 80s and early 90s. It's really not strong anymore. There are really very few people who actually think this way. 45 Erdbeeren: strawberries 46 "They eat their bellies full" 47 Erdbeerzeit: strawberry season
62 I never buy strawberries in the winter out of principle. Strawb erries belong in strawberry season, I think. Then you can just really look forward to this short time, and when it's over, it's over This further demonstrates that for many of the participants, BIO is a way of life. But, according to Ina, not very many people are living up to this ideal of eating seasonally, and living sustainably: Aber die Menschen sind jetzt auf Genuss. Es gibt eine sehr gro§e Biokundschaft, die fr die ist den Genuss wichtig. Man macht zum Beispiel einen Buntenobstsalat und man nimmt vielleicht ein oder zwei S sonalesachen... und dann nimmt man ganz viel [nicht]... es spielt keine Rolle. The people today are only interested in consuming. There's a really big BIO consumer base, that is really just focused on consumption. For example, people make a colorful fruit salad, and they use maybe one or two seasonal fruits, and then they take lots of non seasonal things. Seasonality really doesn't play a role Most of the project participants consider non sustainable practices (world wide tr ansport, excessive packaging, etc) a betrayal of BIO principles. However, Rigby and Bown point out that most organic regulation does not require or mention local production of agriculture, or sustainability (2003:3). It seems that those who espouse this on the farm, or elsewhere conceive of BIO as a set of values, and not just a set of certifiable practices. It would seem also that those who practice non local production, at least in part are not as connected to the value set of organic agriculture that tho se on the farm tended to be, if sustainability is part and parcel of the original conception of BIO The Effects of Regulation Official governmental regulation of BIO agriculture has affected the way that BIO
63 is perceived and practiced in Germany. Vitt erso et al. (2005) indicate that some people mark regulation as the beginning of the end of the widespread acceptance of organic based on values, tying legislation to the "conventionalization" of organic. Certification of BIO is, in principle, supposed to keep those who are not committed to a set of definable practices from deceiving consumers. However, by defining specific sets of clear, easily evaluated criteria, BIO has been somewhat stripped of its ethical grounding and has emerged as a heterogeneous se t of commercial practices. Certified BIO farms now run the gambit from those who practice value based BIO to those who follow strictly prescribed technical specifications. Ina's father gave me some interesting insights that reflect this view. At first, h e explained to me, BIO organizations in Germany wanted to stay independent of state support: Am Anfang gar nicht. Gar nicht... Das ist spter gekommen. ... Bioland... sie wollten vom Staat etwas unabhngiger... Eine kapitalistische Verkaufsgesellschaft in teressierte sich nicht an viele Leute... die meisten wollten nur Umsatz. At the beginning not at all. Not at all. That came later. Bioland they wanted to be independent from the state. A capitalistic sale economy was not interested in many people. Most o f them just wanted to sell. Vitterso et. al. (2005) explain that there are many people who find contradiction in what they see as the "conventionalization" of organic agriculture; believing that organic is becoming more conventionalized; and thereby l osing its "intrinsic values." The actual situation is much more nuanced; BIO has been affected by the conventional, but has also had an effect on conventional (see Hegnes 2007 for an example). BIO has grown enormously in popularity, and has filled the shel ves of "conventional"
64 supermarkets in Germany. It has become a label with a market value. While the marketability of BIO is on the rise, there is simultaneously (1) a focus on providing the middle class consumer with plastic packaged, ready made BIO meals, and a year round supply of globally sourced BIO produce (Moore 2006:24), and (2) a growing political push towards a "re localization" of shopping, evolving out of peoples' concerns about the environmental impact of the former (Rigby and Bown 2007, Holt 20 07). Alternatives to BIO There are currently some alternatives to conventional production and consumption of food outside of BIO EG Some have their origins earlier in the century, and have had effects on (Michelson 2001) as well as have been affected by the current conception of BIO As stated in the beginning of this chapter, one particularly important influence on the development of BIO in Germany is that of Demeter Bio dynamisch farming. There are currently more than 4,000 certified Demeter farms w orldwide, and more than 1,300 of these farms are in Germany far outnumbering any other country. The country with the second greatest number of Demeter certified farms is France (235), followed by Switzerland (with 226), Egypt (with 168), and Austria (with 152) (Demeter International website). In the aftermath of the First World War, there was an agricultural crisis in Germany. Consequently, particular segments of Germany society were receptive to the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, who claimed that, through the use of certain preparations, the fertility and cosmical energy of soil could be improved (Vogt 2001:48). Demeter is part of an ideology, based on Anthroposophism, a Christian inspired philosophical
65 spirituality developed by Steiner. Farmers are supposed t o plant on a schedule dictated by the alignment of planets, and other cosmical elements. Demeter the worldwide organization of Bio Dynamic farming certifies farms based on different practices that are not involved in organic certification. The set of De meter practices that differentiate the most from organic revolve around the "preparations" that Rudolf Steiner designed, which should be sprayed over the soil or introduced into compost. The preparations are important for Demeter farmers because they are s upposed to energize or dynamize the soil and bring more cosmical energy into the plants that grow from such soil. These preparations are mixtures of healing herbs and quartz, which are buried in the ground inside of cow horns for specified periods of time (usually six months), then removed. Preparations can be made on the farms, or they can be purchased from a Demeter distributor. However, all Demeter farms must use these preparations in order to be certified. Grtnerhof im Zipfel is certified Demeter. In a told me that she is convinced that Demeter is the best way to engage in agriculture. Both Anna and Felix (wife and husband) said that they felt more safe with Demeter products than with products simply labeled BIO. Anna said, Demeter macht irgendwie ein sicheres Gefhl. [Es ist] sorgsam [und] sorgfltiger." 48 Felix brought up that he finds it unlikely that a money driven, capitalist individual would engage in Demeter agriculture because it would not give a practitioner any more money than would BIO : Ich glaube auch nicht, dass sich irgendjemand fr den Demeterlandbau entscheidet, der das nicht wirklich machen will, weil finanziell rechnet sich es, ich glaube, nicht besonders viel mehr. Also hat das schon was mit berzeugung zu tun. 48 "With Demeter you really feel somehow safer. It's more careful and painstaking."
66 I just don't think tha t someone would decided to do Demeter agriculture who really didn't want to do it, because it really does not give them any more money, or not very much more money. It really has to do with being convinced by the idea. Along with Demeter, another alterna tive to organic is the Local Food Movement a prominent alternative that has developed in light of the perceived ideological contradictions and unintended consequences of BIO as practiced. Some even term the Local Food Movement as the "new organic" (Rigby a nd Bown 2007). However, as these alternatives have grown in popularity, many of them still face similar problems as BIO in terms of sustainability, and conventionalization. For example, Demeter products, although ideologically based for growing, can be shi pped world wide. Practices on the Demeter farm may be sustainable, but ensuing food miles may not be. This is especially the case for products such as tea or chocolate, which are grown Demeter in the southern hemisphere, and sometimes sent to Europe or els ewhere for packaging, and then shipped world wide, for example Hampstead Teas. The Local Food movement faces problems of definition in particular (Vitterso et. al. 2005), namely, in deciding how many pesticides and herbicides local farmers should use, and in defining how local "local food" should be. One main factor of confusion with this movement is that the term "local" constantly swings between the traditional and the progressive (Amilien et al. 2007). Some people are reaching towards "die gute alte Zei t" 49 idealizing and romanticizing the past, and reaching towards locality as a movement of conservatism. Others are progressive, and reach towards locality as an ideological, ethical alternative to conventionality and conservatism. Georgina Holt 49 "The good old times"
67 (2007) expl ains that this re localization is at the heart of alternative food discourse, and examines this push toward re localization. She points out that while "it may be nostalgically framed in terms of mythical past connections and closeness, in reality is not a simple re establishment of old fashioned ways, and can in fact create anxiety" (Holt 2007). Holt explains here that the re localization of shopping really is not a "re" localization, but simply a new construction of localization based on romanticism of a p ast that did not actually exist in the way that it is being framed within the movement. Thus, it can create anxiety, because people do not have any past conception to grab on to. The Future of BIO In response to a question that I had about the future of organic namely, whether participants expected the term to change into something else to reflect organic in principle versus organic in practice Anna, Felix, and Ina's father expl ained that they do not expect the name BIO to go away. Anna stated, Ich glau be, es ist nicht mglich, dass es noch einen anderen Name bekommt, aber... dass es auch im Bio einfach unterschiedliche Bereiche... unterschiedliche... Ideologien gibt und, dass man dem sich anschlie§t irgendwie. Aber ich glaub es nicht... einen neuen Name oder so [bekommt]. I don't think it's really possible that it would get another name. But that... there are just simply varied realms in BIO ; varied ideologies, and that you just pick which one you identify with somehow. But, I don't think there will a new name or something. Felix said that he does not need the name BIO, because for him it is BIO to get produce from his neighbor whom he knows does not spray chemicals on her plants. He
68 said that the name is only important if you are trying to convinc e someone of something: Aber fr mich, fhlt sich, dass ich brauche nicht den Name. Ich kann mir auch ja von der Nachbarin aus ihrem Garten was kaufen, das ist fr mich denn BIO." Also ich hab' das nur rbergetragen. Ich wei§, sie spritzt da nichts drauf Ich glaub' (den Namen) das braucht man ja nur, um irgendwelche Leute [zu] berzeugen. For me I feel like I don't really need the name. I can just buy something that comes from my neighbor's garden and then that's BIO" for me. I mean I just carried that over. I know she doesn't spray anything on her vegetables. I think that the name one needs a name only if one is trying to convince a group of people of something. Ina's father indicated he thinks the name BIO is going to stay, although he does not know how it will be in the future: Bleiben wird es. Aber, ich wei§ nicht wie. Bleiben wird es auf jeden Fall... Jetzt ist es eben anders geworden als es daher sein sollte. Aber je mehr von Transporten. Der Bioanbau hat sich ja nichts gendert. 50 It'll stay, b ut I don't know how. But it will definitely stay... now it's even different than it was supposed to be back then. But I think it's more different because of transportation. The actual practices of BIO farming haven't really changed that much. The pro blem is not that there are a wide range of definitions, but that by using BIO to market a product that is not what people think it is not as "safe" as they think companies use deception, in that no one knows what they are getting in a product. Teo explai ned to me, "We don't know if it's really biological food. For me, that's dangerous. They invent a new logo to translate the conventional food to biological food. They don't use specific chemicals, but they can use other chemicals." 50 This is Umgangsprache colloquial speech. Ina's father is speaking in the hessich er Dialekt the dialect of Hessen.
69 Conclusion The socia l and political aspects of BIO agriculture in contemporary Europe are quite complicated, and the discussions on the organic farm brought out the tensions involved in those complexities. There was and still is the conception by many that there is a value sy stem associated with all BIO products that stemmed out of the 1980s and before that. But since the end of the 1980s, the term has become ambiguous, although still embedded with lingering elements of its ethically connected past. Now there is this concept, BIO ," that really does not define any singular approach. There is, at minimum, a set of technical practices that practition ers are supposed to follow if they can afford certification. However, even those practices are being pushed to their limits, as d emonstrated by the recent debate over the organic certification of farmed fish. Rigby and Bown (2007) detail a recent controversy over whether farmed codfish in the UK (crammed in tanks and stimulated with 23 hours of artificial daylight) could be certifie d "organic" based only on their being given organic feed. After much protest, the cod were indeed stamped with an organic certification (2007:82). This very certification "prompted the resignation of Peter Kindersly as a Soil Association trustee, who argue d it was a 'complete betrayal of everything organics has stood for on every level" (2007:82). This example clearly demonstrates the ambiguity of the term "organic," as the farming of fish is clearly not contributing to a sustainable eco system. However, ev en though Kindersly thought it was a complete betrayal of the term, it was certified organic based on established standards. Through this chapter I detailed the complexity, and spectrum of meanings that
70 exist behind this term. BIO means different things to different people, and is used in varied ways. On Grtnerhof im Zipfel BIO and especially BIO as it is manifested in Demeter agriculture, is a way of living life. In other places, BIO is simply a set of rules and regulations. I end this chapter with t he same question I had when I began this project: What is BIO ? What is organic? Ethnographic research at an organic farm did not provide a definitive answer to this question. Indeed, it merely made it more nuanced, and more ambiguous. In a globalizing worl d, organic, too, is becoming globalized and placeless, but the word itself has not taken on a homogeneous meaning. Rather, it retains a multi layered complexity. It is my opinion that the very intrigue of this concept lies in its ambiguity; it is a word th at simultaneously means so little, and so very much, depending on where you are and with whom you are speaking.
71 CHAPTER V: ENGAGING IN COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH ON G RTNERHOF IM ZIPFEL For two months in the summer of 2008, I engaged in a self designe d collaborative ethnography project on G rtnerhof im Zipfel a certified Demeter (a term I will explain in Chapter VI) organic farm in Germany. The research was an experiment in collaboration, carried out using collaborative methodologies discussed in the second chapter. I was not able to collaborate at the level, or in the same way that Luke Lassiter did with his "consultants" (who I term "participants") in The Power of Kiowa Song: A Collaborative Ethnography. However, in further explication of my point i n the second chapter that collaboration exists on a spectrum I employed the most appropriate ways of using collaboration for the particular setting and circumstances in which I did the project. In this chapter, I will be using this research project (from planning, through implementation) as a case study in collaboration. I will base my organization of this chapter, and Chapter VII on the initial elements of collaborative projects that I identified in Chapter I, and carried out in the analysis of collaborat ion in Chapter II. Reiterating, these elements are (1) the acknowledgment of subjectivity, (2) the recognition of multiplex identity, and the disintegration of dichotomies, (3) engagement in critical self reflection and reflexivity at all stages of the res earch process, (4) engagement in dialogue with project participants about the research, and (5) the attempt to make the ideas of the project accessible to the participants. In the first section I will integrate the first three elements by giving the rea der background information on why I engaged in this project on organic agriculture ( BIO ) in
72 Germany, and particularly on how collaboration is reflected by my personal history. I will explain my particular process of self reflection and reflexivity at all p arts of the research process. Then, I will elaborate on the relationships that I had, and developed with project participants. Following this, I will elucidate the particular methods of collaborative research I used, the tools I used (cameras, a voice reco rder, and a laptop) and my reasons for choosing them for this particular project. I will then delve into the fourth and fifth elements of collaboration: dialogue and accessibility of knowledge through a section on the fieldwork itself giving examples of questions that I posed, and through discussions centered on specific images. In this section, I will explain the extent to which I engaged in continual dialogue with participants, and attempted to make the research process as accessible as possible to them Finally, I will comment on the results of the post participation surveys that I gave to participants, and use the aforementioned five elements to analyze the research part of the project through their responses. Self Reflexivity, Subjectivity, and the Integration of Research and Life One element of collaboration that Lassiter and his consultants (1998) found to work well was critical self reflection, both in day to day communication with consultants, and in the ultimate textual representation of thei r research. His consultants said that in all of their experience with anthropologists in the past, no anthropologists had ever told them why they were personally interested in studying the Kiowa people (1998:223). In this section, I will describe my person al history, and identify elements
73 that I think were important in the ultimate decision to engage in this particular collaborative project. I do so in order to explain to the reader, as I explained to my research participants, why I focused my research on a n organic farm. Growing up in Florence, Massachusetts, I was never very concerned with health or well being. I was a finicky eater, and despite my mother's efforts to feed me whole grains and vegetables, I ate very little, and relatively unhealthful. I pl ayed sports, was generally active, and played a lot with dolls, Legos, and match box cars, but also spent quite a bit of time in front of the television. For about two weeks every summer, however, I had the chance to visit my uncle and aunt's (un certif ied) organic farm in Maine. There, my sister, cousins and I went hiking on the Appalachian Trail, swam in local springs, and went to drive in movies. Uncle Bob and Aunt Arleen had no indoor plumbing when I was younger, so we used outhouses, and got our dri nking water from a manual indoor water pump connected to a dug well. We ate vegetables grown on the farm (although I did not eat many of them at the time), and most mornings Uncle Bob made us pancakes with local blueberries. At night we often went outside, laid on our backs in the dewed grass and gazed in awe at the Milky Way, pointing excitedly with the glimpse of each shooting star. These images are imprinted in my memory as particularly warm "escapes" from regular life in suburbia. Midway through high s chool I suddenly began to realize that what I put into my body could have effects on how long I lived, my appearance, and even the way that I act. After high school, I headed back to central Maine to work on my uncle and aunt's farm. There I experienced o rganic farming firsthand: weeding, chopping wood, rotating compost, etc.. I learned about organic agriculture from Uncle Bob and Aunt Arlene two
74 people close to me who chose to make it a focal point of their lives. It was from them that I learned about WWO OF, and made plans to be a "woofer" (residential farm worker) in Germany. I chose Germany because I had taken beginning German at Smith College while in high school. I wanted to go work on a farm in Germany because I knew that I would be able to show my ho sts a higher level of respect by communicating with them in their own language After going to Europe and working on two farms, I started attending New College, where I jumped into the Areas of Concentration (AOCs) of Anthropology and German Studies. It was not until my third year, spent off campus at the University of Massachusetts (UMass), that the concept of "organic" became an academic interest. Through an Honors Independent Study Project, and a graduate class entitled The Anthropology of Europe, I d id a lot of self directed study about the topic, and ended up presenting a paper on the meaning of organic at the Northeast Anthropological Association conference held at UMass in March of 2008 (Reed 2008). Before that year, I had never really problematize d the term. Organic for me was a set of rules, and was something better than non organic. It was not the complex, multi dimensional, multi definitional word that I realized it was after delving into contemporary research on the subject. In the second sem ester at UMass, motivated by my interest in healthy food, I found an internship with a farm to school program at an elementary school in Williamsburg and Goshen (rural western Massachusetts). The program, Fertile Ground, is part of a larger network of publ ic schools in the country dedicated to making connections with local farms, bringing healthy food into schools, and integrating food
75 and farm knowledge into the curriculum. Professor Krista Harper, my Honors Independent Study (HIS) sponsor in both the fall and spring semesters, connected me with the director of the program: Catherine Sands, who was completing her last year in the UMass graduate program for Public Policy. Krista is one of the main organizers of a group at UMass entitled "Emerging Methods," which explores, among other things, the research method labeled "photo voice." Catherine was very interested in engaging in a photo voice project with the elementary school students involved in her program. She was very busy as the program's director, a g raduate student, and a parent of two, and decided that this would be an interesting and useful project for her new intern (me). She asked me to research photo voice. In addition to doing so, I decided to research other collaborative methods. Using this per spective, I constructed a project to do with fifth graders at the school. I brought five cameras and a voice recorder (funded by the UMass Anthropology Department) to the school during "garden time" almost every Friday over the course of approximately tw o months. Each week, half the students took photographs (of a variety of subjects), while the rest sat with me for 10 to 15 minutes in focus groups responding to print outs of their pictures taken the week before. I gave the students questions to answer ab out their photographs, which were related to the topics they were covering in their garden education program, as well as to foster their general understanding of their connection to food and the environment. I found photo voice to be a particularly useful method of collaboration with in this context because it was very accessible for children. The students in the program were almost always very excited to take and then look over their pictures. They may not have been very articulate about what the photograp hs meant
76 for them, but the photos seemed to inspire a lot of comments. At the end of the project I prompted students to select their favorite photographs, and arranged photographs and quotations from the students onto poster board. The students then help ed set up an exhibit at the local library in Williamsburg. Catherine and Professor Harper invited local community members to see the project, as well as policy makers in the area. Eventually, in the fall of 2008, the exhibit made its way to the Massachuset ts State House in Boston. As the internship started I was also reading Luke Lassiter's The Power of Kiowa Song: A Collaborative Ethnography for a class at Hampshire College entitled Performance Ethnography. In this class, we looked at anthropology with a critical eye, and were encouraged to problematize such basic elements in the discipline as the word "culture." With all of these experiences, I decided to amalgamate collaborative ethnography, photo voice, and other collaborative methodologies to come up with the project that I completed in the summer of 2008 on the organic farm in Germany. I chose to go to Germany because it has a particularly high number of organic farms and environmental programs, as well as the largest Green party in the world, and be cause, by that time, I had achieved a high proficiency in German and was pursuing a double AOC in German Studies and Anthropology. I chose the particular farm because I was already familiar with the owners, knew that they were leading a very interesting, a typical lifestyle. Because I had befriended some of the participants before entering college, I was also fairly sure that they would be receptive to such a project. While on the farm, I engaged in a form of participant observation, as in traditional anthr opology. I fully participated as a farm worker while carrying out the
77 research project. Unlike traditional anthropology, I also engaged in "The Observation of Participation" (Tedlock 2005): I focused on "closeness, subjectivity, and engagement," and observ ed myself as well as the participants, while employing my normal skills as a social actor (2005:467). I did not take traditional "field notes," but instead relied almost exclusively on focus groups, which were designed to illuminate the collective and mult i dimensional nature of the knowledge being pursued. I gained an influential perspective on the farm in the summer of 2008 one that I felt was close to that of the people with whom I was living. This way of viewing the world came on gradually, and also l eft me gradually as I returned to life in the United States. By the time I left Germany, I had almost forgotten that I did not live as sustainably as Ina and Manfred do. I found myself judging people who, in all honesty, were doing things in the same way or to a similar extent that I do at home (buying groceries at large supermarkets, eating out of season, or using conventional house paint). I caught myself thinking this way almost unconsciously. Through such experiences it is very interesting to note in a self reflexive way how much a researcher can become affected by her surroundings; how much her subjectivity can be altered by experiences. It speaks to the stance of objectivity. I was not attempting to be "objective," and I was open to speaking about mys elf and my role with participants. More aware of my subjectivity, it made me notice more the way that I changed in the circumstance as a result of this emic perspective. My particular bias is still very complicated, of course. I am coming from a privile ged position: I chose to fly into Germany to do a research project, but Ina and Manfred hardly ever travel away from home. I am very interested in the subject of
78 organic food, and identify with many of the topics that participants were discussing, but I am not an organic farmer myself, I do not even have a garden. This is reflected in the way that I chose to set up the research and exhibit, and to write about it, and the way that I choose to structure this thesis. I was not a detached observer; I engaged in all activities on the farm and identified with much of the way that the participants were living their lives, and the values that they expressed to me. For example, I love being outside, eating vegetables, and seeing the tangible results of my hard work. I now hold healthy food in high regard, and am very weary of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). However, at the same time, I cannot agree with all of the ideas expressed by participants. I am not very spiritual, and am not convinced by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (as Ina and Manfred are, discussed in Chapter VI). Therefore, I was simultaneously an insider and an outsider while engaging in this research. The power relationships that existed on the farm fluctuated in different circumstances. When I w as working for Ina and Manfred following orders, planting or weeding for hours my role as a researcher was negligible. This was especially the case considering I made it clear to participants that I was not going to write about experiences or conversations without first acquiring their explicit permission. The participants also had different conceptions of what the power relationships were during the focus group context which I will review in my section on the post participation survey. The textual part of this project the thesis seems to have unequal power relations because I am having a disproportionate say in how I present and represent the people involved in the project. Again, I must make it clear to the reader here, as well as in the following sections of this chapter that the participants had very little explicit input into the way that
79 I represent the town of Herleshausen, the farm, or even themselves. Taking recognition of this is, however, an important part of the critical self reflection and reflex ivity of collaboration. I think that my critical self reflection and reflexivity on this topic benefits readers because they will have a more accurate idea of whose voice is speaking through the text. The Project: Trust, Dialogue, and Accessibility B efore entering the community, I was familiar with seven of the eleven total participants. For a month in the spring of 2005, I worked at G rtnerhof im Zipfel, and lived in Ina and Manfred's house. As I stated previously, I found the farm through WWOOF (Wor ld Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and participated in a work exchange receiving food and lodging as compensation for my labor. The fact that I was familiar with some participants, and with the setting, was no doubt important in the successful comple tion of this project. This is not necessarily because it is impossible to engage in explicitly collaborative projects without this initial element of familiarity, but because of the time constraint within which I was working: two months. Trust is an impor tant focus of anthropological research. It can take a long time to establish. In this particular instance, I had already developed some level of trust with at least four of the five most active participants in the project (Ina, Manfred, Harald, and Ute). T his trust developed outside of the researcher subject relationship. Ina and Manfred had both been my bosses and house mates in 2005. Thus, not only had I had a previous relationship with them, but it was a relationship in which there was a level of respe ct, as I was a subordinate member of a household and organization. This is not to
80 say that the dynamic did not shift as soon as I took on a role as researcher; it most certainly did. However, my preexisting friendship, communication, and informality were factors that I worked hard to maintain. Throughout the project I was very conscious of and tried to level the conventional power relationship of subject and researcher through an active vocalization of my concerns with participants. As I reviewed in the second chapter of the thesis, Diane Nelson would critique this attempt to completely level the power dynamic, insisting upon the maintenance of discomfort within research. The relationships I developed with the participants in the summer of 2008 were con stantly open to negotiation and change. My predesigned purpose was not merely inquiry into a particular subject. Rather, I was completely open to taking the project in a direction different from the inquiry I began the project with (food), and actively dis cussed this with participants. If the participants had not wanted to focus on an aspect of food, but rather on something else (such as politics, or gender relations), I would have allowed the focus to shift. I expected and encouraged the project to evolve, and focused on an evolution of the relationships that I had within the project context as well. The outcomes of this project were not certain, and I think that this uncertainty governed the way that relationships further developed. Before beginning the project in Herleshausen, I was required to complete an extensive Institutional Review Board (IRB) application the IRB regulates ethics of institutional research projects. It would seem that because the focus of explicitly collaborative projects is on ethic al treatment of participants, giving participants more of a voice in the research and outcomes of a project, the IRB process would have been more
81 simple than in traditional anthropological research. This was not the case, however. Because collaboration is not a well known methodology, the IRB process was particularly involved. Specifically, I had to justify the use of photographs, which would disclose the identity of a participant even if the participant explicitly agreed to their use. One required element was a signed letter of informed consent from Ina and Manfred (prior to actually going to Germany). I called Ina and Manfred months before I arrived to see whether they would be interested in doing a collaborative project with photographs. On the phone, bo th Ina and Manfred seemed enthusiastic. I asked Ina whether she could possibly find others who might be interested in participating and she replied that she could. I sent a fax of the "informed consent" form in German (corrected by Professor Keyler Meyer, a German professor at Smith College), and Ina and Manfred signed the letter and faxed it back. Everything seemed set. When I first arrived on G rtnerhof im Zipfel in June of 2008, I did not mention the project for a couple of days. Instead, I stayed in th e role of a friend and resident worker. One day when weeding around peas with Ina on the first field, I brought up the project, particularly asking Ina who was interested in participating. Ina paused, "Also... Ich habe das Projekt wirklich nicht verstanden Ich wusste nicht, was ich meinen Freunden sagen sollte. Sie haben mich gefragt. Ich wei§ nicht. Irgendetwas mit Fotos' habe ich gesagt. Knntest du mal wieder erklren?" 51 (paraphrased) she expressed. Wrought with nervousness, I tried to summarize the pr oject I thought I had expla ined so clearly on my consent form; a form that Ina and Manfred had signed a couple months 51 "Um... I didn't really understand the project. I didn't know what I should tell my friends they asked and I said, I don't know, it's something to do with photographs.' Could you explain the project again?"
82 prior to my arrival. I started by explaining conventional, positivist research ( not contemporary anthropological research) and why it wa s unethisch 52 how it can be exploitative of "subjects." I attempted to clarify that I was trying to take an explicitly collaborative approach. I told her I wanted to go against a conventional paradigm to do research that is as ethical as possible, and tha t involves a lot of participation from all the people involved; hence the label "participants" instead of "subjects." I told her that I brought four cameras, and that I would like her and other participants to take pictures of their lives, and then discuss these pictures together, and come to conclusions; deciding together on the project's ultimate focus based on these conclusions. Even after this explanation, Ina still did not understand the project, and I realized I had to reevaluate how I was approachin g the project as a whole. The way I was describing collaboration and ethnography was an academic's way of explaining it. How was Ina supposed to understand the push of c ollaborative approaches, if she never had been exposed to anthropology in the first pla ce? As a whole, people on the farm did not even know what "anthropology" was. As I recall, no one but Ute had heard of ethnography. Of those who had heard about anthropology, their only idea of it was a study of "primitives" I immediately made it clear tha t contemporary anthropology no longer categorizes people in such simple classifications, and that I definitely did not consider them or their way of living life as "primitive." I sat down several times with Ina and Manfred during that first week, trying to negotiate this disparity in understanding. We discussed the project, trying to flesh out ideas together that made sense to Ina and Manfred, and other people who may want to be 52 Unethisch : unethical
83 involved (at this point, they were my only participants). This conversation, and the conversations that I had with the rest of the participants (particularly Teo) throughout the research project, reflect the five elemental properties of collaborative projects. Primarily, these conversations reflect communication and engagement in dialogue, as well as accessibility. The other elements subjectivity, disintegration of dichotomies, and critical self reflection and reflexivity will be discussed further on in the thesis. I found that it was difficult for participants to see why others would find their daily lives interesting. They seemed content with their lifestyle choices, and respected others for theirs. When I visited the farm in 2005, I did not ask Ina and Manfred many questions about why they were living the way they were, and the y did not offer me the information. I did not learn until 2008 that Ina and Manfred adhered to many principles of Anthroposophy and Demeter agriculture. I discovered, however, that when asked, they were open to elaborating upon their views. Eventually, I na came to the realization, and shared her view with others participants, that what seems normal and average for her may be different, interesting, and enlightening to other people. I agreed, and explained that I thought it would be useful to share their l ives with other people because learning about other ways of living life is a good way to better understand and evaluate one's own place in the world. I emphasized that I thought an explicitly collaborative approach to anthropology does this best because it attempts to report a more direct account of those lives. The more collaborative the project, I explained, the higher potential the project has for mirroring normal conversation between people, as opposed to a constructed, digested and distanced account.
84 Despite this new found understanding, the project seemed stressful for some members of the group at first. This could be a misconception of mine, as I was stressed because of the differentiation between theory and practice; collaboration was not as easy as I had thought it would be when I was reading about it. As Ina exclaimed to me in what I interpreted as an exacerbated tone, "Lee Ellen, I think everyone is ready to just do what you tell us to do" (paraphrased) as opposed to figuring things out together, and discovering the project through focus groups and conversations. This initial non identification with collaboration is an important critique to bring up. If a participant does not want to collaborate, what should a researcher do? Should she push the collaborative project? If the researcher attempts to make the ideas of collaboration as accessible to the participants as possible, and a participant (or participants) expresses disinterest in full collaboration, that participant's opinion should be respec ted. I think that it is important to attempt collaboration, but also important not to be dogmatic about it. If a participant does not want to collaborate and is pressured into collaborating, then it is not truly a collaborative project in such a pressured collaborative project, the power dynamics would not be leve led. In my project, if participants had all not wanted to collaborate, I would have had to come up with a project that would have been more applicable to the situation perhaps one much less collab orative. As it was, however, participants seemed to understand and identify with my reasoning for employing collaboration as the process went along. For example, Ute told me that at one point she did a research project on a farm when she was attending a un iversity. Before turning in her results, she went back to talk to the farmers about what she had written: "It was very interesting to see the
85 differences between what I wrote, and what they thought," she told me in German (paraphrased). Because of this exp erience, she was better able to identify two important aspects of the research I was trying to integrate: subjectivity and communication. Collaborative Research on the Farm After discussion with Ina and Manfred, I asked participants to take photograph s, and in some instances videos, of food in their lives, especially focusing on the theme BIO in Germany, and what role BIO played in their lives. I approached the project this way based on my previous experience in the Farm to School program, using "photo voice." Because this was an explicitly collaborative project, I inserted myself at least partially into a participant's role by also taking photographs of these themes, and discussing my photographs in focus groups, reviewed below. In collaborative re search projects (as articulated by Tricket and Espino, Lassiter, Kamberelis and Dimitriadis, Greenwood and Levin, Foley and Valenzuela) participants are ideally thoroughly and stably involved in the process and product of collaboration. Such a level of par ticipation was not in the realm of possibility for many members of this particular project. Participants did not meet a great number of times as a cohesive unit. Manfred and Teo were present at every meeting; Ina came to four; Harald (Ina's cousin), and Ut e (Ina's sister in law) came to three; "George," Nora (both woofers) and Hilmar (a former neighbor) came to one; Anna (Manfred's sister) and Felix (her husband) participated, doing an interview while they were taking pictures, but did not come to any focus groups.
86 Before each of the five focus group discussions, I downloaded all photographs into my computer, organized them into themes, and wrote corresponding questions. Each meeting was about an hour and a half, and consisted of looking at these photograp hs, discussing my constructed questions, and addressing new questions and concerns. Many times, the conversations would stray from the original topic, or evolve into something else, which I actively encouraged. With permission, I recorded every meeting ont o a digital voice recorder, and then transcribed them later when I got back to New College starting in August, 2008. Focus Groups Most of the information I gathered in the summer of 2008 came from the aforementioned focus groups. Such groups have been us ed for years by researchers, and there is a fair amount of literature pointing to their benefits. Focus groups are particularly effective in more collaborative research they are often used because the researchers recognize subjectivity, encourage critical self reflection and reflexivity, and are based upon sustained, accessible conversation. In addition, they encourage multi vocality, and collective meaning making. Kamberelis and Dimitriadis (2005) explain that focus groups have the potential to "reroute t he circulation of power within hegemonic struggles and even to redefine what power is and how it works" (2005:892 893). They "can be used strategically to inhibit the authority of researchers and to allow participants to 'take over' and 'own' the interview space" (2005:902). In focus groups, participants outnumber the researcher, and mostly seem to even out or overpower the researcher, depending on the subject of
87 research, how the focus group is being led, or what the researcher will be doing with the info rmation obtained from the focus group. Focus groups also lessen the chance for misrepresentation by encouraging the researcher to avoid making premature conclusions. The focus group discussions that I led provided a reaffirmation of the description of the ir benefits I had read before entering the context. In comparison to the few one on one interviews I carried out, the focus groups seemed to better reflect regular conversations. These focus group discussions, which took place at a long, wooden table in Ma nfred and Ina's living/dining room, felt more like group conversations than interviews In contrast, the interviews I conducted seemed awkward, with relatively uneven power dynamics due to my 'authority' as a researcher. I would have liked to have had more focus groups. However, because of logistical problems, I was unable to have more than five. During focus group discussion, people bounced ideas off of one another, challenged each other, and came to conclusions about particular topics through conversati on. This is the process of collective meaning making. Certain facts which may not seem important to individuals suddenly gain meaning within a group context (Kamberelis and Dimitriadis 2005:903). By having group discussions, information that arises can be more relevant to participants, because participants have direct access to the statements of others in the group as opposed to reading them solely through the filtration process of writing. In essence, focus groups make information more immediately accessib le to participants. Although the researcher still has the ultimate say in filtration when participants are not involved in the writing process, focus groups allow for a subversion of authority in conversation, and increased modesty within the research
88 cont ext, which can in turn affect the writing process. Although primarily successful, there were sometimes problems with "flow" of conversations within focus groups during my research. Additionally, participants did not always "take over" group discussions, and "own" the interview space (alternatively some participants tended to "take over" more than others). These are some of the negative aspects associated with focus groups. In terms of critical self reflection and reflexivity, I was constantly worried and aware of pushing others beyond their comfort zones, and creating "unnatural" barriers. To gain feedback on this process, I asked people after meetings about their experiences and gave them a post participation survey before I left to gauge perceptions of t he project, and group discussions. In general, the feedback was positive in all areas, further strengthening my conviction that focus groups can be a valuable way to access information. Photo elicitation I should make it clear that photo elicitation is not an element of Luke Lassiter's collaborative ethnography. Rather, I appropriated the approach from photo voice a method of Participatory Action Research. Through engaging in a photo voice project before arriving in Germany, I saw its benefits, especial ly in combination with the setting in which I would be engaging in research a rural organic farm in the summertime. I see photo elicitation as being a particularly versatile approach to research, that can increase public engagement with a topic; if the aes thetic value of a photograph far outweighed its meaning, then this approach may not be effective. This emphasizes, again, not only the spectrum of collaboration, but also the
89 importance of tailoring approaches to particular contexts. There are different ways that a researcher can choose to collaborate. For example, instead of using photographs to elicit responses, I could have taken field notes, and then discussed the field notes step by step with participants in focus groups. This approach would have bee n equally collaborative, but I think perhaps not as effective in this particular context in relaying ideas both during research and in the communication of the ideas expressed through the exhibit on the New College campus in November of 2008. In research I used photographs both as a way for participants to identify with the project, and in focus groups as a method of photo elicitation. More information can, in theory, be accessed through focus groups, and more sensory information can be accessed through t he combination of verbal and visual photo elicitation especially when people take photographs themselves. Self made photographs encourage further engagement with the subject material, and a sense of ownership over the process (or at least over the particul ar image). People usually know why they took particular photos, or at least know better than others. In some instances I was surprised to hear an engaging story connected to an image that I had not seen upon viewing it. Seeing a photograph in combination with a narrative can be a powerful, visceral experience. Thus, this particular combination worked well for exploring collaborative ethnography. I would definitely use it again, and would encourage the usage of it in other projects, as I see it as having re latively wide ranging relevance in many different contexts. Through the approach of photo elicitation, I collected a large amount of rich ethnographic data in a relatively short period of time. Participants reacted well to the use of photographs in focus group discussions. The photographs were generally aesthetically
90 pleasing or interesting considering it was summer, and we were in a colorful, bright place with diverse photo opportunities, which seemed to stimulate a certain level of conversation. In addit ion, the power dynamic was to an extent leveled because participants were the ones who took many of the photographs, and had a great deal of control over the process of the focus group discussions. When organizing the slide show and discussion questions, I could not always identify what the subject of the picture was, or why the photographer took it this encouraged dialogue. I also integrated my photographs into the focus group discussion for others to critique. It was illuminating to hear critiques, and a further contextualization of the subject matter in my own photographs. Discussing Photographs in Focus Groups In order to give the reader a better sense of dynamics within focus groups, I have selected four photographs which elicited particularly intere sting responses. In this section, I am not analyzing the participants' responses, but rather the structure of the conversations based on my overview of focus groups and photo elicitation in the previous section. After each photograph, I include a transcrib ed clip of conversation from the focus group, which revolved around the photograph(s). I also include an analysis of this conversation through the following lenses: power roles, "taking over," modesty, and ownership. Although I have a high proficiency in German and able to carry on a conversation, there was a certain barrier of language due to the fact that Teo did not speak German, but only French and broken English. At first I tried the conversation in
91 German, and then translated for Teo. However, th is did not seem to work well, and Ina said in the second focus group, "Can't we speak in English? It would be so nice for Teo." Thus, after the first meeting, I primarily carried the conversations in English. Teo became a prolific participant in group dis cussions, so it was very useful that he was able to hear all responses from the other participants. All members were able to converse in English, however some participants were able to speak more fluently than others. Ute expressed, "Die Diskussionen auf E nglisch war es doch etwas schwieriger auszudr cken (anderseits hat das gerade auch Spa§ gemacht ." 53 In the following selections of transcripts, I indicate which sections are translated, and which sections were carried out in English. Example 1: Cooking Image 10: Ina and Manfred's kitchen (Photographed by Lee Ellen Reed) 53 "The discussions in English made it a little more difficult to express myself (but at the same time it also made it fun)."
92 Original Conversation Ute: So ein Foto wollte ich auch noch machen k nnen Harald: Es sieht gem tlich aus, finde ich Lee Ellen: Gem tlich, Ja Ute: Arbeit Manfred: Th at's life. Ina: Unterschiedlich w rde ich auch sagen, no? Manfred: Findest du? Ina: Ute sagt, es sieht nach Arbeit aus, und Harald sagt, es sieht gem tlich aus. Findest du das ein bisschen? Harald: Also, ja Josefine: Ich wundere mich ber das Buch. Wi llst du kochen, oder musst du sp len? Das ist die Frage! ( Lachen ) Ina: Ich glaube kochen, weil es gibt noch nicht die Manfred: Es gibt einen Salat noch Lee Ellen: Noch nicht gewascht und das Buch ist noch offen Lee Ellen: Teo, what do you think about wh en you see this picture? Teo: I see movement and life in this kitchen. (laughter) Manfred: And it's not a big room. But where are the children? Lee Ellen : Ahhhh! Ina : The photo is without noise. Translation Ute: I also wanted to take a picture like th is Harald: I think it looks pretty homey/cozy Lee Ellen: Homey, yeah Ute: Work Manfred: That's life. Ina: Those are pretty different responses, wouldn't you say? Manfred: You think so? Ina: Ute said it looks like work, and Harald said that it looks homey. Don't you think that's a little different? Harald: Well, yeah Josefine: I'm wondering about that book. Are you about to cook, or is it time to do the dishes? That's the question! (laughter) Ina: I think cooking, because there's not yet the Manfred: Ther e's still a head of lettuce Lee Ellen: And it's not washed yet. And the book is still open Lee Ellen: Teo, what do you think about when you see this picture? Teo: I see movement and life in this kitchen.
93 (laughter) Manfred: And it's not a big room. But w here are the children? Lee Ellen : Ahhhh! Ina : The photo is without noise. This selection clearly exhibits a subversion of power and a "taking over" of the conversation. Not only was I not the driving force of this selection, but Ina seemed to be. She no ticed something interesting about Harald's and Ute's responses to the same picture that I had not. She pointed this out, and followed with a question. This increased a level of modesty on my part, because I had not picked up on the importance of this discr epancy. This points to the benefits of allowing multi vocality and multiple interpretations within a research context. Through photo elicitation in a group setting, the photograph was given a deeper complexity by the input of several speakers. Example 2: Where does this food come from? Image 11: Lee Ellen selling vegetables in Eisenach (Photographed by Teo)
94 Original Conversation: Me: Hier ist eine Frage. Welche sind die genaue Unterschiede zwischen Essen und Nahrungsmittel, die man in einem Supermarkt kaufen kann und Essen und Nahrungsmittel, die man auf einem Bauernhof oder Biobauernhof selbstpfl cken oder ernten kann -Geschmack, Gesundheit, Gef hle? Und so weiter. Manfred : Die genauen Unterschiede? Ina: Man weiss genau woher es kommt. Manfred : Das ist der Ankommen wo es herkommt Harald: Im Supermarkt sieht es besser aus. Im Supermarkt wird's noch rot beleuchtet -Tomaten und so Ute: Und das Geschmack... im Supermarkt sieht es zu perfekt aus wie Plastik. Josefine : Es hat auch ni cht Geschmack. Ute: Auch Gewohnheit Ina : Gewohnheit... Ja. I think we all who are sitting here are very similar in our opinions Lee Ellen: Kann ich denn fragen wie denkt ihr, dass die meisten Menschen in diesem Land ber die gleichen Fragen antworten w rd en? Josefine: Es gibt viele, den nicht einsch tzen kann, dass der Apfel, der vielleicht ein bisschen (stumplig?) aussieht, oder vielleicht ein Wurmloch hat oder so, dass der vielleicht viel besser schmeckt, als der Apfel, der perfekt im Supermarktregal a ussieht, aber nachher eigentlich keinen Geschmack hat. Ute: Das stimmt, was viele einfach nicht kennen. Ina: Ja Ute: Die meisten Leute, denke ich, essen ja kaum Bio oder gar nicht Harald : Es ist kalkulierbarer no? Fr die meisten. Der Grannysmithapfel ist grn und es schmeckt so und so und es schmeckt immer so und so. Ja das ist es. Wenn man eine Familie ernhren muss, [geht es um Risiko ein. Hast du ein mal gekauft und kaufst du wieder. Du siehst einen neuen Apfel auf dem Markt]. Ich glaube, die Leute wollen gar nicht ein gro§es Risiko eingehen -ne? Kann nicht viele experimentieren. Me: So es ist ein bisschen gleich wie die Fastfood Restaurants und so weiter ( So it's kind of like fast food restaurants and so forth) Harald : Es ist verlsslich, ne? Als o man wei§, wie McDonalds schmeckt. Es gibt irgendwie Sicherheit, ne? Lee Ellen: Es gibt so diese McCafes... Also wir haben das nicht. Sie wussten, dass sie mehrere Sachen in Amerika machen -schlechtere Sachen. Die Menschen hier brauchen etwas mehr als Mc Donalds -und so haben sie McCafes Josefine : Ich denke die Deutschen werden auch [mehr wie Amerikaner] in letzter Zeit da ndert sich was Harald : Ich meine es mit Paris -dass ich die Sprache nicht kenne. Ja und dann wenn ich in ein Restaurant eingehe, un d was bestelle, dann bin ich unsicher. Und dann geht mal zu McDonalds, wo Cheeseburger auch Cheeseburger ist und isst den. Da meine ich damit, ne? Lee Ellen : Oh, ok Harald : Es ist wirklich eine Vereinfachung. Es ist ja nicht jeder kreativ mit Essen, ne?
95 Translation: Me: So, here's a question. What are the exact differences between food that one buys in a supermarket, and food that one can harvest oneself from an organic farm taste, health, feeling? And so forth Manfred: The exact differences? Ina: You kn ow where it's coming from Manfred : That depends... where it's coming from Harald: It looks better in the supermarket. In the supermarket they color it red tomatoes and such Ute: And the taste... in the supermarket it looks perfect like plastic Josefine : I t also doesn't taste like anything Ute: Also habit Ina : Habit. Yeah. I think we all who are sitting here have very similar opinions Lee Ellen: Can I ask, then what do you think that most people in Germany would say to answer the same question? Josefine: T here are many people who can't appreciate that the apple that maybe looks a little funny, or maybe have a wormhole or something, could possibly taste better than the apple that looks perfect on the supermarket shelf, but that doesn't actually taste like an ything Ute: That's true. That's something that many people just simply aren't aware of Ina: Yeah Ute: Most people, I think, hardly eat any organic food at all Harald : It's calculable, you know? For most people. The Granny Smith is green and it tastes a cer tain way, and it always tastes that way. That's it. When you have to raise a family it's all about risks. You bought something once, and so you buy it again, even though you see a new apple in the market. I think that people just don't want to take big ris ks, you know? They just can't afford to experiment Me: So it's kind of like fast food restaurants and so forth. Harald : It's reliable, you know? I mean, you know what McDonald's tastes like. There's somehow this element of security, you know? Lee Ellen: In Europe there are these McCafes... we don't have them in America. They know that they can get away with more things in America worse things. The people here need something more than McDonald's, and so they have McCafes Harald: I think differently Josefine : I think that recently the German people are also becoming more like the Americans in this regard. Harald : I mean in Paris I don't speak the language. Yeah. And then when I go into a restaurant and order something I'm a little unsure. Then, you go to a Mc Donald's, where a cheeseburger is also called a cheeseburger and is the same thing that's what I mean, you know? Lee Ellen : Oh, ok Harald : It's really a simplification. Not everyone's creative with food, you know?
96 In this section, although I provided a guiding question, there was a subversion of my authority. The conversation evolved from my original question about the differences between supermarkets and farmers' markets to an analysis of risk assessment in relation to McDonald's (and further went on to discuss McDonald's in great detail). Participants took over the conversation, providing most of the responses, and bouncing ideas off of one another in a process of collective meaning making. Ina provided an interesting assessment of the conversational dy namics: I think we all who are sitting here are very similar in our opinions," which led me to ask a counter question: then how do your ideas differ from other peoples' ideas? Finally, Harald challenged my view or my comparison he said, "I think differen tly," and then explained his thought process and how it differed from the assumption that I was making about fast food. Example 3: Cows and Corn Image 12: Cows and corn "food" (photographed by Teo)
97 (Discussion originally in English) Lee Ellen : And the last picture is the corn for the animals Teo : The corn is a drug for the cows. The cows love it, and they want to always eat it. There's a lot of alcohol inside. It's fermentation. They put plastic inside -it's green. It's for that reason that the cows lik e it. Ina: No, it's not alcohol. Teo : Yes, it's alcohol. It's ethanol -it's the same. You can drive with it. Ute : No, it's not alcohol in the fermentation. Teo : It's not really alcohol, but it's -what is the name for... Ute : It's the same as Sauerkraut. You know? Teo : No. Ina: Don't you know there's the possibility to keep things for over the winter time. People did it the last century or the century before. You take it -cabbage. And this is like that Sauerkraut. Manfred : I don't know... Ina: I am sure about it. But, the thing is, it's not the right Teo : There's no air. Ina: yes, no air. Teo : I said that because my friend has a biological farm with cows, and they can use corn, but just a little. It's a very big problem because you cannot eat... because the liver is the same from an alcoholic person. So, it's very... cows cannot live for very long. How old are the cows? Manfred : Yes, they are two years -something like this. I think 2.5 years more... so when they are 4 or 5 they are too old. Ute: I think it's because the cows... it's not really the right food for the cows... It's not alcohol, but it's too easy to digest. Manfred: They don't (have to) make anything Lee Ellen: There was a movie I saw recently called "King Corn", and it was about... they are using more an more corn for everything. It was in America... and one of the things was how much corn they are giving to cows. They can only give cows up to 80% corn because if they give them more, it would be too much. They don't process it well. And even with the 80% corn, they can only live 2 years or so. They give them corn until they can't take it anymore, and then they kill them and take them to McDonalds. (laughter) Lee Ellen: And the cow meat is made out of corn because they eat so much corn. Josefi ne : The so called "corn burger" Lee Ellen: Yeah. Cow meat is made of corn, and then they fry the french fries in corn oil, and then the soda is made from corn syrup -so it's all corn. Ute: Yes. I was studying agronomy. We learned that it's that the cows do n't live long now because then you can take the daughters of the cows -which should be better earlier... They say that every generation is a little bit better. If the old cows only live 2 3 years, then you can improve them faster. But, I think.. that doesn 't function. Ina: And Demeter cows of course. I think Demeter farmers use this food, but not a lot. Teo: They can, but it's...
98 Ina: The ideal is to feed the Kuh -the Cow hahaha! -with hay and grass. Teo: But you have a problem -you don't have milk in the winter, and you need milk the whole year. Ina: You have milk, but -Teo: It's very a little Ina: So, organic milk is more expensive, of course. But, that's the reason that -Teo: With biologique... with milk there is a very big different between the summ er and the winter. Ina: I don't know how big the difference is, but I think that most organic farmers use a little bit of this. Ute: Corn, or? Ina: No, the grass... Teo: It's only because they eat corn that they can give 40 liters or so of milk. The c onversation was primarily driven by Teo, Ina, and Ute, although others were present. This points to a "taking over" of the conversation, but an uneven take over, as others present did not engage with the primary argument. However, Teo, Ina and Ute openly d isagreed with one another instead of passively listening and responding directly to my questions. Although I spoke a fair amount in this conversation, I was not necessarily driving the conversation. Rather, I took part in the conversation that participants were having, providing examples from my own experiences. I was engaging in conversation with participants. Instead of functioning purely as a researcher, I was also a participant allowing other participants to respond to my own views. This conversation ex hibits collective meaning making and encourages modesty. Had I only had a one on one interview with Teo, I would have gotten only one view of the feed behind the cows in this particular image. As it was, Ina and Ute disagreed with Teo, but agreed with eac h other on what the substance was, and what exactly it was used for.
99 Example 4: Cooking, Baking and Eating Image 13: Ina making rolls (Photographed by Lee Ellen, commissioned by Ina) Image 14: Ute making marmalade (Photographed by Ina)
100 Image 15: The kitchen in Unhausen (Photographed by Ute) (Discussion originally in English) Lee Ellen: Here are three pictures of cooking and kitchen and... first I wanted to ask Ina and Ute what smells, textures -that's touching -or pic tures come to mind when you think about making bread, making lunch or dinner, or cooking marmalade -or anyone can answer this really -it's just because they were in the pictures. And what words would you use to describe the senses that you were experiencin g in these pictures? Like, what did you feel with your hands? Ina: I like it. Everybody likes it to make a little bread. The children love it too... Ute: to form it Ina: To form it. To hold it in their hand. To touch and touch again and to form it. Becaus e it's soft and warm and it feels good, and yeah... it really smells good and tastes good, and you see it 30 minutes later -you can eat it. Ute : I just think about cooking the marmalade -I have to take care because sometimes it is very hot, and it spurts, and it burns. It sticks to the skin, so it's not very pleasant. And... Lee Ellen: But you look so happy! Ute: That's because Ina is there. When I took the picture below, I was cooking something with chard, and it was a hot day I think last week, and every ten minutes I had to leave it, and run outside, because there were people who wanted to go to the strawberry field. I think that I made the picture when just... I heard someone and I left it, and I took the picture and I ran outside to explain where the st rawberry field is, or to weigh the strawberries. Lee Ellen: Are there other questions or...
101 Ina: When I make jam -you make jam when it's outside very hot usually. You are sweating and you have to be inside. It's summer and maybe you would prefer to go out side. But, what I like when I cook jam is the smell because it smells like summer. It's for me the smell of summer. Ute: And if you have spent some hours in the raspberries in the sun, and then you come into this room... it's cool in the room. It's nice to come inside and to finish the work. Lee Ellen: For the other people -what do you like or dislike about preparing your own foods, your own meals? What are your favorite foods? Can you describe your favorite food smells, or textures, or something like that ? When you think about making your favorite foods what are your favorite senses? Smells, touch, sound, taste? Josefine : I don't have any favorite food. It depends on the weather and what I feel like. Teo: Me, I like plants that you pick from nature. What is the name for savage? Lee Ellen: Wild? Ina: The weeds Teo: No. Because they have a very good taste -very subtle. I like this. Lee Ellen: Well. Do you like going through the woods, or going through the forest and finding them also? Is that also part of t he experience? Teo: Yes, I like to find food in the nature. Josefine : And you are sure about whether you can eat it or not? Teo: Yes. When I am not sure, I don't harvest it. Manfred : Which vegetables? Teo: I don't know a lot of different varieties. There are a lot of plants. Manfred: Yes, I eat a lot of salad. Lee Ellen : What about salad? Manfred: Sausages. I like salad and fresh vegetables from the garden, of course. But, the other things, too. Some cake when we buy cake. I don't like it too sweet. Lee Ellen: Ok. So. Ute took these pictures of various raw vegetables and fruits. What do you think about when you see these pictures? Do you have particular memories... that you connect with these pictures when you see them? Ute : It's one of the first fresh p otatoes this year. The fruit is what I did today. Lee Ellen : Are they gooseberries? Ina : Can you bring a glass so I can try because I can't imagine. Ute : It's not the same as last year because there are more raspberries in it./.. it tastes very much like r aspberry. You don't find the gooseberry taste. Ina : Oh, good... I wanted to say something not to this picture, but the picture before when you asked with the smell. I love the smell of fried onions. For me, onion is the most important vegetable in the kitc hen. I can miss I think every other vegetable, but I need onions the whole year. (laughter) Ina: Every day. Josefine : It's the same with garlic. Ina : For me nearly, but onion is the most important. But if I have no garlic in the house -oh no! Lee Ellen: A nd is it the flavor and the smell, too? Ina: mm hmm.
102 I chose a long selection of text for the final example because it shows a coherent progression of ideas across a range of photographs. The sensory descriptions participants used for these photograp hs (warm, sticky, hot, spurts, sticks, sweating; the smells of warm bread, raspberry marmalade, onions, garlic, and summer...) signified how emotionally engaging and personal these images were to them. Anyone else describing these pictures may not use such visceral language, both because they were not present in the scene depicted, and because they did not take the picture themselves. Participants were not only discussing the moment when the photograph was taken, but also contextualizing the photograph wi thin a history of similar experiences (baking bread with children, making marmalade in the summer, cooking frequently with onions). These descriptions enforced further modesty in research and the avoidance of premature conclusions because participants were able to contextualize the pictures far beyond what I would have been able to infer. In regards to "taking over," Ina and Ute were the primary respondents in this selection. I focused the conversation initially on Ina and Ute because they were the ones in the photographs. I opened up the question for others to answer, but only Josefine and Teo volunteered commentary. Where previously this might have been considered something negative, it was actually positive in this case I got a sense that Ina and Ute wer e "owning" the research context relative to my role as a researcher. Refections on Collaboration: Difficulties, Successes, and The Post Participation Survey Organizing the discussions was the most difficult part of the project. It
103 emphasized a discon nect between theory and practice of collaboration and research in general. In theory, I would have met with a stable group of 6 10 people every week over the course of two months. The participants would have had ample time to take photographs about food in their lives, and would have plentiful, exemplary stories about how these pictures of food and farming relate to the way that they see the world, and their position in wider German society. However, in practice this was challenged by the fact that people i nterested in participating did not all live together, and had complicated, busy lives that did not afford them with the time to meet very often. And, when people did have the time, their availability did not coincide with that of other participants. Additi onally, participants were at first confused about the sorts of photographs they should be taking, and did not immediately identify with the goals of collaboration, as discussed previously. Most participants were not actively looking for an outlet through w hich they could communicate their ideas to a wider world. In order to gain a better understanding of how the project was perceived by participants, I created a post participation survey (see Appendix A). This survey addressed questions pertinent to colla borative research, such as those regarding comfort level, communication, and learning experiences. The survey was a further step in dialogue, and was designed to increase the level of researcher modesty. Instead of merely insinuating how well I thought the project went, I asked participants in writing. The questions that I addressed in this survey were related to the theoretical concerns of this thesis. I wanted to better understand how well collaboration functioned, not only through my own experience, but through the stated experience of others involved in the project. Essentially, I wanted to collaboratively understand the benefits of collaboration.
104 Although the project got off onto a rocky road, the participants ultimately seemed very pleased with the pr oject as a whole. The participants who responded from Herleshausen whose lives were most often the topic of conversation during focus groups found the discussions and the themes within them very interesting because they were faced with a reconsideration of the thought patterns and habits that they had fallen into over the years. This encouraged self reflection on the part of the participants: Es war sehr interessant unser Leben mal von au § en zu betrachten und... Fotos zu machen, die unser Leben darstellen 54 Ina wrote in her survey. Ute wrote, "Schon irgendwie interessant; bringt einen zum Nachdenken ber das eigene Verhalten, die eigenen Einstellungen... Es ist immer gut, mal zwischendrin nachzudenken: was mache ich eigentlich? Warum? 55 Teo had a more d eveloped answer in which he identified the worth of the project as a disbursement of "underground information," which he viewed as opposed to the portrayal of the world that one may get from the mainstream media. He liked the fact that I was letting peopl e in America know about people who were living "alternatively" elsewhere in the world. In the previous section, I reviewed the subversion of authority created within the focus group context. I polled the participants to see whether they felt that a subve rsion of power occurred by asking them what role they felt they had in the project (more colleague, participant, or subject in research). Teo commented that he thought the level of power in our focus groups was slightly uneven in favor of the participants and not 54 "It was very interesting to look at our lives from the outside, and to take photographs that represent our lives." 55 "It was definitely interesting; it brings one to think about one's own way of behaving and relating; one's own ideas... It is always good to stop and critically think: what am I doing really? Why?"
105 myself. He felt that I was always either bending to the wills of others in the group, or not asserting my ideas very strongly. Ina and Ute commented that they felt most like participants, Harald said that he felt it was a "k ollegiale Atmosphre, 56 Josefine wrote that she felt it was a "conversation among friends," and Manfred wrote that there was von allem etwas. 57 All in all, none of the participants replied that they felt like a subject of research, although Ute did respond, Trotzdem ist es sc hon manchmal ein seltsames Gef hl, zu wissen, dass ber uns geforscht wird..." 58 In a situation where people are uncomfortable with others having the ultimate say on who they are, it makes sense to keep a level of collaborative respect letting people have m ore of a say in their own representation. I can empathize with Ute's statement. It would also make me feel a little strange to be a "subject" in a research project in which I did not have a clear idea about what details of my life were being emphasized, an d how I would be represented. I would also personally be concerned about researchers making abstractions about my culture or lifestyle, without being able to comment upon them. Participants critiqued that I did not give them proper preparation before gro up discussions. Many said that they were sure I would get better answers if they were given more time to consider them, several days for example. In one particular instance I did give them the questions prior to the focus group, however, it did not seem li ke many had actually taken the opportunity to review the questions before the meeting. Also, because of my responsibilities as a woofer, I only had a couple hours to go through all the 56 K ollegiale Atmosphre : Colleague/cooperative atmosphere 57 "A little bit of everything" 58 "Despite this it is definitely an unusual feeling to know that our lives are being researched."
106 photographs, fit them into a power point on my computer, and construct the relevant questions to ask. Another question that I asked on the post participation survey was whether I could have done something different to make the project more interesting, engaging, or useful for the participants. Intriguingly, without really d iscussing many different avenues of collaboration in research, two members of the group came up with aspects of photo voice and collaborative ethnography that I had read about before arriving in Germany. Teo expressed that he would have liked to see a mor e activist spin on a research project that was similar to mine. He thought that it would have been a good idea to use video cameras and to get a group of people who would go to several places and interview people about alternative topics. One topic he sugg ested was Genetically Modified Organisms, a realm in which he is an activist; he also suggested having some sort of polemical goal at the end of the project, such as the creation of an informative documentary. I explained to Teo why I chose not to employ activism. As I stated before, I did not want to force upon the group an activist's agenda because of the project's short duration activism may be appropriate in other collaborative or applied contexts, but I did not feel like it was appropriate in this one I felt that this activist agenda would be too much of an imposition, and a play of power on my part in this particular context. Harald's comments highlighted the issue of duration a part of collaborative ethnography that Lassiter emphasizes heavily. Har ald indicated that he thought the project represented an intriguing bit of life for this group, but thought it would be interesting to follow up on the members of the group. To only record a summer is to know only part of someone's life:
107 Man wei§ nicht, w as der eigentlich geplant hat und was er in fnf Jahren machen (wird) ... Es wre interessant, die Leute jetzt zu fragen, was sie in zehn Jahren vorstellen und in zehn Jahren wieder fragen. Aber... wer das machen... anders... vielleicht knntest du das mach en, aber nicht als Uniprojekt. One doesn't really know what a person has planned or what they will be doing in five years... It would be interesting to ask the people now what they imagine (their lives to be like) in ten years, and then ask them again in ten years ( what they think ) ... maybe you could be the one to do such a project, but probably not as an undergraduate Overall, from their comments, I deemed the photo voice project as a fruitful attempt in collaboration. It was engaging for the eleven pa rticipants, as reflected in conversation and in the post participation survey. In the next chapter, I will go into more detail on Demeter, Bio Dynamic agriculture, the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, and their effects on the world views of Ina and Manfred. Orig inally, I thought I was going to focus on genetic modification as a final German theme. However, in the spirit of collaboration, I contacted Manfred via email in order to ask him what he thought I should focus on. He discussed the ideas with Ina, and pers onally thought that Demeter would be most interesting, whereas Ina considered "Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen" 59 to be a particularly interesting subject. I decided upon Manfred's suggestion, because I 1) did not have significant ethnographic information on Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen 2) was not able to garner enough outside information to be of use, and 3) was worried that, because I find it much more difficult to agree or support the ideas expressed by the concept, I would not represent it in a way that would be respectful to participants. Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen however, is certainly an interesting and applicable social and economic reform that is gaining political recognition in Germany. 59 Bedingungloses Grundeinkommen: Unconditional basic income
108 The simplified goal of the reform as people explained t o me while I was there is that every citizen be automatically given enough money to live so that they can add to society by developing their individual talents and passions without worrying about subsistence. One could argue that this is interconnected wit h the way that Ina and Manfred live their lives, but it is not an argument that I am going to make in this thesis. In order to more fully collaborate on the subject, I thought of ten questions that I wanted to have clarification about from Ina and Manfred regarding their views of Demeter and of Steiner. I sent these questions to Manfred via email, along with what I thought the answers were, in note form (see Appendix D). Manfred assented to answering these questions together with Ina, and sent me replies, which I have used significantly in my approach to the following chapter. Ina and Manfred are not responding to my text (although I did send via email the chapters which describe participants), I am consulting them first, post research, and pre writing, so that I can attempt to get a better idea of what they think specifically about these topics. Because of the way that I structured my email, Ina and Manfred were able to see my assumptions, and respond to them, making the writing process more of a conversati on than if I had not attempted to contact them. This level of communication after research is not always possible. Indeed, Manfred took a long time to answer the email; after about a month, I assumed he was not going to respond. This again points to the individualistic nature of ethnographic research projects if participants are unwilling or unable to collaborate fully during the writing process, anthropologists cannot force them. The important part of the equation is that an ethnographer attempts to make the writing process accessible to participants.
109 CHAPTER VI: DEMETER FARMING, RUDOLF STEINER, AND THEIR EFFECTS ON A WORLDVIEW Ina discussed Demeter and Rudolf Steiner in depth on a couple of occasions over the summer. The following quote came fro m one discussion I recorded when we were visiting Anna and Felix at their home in Heckenbeck: The family, the farm, how we work, and how we live it fits together. It's perfect for us. But the cows or the cattle [are important] to Demeter [agriculture]... A t the moment we have no cows, so I don't feel complete "real" Demeter. The cow is important for [its] horn... because... the horn is like an antenna to the cosmos. I can't really explain it, but it's very special; very important. [The energy] has to go thr ough the horns of the cow. The cow has a very complicated digestive system. All this together is very important for the whole Demeter idea. I am not involved enough in the Demeter idea. It's complicated. It's a big thing. You have to study it [for] years. We do it, but I don't know all the things. The other thing is that in the Demeter, you have "Preparation[s]" you make special medicine[s] for the soil, and you try to input the cosmic energy. You have herbs and you treat [them] in a special way put it in the ground and leave it for a half a year, and then you take it out... and mix it with the compost only a very little because there is a lot of energy in a little [bit]. You spread the compost over the field and it... heal[s] the soil... There are seven di fferent kinds of preparations. They are all different... You use the horn of a cow, and you put [the mixture inside it], and you leave it in the ground... This is the most important thing in... Demeter agriculture... No other associations have these kinds of preparations. It makes the Demeter agriculture so special. And we do it, but for me I mean, I have the children For me it's important, and I want to do it more properly, [but it's] more work. We buy the preparations [instead], but the thought is to do it on your own farm to collect the plants at the right time, and to prepare them, and to put them in the ground, and take them out, and do everything. I want to do it... and I want to have my own [preparations] in my soil... I [tried] to do it, but I didn 't manage [it], and in the end we decided that we had to buy [the preparations] because otherwise we [wouldn't] do it (originally in English). Ina and Manfred engage in a type of agriculture which emphasizes wholeness,
110 interconnectedness, energy, balance patience and sustainability. This type of agriculture is called "Bio Dynamic," and is a form of intentional organic agriculture, which was developed originally by Rudolf Steiner (1861 1925) in the 1920s. Steiner was a "practical philosopher" who based h is philosophy on both science and the "visions" that he had about the future of the world. Steiner, most well known for his development of Waldorf education, was the leader of a spiritual group called Anthroposophy. Gary Lachman, who I will be relying on f or most of my information on Steiner in this chapter, explains that Steiner's most widely used definition of Anthroposophy is "a path of knowledge to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe" (2007:171). In this chapter, I w ill take a look at Bio Dynamic farming as it was developed by Steiner, and as it is practiced by Ina and Manfred on Grtnerhof im Zipfel influenced by both my own insights, and the self reflective insights I acquired from Ina and Manfred through a post res earch email on the subject. First, however, in order to ground the reader in Bio Dynamic farming, I will explain the philosophy and world view of Rudolf Steiner. Following this, I will describe how I saw it in general affecting the way that Ina and Manfred view the world. Rudolf Steiner: His Life, and His Philosophy Rudolf Steiner was a visionary whose teachings became popular in Europe in the early 20 th centu ry. Gary Lachman writes that although Steiner's teachings were most popular in Germany, he was mo st disliked there as well (2007:192). He is remembered both for his contributions to the foundation of Waldorf education, and Bio Dynamic
111 farming methods. Steiner was born in 1861 in a small town on the Croatian border of Austria Hungary. He spent his ea rly childhood in lower Austria in a town called Pottschach, where his father was a train conductor (Beckmannshagen 1984:56). When he was around eight, his family moved to the Neud rfl, on the Hungarian border. His father wanted Rudolf to become a railroad engineer, and so sent him to a Realschule 60 in Wiener Neustadt. As an 18 year old, Steiner completed his Matura 61 and then began to study math, physics, biology and chemistry at the Technischen Hochschule 62 in Vienna. During that time, Steiner was a tutor fo r a prominent Viennese family (1984:57). Steiner became intensely interested in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's scientific writings. In 1889, Steiner left Vienna for Weimar, where he began working as an editor of Goethe's scientific writings in the Goethe Sc hiller Archive. Steiner first became well known as the editor of these writings; they would later have a large influence on the development of his spiritualistic pursuit of Anthroposophy (2007:42). Lachman writes: What he learned from looking over the mat erial at hand made him feel that his initial insights into Goethe's scientific work were accurate. If anything, this first perusal of Goethe's unpublished scientific writings only strengthened Steiner's conviction that in the act of knowing in Goethe's sen se Goethe believed a new form of consciousness was produced. Steiner's question now became how he could build upon what he already gained from Goethe, so that from Goethe's insights he could forge a link leading to a direct perception of the spirit world, something that he himself already experienced (2007:74). After Weimar, Steiner made his way to Berlin. There, he worked for both anarchists (as an editor for the failing Magazine for Literature ), and material Marxists (giving a history lecture series s ponsored by the Working Men's College in Berlin), although he disagreed 60 Realschule: secondary school 61 Matura: Highschool final exam 62 T echnische Hochschule: technical college
112 with the principles of both (2007:115). Lachman explains, Just as he did with the readers of the Magazine for Literature, Steiner felt it his mission to introduce the reality of the sp irit into the minds of his listeners. The fact that they were all indoctrinated with a philosophy that denied everything he stood for was negligible. The fact that they were listening was enough. It would, he realized, have been useless to try to deny Marx ism directly. What he needed to do was to let their own idealism, which had brought them to Marxism in the first place, carry them beyond it, to a recognition of the spirit. At his first attempt, Steiner displayed the innate charm, charisma, and sincerity that would in a few years make him one of the most successful speakers in Europe (2007:119). In 1919, an enthusiastic follower of Steiner's, Emil Molt, approached him on the topic of education. Molt owned a large company, and wanted to provide comprehens ive education for the children of his workers. Steiner, having been a teacher, had had much experience and success in tutoring throughout his life. Molt funded Steiner's pursuit into the subject, and the first Waldorf School was founded in Stuttgart in 191 9. In the first three years, the school grew from around 220 to around 1100 children (Lachman 2007:194/5). Biographers of Steiner emphasize that Steiner was a complicated individual, and that his ideas were highly unusual (Lachman 2007; Wilson 1985). In his philosophy he wrote about "insights" that he had come to realize, or that he had himself experienced. Steiner wrote several integral texts. Die Philosophie der Freiheit 63 is recognized as his most influential, although it was not his most popular at the time of its publication. Lachman explains that within the Die Philosophie der Freihei t Steiner proposes that the physical, observable world people experience is a world that is already "infused with the content of our inner, spiritual world, our consciou sness" (2007:94). Steiner believed that there were two worlds: a spiritual and a physical world. Lachman summarizes that, when 63 The Philosophy of Freedom
113 one meditates or dreams, one supposedly approaches the outer realms of the spiritual world Steiner taught that the outskirts of the spiritual world "begin in our own minds" (2007:18). Lachman clarifies that Steiner thought one could access this world through training. He encouraged "active thinking," and wrote that human beings have "autonomous minds" -that the the "I" and conscio usness are basic, "irreducible realities, spiritual realities, and that our inner world has the power to grasp experience..." (2007:xx). Lachman contends that "if there is one thing that he wanted to convey it's the importance of making our thoughts and ou r thinking come alive" (2007:xx) a point which I will revisit in relation to Ina and Manfred and their willingness to engage in this collaborative research project. Steiner was first associated with Theosophy (a mystic society, using loosely connected ins ights from various Eastern religions) but founded his own spiritual view of the world called "Anthroposophy." Lachman and Wilson (1985) agree that for Steiner, theosophy was too "materialistic." Lachman (2007) makes clear that he was against materialism b ecause he saw the material world as being intertwined with the spiritual world. The material world, he thought, existed as a result of the spiritual world, and is largely constructed through human cognition. Lachman (2007) states that "the world, Steiner s aw, only reaches completion through the act of knowing" knowledge "was part of the cosmic process itself" (2007:103). Steiner believed that there were not limits to human knowledge the human mind can, he thought, cognize every realm of life (2007:95). The term Anthroposophy did not originate with Steiner. In Vienna, Steiner had a teacher who used the term for his own academic, philosophical pursuits. Lachman
114 explains that "the word derives from two Greek terms, anthropos, man'... and sophia, 'wisdom.' Its link to Theosophy is clear, the distinction being that the older term... designates the wisdom of 'God' or 'the gods'" (2007:172). It refers to knowledge achieved through one's own efforts. Guido Giacomo Preparata places Steiner's teachings within pre a nd post WWI Germany: Rudolf Steiner (1861 1925) devoted significant portions of speculative activity to social and economic questions; during the fateful interwar period, he delivered remarkable lectures on the nature of economics and the physiology of the social order. He fashioned analyses consonant with the intuitions of monetary reformer Silvio Gesell and kindred to institutional narratives of the old German school, providing penetrating insight into the (perishable) nature of money, distribution, and t he fundamental notion of the gift. His blueprint for social Utopia was the threefold social order whereby three independent systems of collective life (economy, state, and arts and sciences) are conceived to function as a harmonious whole. Steiner's contr ibution to the social sciences, naturally obliterated in our opportunistic times of "ultra economism," would deservedly occupy a preeminent place among heterodox thought that awaits impatiently the demise of modern capitalism's unreasoning appetites with a view to refashioning an alternative, more humane economy (2006:619) Right after the First World War in Weimar Germany, people were especially receptive to the ideas of Rudolf Steiner. Perhaps people were open to his idealism because of the dreadful econ omic and social destruction of the war. The new improvisierte Demokratie" 64 of the Weimarer Republik 65 was in itself not stable, and left many people looking for answers. Kohb writes: Die erste deutsche Demokratie wurde nicht erk mpft von einer starken, in breiten Bevlkerungsschichten verwurzelten republikanischen Bewegung, die langfristig und planvoll eine demokratische Umgestaltung des monarchischen Obrigkeitsstaates anstrebte und schlie§lich in einer gro§en Kraftanstrengung durchsetzte; sie wurde vielme hr improvisiert als 64 Improvisierte Demokratie: improvised democracy 65 Weimarer Republik: Weimar Republic
115 eine 'Notlsung,' um die Folgen des verlorenen Weltkrieges fr das deutsche Volk einigerma§en ertrglich zu gestalten. Und als dieser vermeintliche Ausweg aus der Misere der Niederlage nicht zum Ziel fhrte, als trotz der Etablierung ei ner demokratischen Republik die Siegermchte dem Deutschen Reich einen Friedensvertrag mit drckenden Bestimmungen aufzwangen, war damit auch die neue Staatsordnung in den Augen der gro§en Mehrheit der Bevlkerung dauerhaft diskreditiert (Kohb 2002:2). Th e first German democracy was not achieved through a strong, republican movement rooted in broad social strata. The movement was not aiming for a long term, planned, democratic reconfiguration of the monarchical, authoritarian state, which was finally achie ved with a great physical effort. Rather, the movement was improvised as an "emergency solution" to make more bearable the consequences of the lost world war for the German populace The new state order was, in the eyes of the great majority of the populat ion, indelibly discredited because the intended way out of the misery of the defeat did not actually lead to the expected goal and, despite the establishment of a democratic republic the victors imposed a peace treaty with onerous clauses upon the German Reich. Steiner's book Die Kernpunkte der Sozialenfrage, 66 which was published in 1919 the first year of the Weimarer Republik was his most successful. The book "became a kind of bestseller with eighty thousand copies sold in its first year" and was tra nslated from German into many other languages. "For a time 'threefoldness' became something of a popular idea, the way that certain 'green' or 'organic' ways of thinking catch on for a time today" (2007:189). However, there was also anti Steiner sentiment across an array of organizations in the early 1920s, including the Nazis, Theosophists, Marxists, Occultists, Protestants, and Catholics (2007:192). Steiner's Influence on Grtnerhof im Zipfel The influence of Rudolf Steiner on the lives of Ina and Manf red is not relegated to the realm of farming, although the focus of this chapter will move in that direction. It 66 The Threefold Social Order
116 permeates many areas of their lives. For example, they send their children to a Waldorf school in nearby Eisenach, which encourages free thinki ng. Ina goes with her daughter to yoga a space where she can "think about nothing," and Manfred told me that he sometimes feels that planting is like meditation. Ina explained in the email, Im tglichen Leben ist Anthroposophie im Praxis wichtig: die Ki nder gehen zur Waldorfschule, wir arbeiten nur (mit) Demeter Richtlinien. Aber wir tun das, weil wir von den Ideen berzeugt sind und sie verinnerlicht haben ," 67 Manfred replied, "Demeter ist mehr als 'einfach' nur Bio: es ist spirituell und mehr Dinge umfa ssend." 68 Lachman explains that Steiner focused a great deal on meditation in his writing. He points to meditation as a way to access the spiritual world (2007:138). Steiner's view of Christianity was unorthodox, however he was a very religious man and be lieved in the central importance of Christ (2007:6). Both Manfred and Ina told me that God is an important part of their life. They are also not dogmatic -Ina and he both define their relationship to Christianity as "unorthodox" -like Steiner's. They do no t frequently go to church, and I did not hear them make many references to religion this summer. As Ina stated in the email: Gut ausgedrckt: Religion ist Teil unserer Weltanschauung. Es ist in uns nicht u§erlich (Kirche, beten darber reden). Ich gehre offiziell zur evangelischen Kirche. Das ist mir auch wichtig. Ich habe als Jugendliche nach Antworten gesucht, Fragen gehabt, die Antworten habe ich fr mich in der Anthroposophie gefunden. Sie haben mir gefallen fr mein Leben. Jedenfalls das wenige was ich wei§. Steiners Werk ist unglaublich umfangreich. Vieles ist nur angedeutet, man soll selber forschen. Dazu gibt er auch genaue Anleitung. Er will unbedingt dazu anregen selber zu denken und forschen. Spannend! Aber da bin ich noch lange nicht. 67 In daily life, Anthroposophy is important in practice: the children go to Waldorf School, we work only with the guidelines of Demeter. But we do that because we are convinced about the ideas and we have internalized them. 68 Demeter is more than just Bio: it is spiritual and it encompasses more things."
117 You phr ased that well: religion is a part of our world view. It is for us not really external (church, praying, talking about it). I officially belong to the Lutheran C hurch. That is also important to me. I was looking for answers when I was younger. I had questi ons, and I was able to find the answers in Anthroposophy. They fit for me in my life. In any case, wi th the small amount that I know. Steiner's work is unbelievably extensive. A lot of it is only implied, and one has to do one's own research. In addition t o this there ar e also specific instructions. He definitely wants to encourage people to think and research for themselves. Exciting! But I have not had extensive experience with that yet... Manfred responded, Was Steiner schreibt ist wenn es verstanden ist, fr mich recht berzeugend bzw. nachvollziehbar. Wir sind protestantisch getauft wurden; hat fr mich aber wenig Bedeutung What Steiner writes is, i f I am understanding it correctly, really convincing for me and rather traceable. We 69 were baptized Protestant, but it does not really mean much for me. Additionally, Ina does not go to a traditional doctor when she is sick. Instead, she calls a homeopathic doctor, who treats based on the individual and not the categorized sickness. Although I do not think that this particular doctor practices "anthroposophic medicine," homeopathic practice is very similar to anthroposophic medicine. Lachman (2007) explains that anthroposophic medicine is based on Steiner's views on "threefold human nature," and is ver y similar to homeopathy in that it uses "highly potentized tinctures and preparations." As with homeopathy, "anthroposophical medicine treats the individual, and not the disease" (2007:215). There is certainly also a respect for living creatures that pe rmeates into areas of Ina and Manfred's lives. Although not opposed to killing animals for consumption, or killing certain pests which could do harm (e.g. fleas), Ina said she does not approve of
118 killing animals for the sake of killing them. Indeed, she ex plained that she does not kill spiders in her house, because they are beneficial. They just hang around and kill more harmful insects like mosquitoes or more annoying insects like flies. This is a reflection of the respect for biodiversity and eco system t hat is common in Bio Dynamic agriculture. "Energy" was also an important theme this summer, but it usually arose through discussions between Teo and Ina, instead of with Ina or Manfred alone. Teo was interested in the topic of energy. For example, he dis cussed once that, when someone is cutting vegetables with a knife, cutting away from oneself gives the energy from the vegetables to others, whereas cutting towards oneself brings energy into oneself. This led into a conversation about Feng Shui how to set up a house so that you have the most energy. Teo also brought up more than once a discussion about criss crossing lines of energy which are supposedly everywhere on the earth. He explained that houses and churches tend to be built with their walls on th ese lines people who are more in tune with their surroundings will build on these lines without noticing. When one stands on the cross section of these lines, one receives a boost of energy which can either be bad or good. He said that he sometimes will go alone into the woods and close his eyes, attempting to find exactly where these lines of energy are. This is a topic that Teo discussed at length twice during the summer, and a topic to which Ina and Manfred were receptive in discussion with him. Bio Dy namic Farming and Grtnerhof im Zipfel Manfred told me that at farmers' markets, he gets into a variety of conversations
119 with customers, and that this is one of the most enjoyable aspects of farmers' markets for him. I asked what the conversations were abo ut, and he replied, Na ja, Gott und die Welt ." 70 He and Ina engaged in conversations with me about elements that I would identify as "spiritual" (such as "energy," "aura," "connectedness"). This seems to be a non dogmatic, caring, respectful world view; wh ether or not it is "right," it seems to be a very thoughtful way of approaching life. Seeing "aura" "energy" and "connectedness" in the world makes it seem more magical. In this way of viewing the world, you can infuse plants with energy from the solar sy stem, and observe their level of energy through an exploration of "aura." It seems to be a deliberate, and thought out way of thinking and acting. However, Ina and Manfred never explicitly told me that they see "magic" in their lives; the conclusion is bas ed on my personal response and categorization of the ideas that they conveyed to me. Ina and Manfred both became interested in Demeter for different reasons. As I stated previously, I engaged in post research contact with Ina and Manfred, and asked them q uestions about their relationship with Demeter agriculture and Anthroposophy through an email. Ina answered through email that she first had "contact" with Waldorf schools at the age of twelve: "das hat mich nicht mehr losgelassen. Ich habe mehr darber e rfahren wollen und bin dann von meiner Waldorforientierten Erzieherinausbildung zur Demeter Landwirtschaft gekommen." 71 Manfred wrote, "Ich habe eine Demeterausbildung begonnen. Das war eine gute Alternative zur "normalen" Ausbildung. Alles weitere hat sic h dann dadurch ergeben. 72 70 Literally: "God a nd the world" 71 and that never let me go. Back then I wanted to learn more about it. Through a Waldorf oriented educator training I discovered Demeter agriculture." 72 "I started with a Demeter training. I found that it was a good alternative to the 'norma l' agriculture
120 Bio Dynamic agriculture was the first intentional form of organic ag riculture in the world (Lockeretz 2007:14). Adams (2004) explains that Bio Dynamic is often termed "organic plus" or "organic premium," and provides organic agri culture with much of its ideological basis. Philbrick and Philbrick (1971) explain, "One of the chief differences between Bio Dynamics and other organic methods of gardening is that Bio Dynamics makes use of the dynamic effects of living things acting upon each other. The dynamic effects are always there, but Bio Dynamics makes a conscious effort to study, to harness the forces and to use them in the growth processes" (1971:74). Pfeiffer (2004) states Ste iner w as approached by a group of farmers in the ear ly 1920s who were concerned with the lack of fertility of their soil, and thus its production. Steiner ruminated on the subject, and then gave the farmers advice. His advice for them, which employed practical methods and anthroposophical spiritual groundin g, seemed to be successful for these indivi duals. Pfeiffer (2004) reviews that, in part due to this success Steiner was encouraged to give a series of lectures for farmers and interested citizens. In 1924, Steiner gave a series of eight lectures on the sub ject. Through these talks on anthroposophical farming, he created what is now considered "Bio Dynamic farming," which is currently certifi ed through the world wide Bio Dynamic organization, Demeter (2004:8). Steiner grounded agriculture in cosmic processe s: "we shall never understand plant life unless we bear in mind that everything which happens on the Earth is but a reflection of what is taking place in the Cosmos" (Steiner 2004:23). He explained that, in terms of plants, the energy from the Cosmos "is f irst received by the earth, and the Earth then rays it upward again. Thus, the influences that rise upward from the earthly soil training. Everything after that just happened by itself."
121 beneficial or harmful for the growth of plants are in reality cosmic influences rayed back again and working directly in the ai r and water over the Earth" (2004:30/31). Although Bio Dynamic production is based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, and connected heavily to the anthroposophical view of the world and of spirituality, the actual practical implications of certain method s are ones which have shown to be beneficial in farming. Although many of the activities seem "bizarre" or "strange" (Lachman 2007:xvii) in the sense that they integrate knowledge which is non traditional, and spiritual many of the actual practices employ "common sense" as well as scientific knowledge. The Bio Dynamic Farming and Gardening Association (hereafter BFGA) states that "Bio Dynamic agriculture is a way of living, working and relating to nature and the vocations of agriculture based on good commo n sense practices, a consciousness of the uniqueness of each landscape, and the inner development of each and every practitioner" (BFGA 2007). In particular, such "common sense" activities that Bio Dynamic farmers engage in are, according to the website ( www.Bio Dynamics.com/Bio Dynamics.html ), striving to be self sufficient in energy, fertilizers, plants, and animals; structuring... activities based on working with nature's rhythms; using dive rsity in plant, fertilizers, and animals as building blocks of a healthy operation; being professional in (the) approach to reliability, cleanliness, order, focus on observation, and attention to detail; and being prompt and up to date in doing one's job Furthermore, gardens or farms that are biologically managed use variety and biodiversity in their "many sided cropping system" (Kopf 2007:27), whereas strictly organic agriculture can employ monoculture practices. Yields of crops can be higher because Bio Dynamic farmers use crops which enrich the nitrogen levels of the soils (such as legumes), as well as other plants that encourage the development of humus. The
122 development of "preparations" also make sense in general scientific terms. The preparations are fermented concoctions which "react like yeast in a dough i.e. They speed and direct fermentation toward the desired neutral colloidal humus" (BFGA, 2007). W hether or not one believes in the spiritual grounding of this type of agriculture, the preparations have been shown to work in "real" scientific tests, and it may be because of their fermentive qualities. Bio Dynamic agriculture in general does not base itself on a specific and rigidly defined set of practices, or "a collection of recipes, or favorite tricks to make things grow" (Philbrick and Philbrick 1971:14). It is, rather, highly individualistic: "We know a lot of other Demeter farms, and the farms themselves are as diversified as the people," Manfred explained in the email response. Every farm is different, and farmers must be able to adapt to not only the different area in which a farm exists, but also to the variations on the farm as the environment, and ecosystem around it shifts (1971:14). Biological management means reconciling the life cond itions of a healthy, enduring, producing system with economic necessities, and with the skills and interests of the farmer or gardener" (Koepf 2007:27). Scholars state that Rudolf Steiner indicated it was very important for a farm to be a sustainable ent ity: a living organism (Adams, 2004; Kopf, 2007). However, he also wrote that if full sustainability could not be accomplished, Bio Dynamic farming should not be abandoned. Rather, a farmer should attempt to be sustainable to the utmost of his or her abili ty (Koepf 2007). At the moment, Ina and Manfred are attempting to be sustainable, but are unable to be entirely because of a number of factors. They have too much work, not enough money, and four children to look after. They do not have a cow,
123 and have to buy their preparations from the Demeter organization. But, Ina considers Bio Dynamic agriculture so important that she sees it as necessary to go through these steps to do Bio Dynamic: "Otherwise we don't do it." Ina expressed remorse to me this summer about not having livestock on the farm. Although she lamented the inability, her parents, who live up the road and are organic, but not Demeter farmers, provide the G rtnerhof im Zipfel with a rich supply of manure (for fertilizer), fruit, potatoes, eggs, dairy and meat products. Although not ideal in the sense that the farm cannot be considered the self sustaining organism that Rudolf Steiner described, it is still relatively sustainable. Koepf indicates that although "the animal raising should be a perman ent practice, that is, based as far as possible on raising one's own stock and feed..." "self containment is certainly not a rigid dogma; that would only alienate the farmer from life and bring about socially undesirable conditions. Necessary improvements must be made and obvious deficiencies overcome" (2007:29). Koepf (2007) also explains that v ariety and the development of an on farm eco system is another objective on Demeter farms. Variety is helpful for the care of the soil, and the encouragement of a n ecosystem is helpful for the overall farm organism, as well as the health of the plants (2007:29). Variety has a very practical application, in that it creates a more sustainable eco system for insects and animals, as well as nourishes the soil, which al so prevents erosion and makes it less likely that a plant disease would devastate the farm. If one crop catches a virus or disease and begins to die, it will not necessarily affect the other crops. G rtnerhof im Zipfel certainly has a wide variety of produ ce, and Manfred and Ina talked about how they plant flowers to attract butterflies and other helpful bugs which will assist in crop pollination.
124 Manfred and Ina were certainly vocal this summer about their commitment to continuing the local eco system in the area. They expressed their dissatisfaction with the practices of the conventional, monoculture farmers who cultivated the land around their own. They both explained that the monoculture situation is very bad for the animals and the ecosystems in the a rea. Instead of being bothered by "pests" (such as rabbits), they explained that they understood why the rabbits were so interested in their field their crops reflect nature much more realistically than do the chemical covered plants to the left and right. Although sometimes frustrated when the rabbits ate too much, they were not in a position to do anything to discourage this activity besides talking to the rabbits. Ina explained to me that she thought it is possible to communicate with animals. She said t hat she wanted to create a special plot of land for the rabbits and encourage them to eat only from this field, so that they will still be able to sell the vegetables on other fields. This did not come into fruition when I was there. I offered to write a g uitar part for a rabbit song, but we did not end up having enough time or motivation to pursue this. Philbrick and Philbrick (1971) contend that responsibility to biodiversity is within the Demeter ideal. For example, when a Demeter farm has an infestati on of insects, the farmer instead of reaching for a bug bomb to annihilate, he tries to first figure out the cause of the infestation. What can I learn form the presence of these insects? Is there some imbalance in my garden which makes it suddenly attrac tive to them? ... Is there too much or too little moisture, sunlight, soil aeration, compost, shade, mulch, cultivation? -and so on? What insect is it, and what are the various stages of its life cycle? What are its characteristics? What does it like? What does it dislike? Is there some mechanical method for dislodging the insects? -or trapping them? or keeping them out or driving them away? (1971:71). Bio Dynamic farming usually requires a lot of time, thought, and patience on the
125 part of the farmer, compared to the requirements of organic farming. The farmer is supposed to not only follow specific procedures (such as spreading preparations on the soil), but also be very in tune with the nature that surrounds him or her, and the organism of his or her farm. Steiner emphasizes that farmers have to be willing to pay attention to their farm, and alter their practices based on new developments on the farm. Every year things are a little bit different insect breeds change, winds change, weather changes, new "weeds" grow. Farmers are supposed to be aware of all these factors. Manfred was a very patient, hardworking farmer. Sometimes he worked twelve hours a day on a field weeding, planting, or harvesting. Ina said that Manfred was more patient than her, and more strong willed in his conviction to do things the more "natural" way. For example, Ina said that whereas she might be tempted to buy "regular" paint from a hardware store, Manfred would not do it he would use a more natural option. Demeter farmers a re supposed to plant their vegetables based on cycles of the moon. The reason for planting based on moon cycles is grounded in scientific experimentation that plants actually have growth spurts during certain times of the month. The argument is that plants go through a phase of fertility and growth based on the moon's phases. Farmers also have to think about such elements as weather whether it is better to plant when it is a certain temperature or when it is cloudy. Manfred was certainly focused on weather, but I did not ask him about moon cycles. A lack of sufficient farm help, and money seem to be primary reasons that G rtnerhof im Zipfel is not more Bio Dynamic. It would be fiscally unfruitful for them to pay regular farm workers a relatively reasonabl e wage, and so Manfred and Ina do not advertise the position. At the moment, they essentially make even with subsidization
126 from the German government. Although not required, the ideal of Demeter agriculture is that there will be enough volunteer farm help that the farm will not need to pay for workers. Ideally, Ina told me, anthroposophical people will come and volunteer on farms because they are so convinced of the importance of Bio Dynamic farming. Ina is hopeful that anthroposophical people will eventual ly feel inspired enough to come help on their farm, however, at the moment they are without such voluntary work. Over the summer I met two women to whom Ina and Manfred paid a small sum of money to work on the farm. Both were parents of children at the W aldorf school where Ina and Manfred sent two of their children. One of these women Ina identified as "very anthroposophic." However, their work was not necessarily regular the women had other obligations to attend to (such as work, husbands and children). The farm also gets help from woofers, although Ina and Manfred cannot count on this help, as they are never sure exactly how many woofers are going to stop by in any given season. This year was unusual for them in that both Teo and I came for the entire su mmer. As far as I know, Bio Dynamic agriculture does not provide Ina and Manfred with any extra revenue in comparison with regular organic farming (both types of farming receive subsidies from the German government). In fact, it also takes more time, mor e money, more patience, and more thought than regular organic farming necessitates. Manfred also said that not very many German consumers are even aware of what the Demeter logo actually means. People have heard about it, but it is not a topic that permea tes popular consciousness. Thus, it is relatively obvious that Ina and Manfred are doing Bio Dynamic agriculture because they think it is important not because of increased financial benefits.
127 Although G rtnerhof im Zipfel does not make very much revenue Ina and Manfred seem content to be in the financial situation that they are in. Manfred explained that he truly enjoys farming, and loves that he can make a living from it: "I am happy with my vegetables. I can live from selling my vegetables. I don't ne ed to make a million dollars every market." Money came up a lot during the summer, both as a source of stress and as a source of pride. Ina and Manfred sometimes bickered about money. For example, one argument centered around whether or not they should pay a college kid five Euros an hour to weed in their third field, which often looked untamed and overgrown. However, another conversation came up with some woofers, when Manfred was giving them a tour of the farm. Standing with them at the barn, eating a fre shly cut cantaloupe, we started talking about money, "Ich verstehe diese Menschen nicht, die immer mehr Geld haben m ssen die nie zufrieden sind," Manfred commented. 73 GMOs and Conclusions Genetically Modified Organisms are seen as a threat to Demeter ag riculture, both by project participants during the summer of 2008, and by the Demeter organization itself. Demeter agriculture is explicitly anti Genetic Modification. For Demeter, organisms (plants and nature in general) are not dependent on the economic situation, but rather the opposite: the economic situation is dependent on nature. Nature is an organism unto itself, and cannot be controlled entirely by economics or by science (Informationsdienst Gentechnik: http://www.keine gentechnik.de/infodienst gentechnik.html ). 73 "I just don't understand these people that have to have more and more money who are just never satisfied."
128 With genetic modification, there is an intense focus on monoculture and spraying of herbicides and pesticides. The particular brand of herbicides and pesticides (for example Round Up from Monsanto) is being marketed as more environmentally friendly because it is not as harmful as other chemicals. However, as has already been demonstrated in several cases, 'weeds' and 'pests' are growing increasingly resistant to Round Up and other patented materials. This has resulted in an increasing amount of poisons being sprayed onto and around plants. GMOs challenge Bio Dynamic because they are completely devoid of the essential endeavor or Bio Dynamic farming. According to Koepf, this is "to keep each single measure related to life's overarching wholeness. This is taken account of in the methods of manuring, in cultivating the soil, in the observing of cosmic rhythms, in the interrelationships of farm and environment and so on" (20 07:28). This is an important point to review because although Demeter is explicitly anti GMO, organic certification is not. This is an important way in which organic certification differs from Bio Dynamic certification. GMOs were a theme on the farm while I was there. Harald, Manfred and I traveled 1.5 hours in a car (an unusually far distance for them to drive) so that we could be present and give our support for Percy Schmeiser, who was giving a lecture about GMOs. Manfred told me that I should definitel y write down how long of a distance he drove, because it was so unusual. Schmeiser is a Canadian farmer traveling around Europe recounting his personal traumatic struggle with the Monsanto corporation, and warning European farmers not to give into the pres sures of the supposed "benefits" of genetic modification. At the lecture, there were various products being sold as a method of fund raising for anti GMO activists. One of the products being sold was a sign which
129 Manfred already had, and that he exhibits both on his barn, and at his farm stand in Eschwege: "Demeter: Wir arbeiten ohne Gentechnik!" 74 Image 16: We Work Without Genetic Modification (photographed by Lee Ellen) The certification of organic agriculture is not exclusively anti GMO. At least i n the United States, the largest producer of GMOs in the world, organic products may be genetically modified, and organic producers have to fight powerful lobbyists in order to even state on packaging that their products do not contain GMOs. This different iation, along with the description of Anthroposophy and Bio Dynamic agriculture in this chapter, clearly demonstrates that engaging in Demeter agriculture is not merely a profit oriented way to approach the production of food. Manfred, Ina, and other Demet er 74 "Demeter: We work without genetic technology!"
130 farmers seem to be against GMOs on principle based on a world view which includes Bio Dynamic farming. Ina and Manfred wrote in the email that they do not identify themselves as "Anthroposophs" (one does not have to technically be a practicing anthrop osoph to be a Demeter farmer). Ina wrote, "Ich wrde nie sagen 'Ich bin Anthroposopher.' Ich mag mich nicht so einengen." 75 Manfred wrote, "Was ist ein Antroposoph? Wieviel muss man Steiner kennen und danach leben um sich so zu bezeichnen? Ich denke das is t sehr individuell und hngt von vielen Faktoren ab oder damit zusammen." 76 However, by the way that Ina talked about Demeter this summer, it was clear that she held Rudolf Steiner in high regard. She honored his ideas, and took him to have been a very w ise man with inspiring insights about the world. Many ideas of Steiner's permeate the way that these individuals act in the world around them. Through this chapter I have discussed that, for Ina and Manfred, Bio Dynamic is not only a method of farming, but a way of approaching life deeply informed by the spiritual teachings of Rudolf Steiner. In relation to the collaborative research on the farm this summer, this world view may have affected our interactions. A primary focus of Steiner's writing is the dev elopment of autonomous minds. As Ina stated, "Steiner's work is unbelievably extensive. He definitely wants people to think and research for themselves." As I stated previously in the thesis, Ina and Manfred did not openly discuss their conclusions about S teiner and their way of life prior to my inquiry. They did not attempt to sway my own world view through discussions. Rather, Ina and Manfred have come to conclusions 75 "I would never say 'I am an Anthroposoph.' I do not like to confine myself like that." 76 "What is an anthroposoph? How much does one have to know Steiner and live by his teachings in order to label oneself as such? I think that is really individual and really depends on a lot o f factors"
13 1 about the way that they want to approach living life. They were open to discussion about their views on Demeter, but were not actively searching for a medium to express them. This allowed for open communication with an emphasis on active reflection. Anthroposophy seems to be a very conscious, well thought out approach to life, and Ina and Manf red's orientation towards it although not self identification as such may have influenced their receptivity to collaborative approaches. That is not to say that people who are not anthroposophs are not receptive to the approach of collaboration in research Rather, it is to give an explanation of why collaboration seems to have been so effective in this particular location with these particular people. The project did not end with the summer. In the fall semester of 2008, I transcribed, and categorized text, audio, photographs, and videos ultimately having a multimedia exhibit of the project at New College, my home campus, in November. Theoretically, this exhibit fits into the connection that collaborative ethnography, and photo voice, have with "public anthropology. I created an exhibit in order to spread the ideas articulated through the summer research making the information, at least in part, accessible beyond this thesis. However, in the same vein that this project was completed to explore the ef fectiveness of collaboration as a research method, so too was the exhibit created in order to see how well a collaborative project would transform into a form of public anthropology. It was a goal to spread the ideas eld by the project participants, as wel l as the methodology of collaboration, so that visitors to the exhibit would gain a better understanding of a group of people from another part of the world (which some may
132 interpret as an "activist" agenda). My primary goal was to see how effective multim edia is in the transference of collaborative research projects according to the goals of collaboration as reviewed in Chapter I. A description of this exhibit and a post exhibit survey will be presented in the next chapter.
133 CHAPTER VII: EXHIBITING P OSTERS AND POST EXHIBIT POLLING I wanted to explicitly bridge that divide and bring the participants' voices and opinions on the project back with me to New College. Before leaving Germany, I asked the participants to envision an exhibit that would mos t accurately and interestingly represent the ideas and experiences expressed in our discussions of food, farming, and life. In the last meeting I sat together with many of the participants and went through all of the photographs taken during the summer. I identified themes, and then asked people to comment on them: were they the themes that participants also saw? I received many similar responses, and used them to construct the exhibit, while taking into consideration the opinions that differed. The respons es from participants regarding the exhibit heavily influenced the themes, and photographs that I ultimately selected, as well as the set up that I chose to use. Ute, Manfred, Ina and Harald thought I should separate the exhibit into themes. For example the theme "work" would have pictures of people working on the field. They all agreed that it would be helpful to have appropriate captions along with these themes. Harald said it would be important for me to showcase the actual participants of the projec t, giving a face to a name and quotation, and a short biography of each participant. Unfortunately, I was unable to give detailed biographies, as I did not feel I really had enough information on each participant to construct my own definition of who they were and what they were doing with their lives (although this is something I did in the context of the thesis). However, I did give each person's "message to the world" under their picture, as well as their singular definitions of what BIO meant to them.
134 After returning from Germany in mid August of 2008, I started my fourth year at the New College of Florida with plans to have an on campus multimedia exhibit. Over the course of the first two months, I transcribed audio discussions, categorized responses a nd photographs, and solidified the time and place of the exhibit. The exhibit was designed to add another collaborative element to the project by including a post exhibit survey for visitors. In this chapter I will first describe the setup of the exhibit, then I will explain the post exhibit survey and the results of the survey. I have chosen to focus primarily on learning experiences, and personal responses to the exhibit, in order to identify the effectiveness of public, multimedia exhibits across discip lines and potentially outside of academia. Experiencing The Exhibit The location of the exhibit was a common space in the center of the dorms at New College. The campus is divided in half by US 41. The two sides of campus are connected with a concrete o verpass. A focal point of the campus is the late Charles Ringling's (brother of the late John Ringling) mansion, located on Sarasota Bay. The campus is dotted with palm trees, other deciduous trees, and Spanish moss. The campus architecture reflects a vari ety of styles, due to the various periods of expansion. Architecture ranges from the modernist style popular in the 1960s, to the fusion of styles present in the newly constructed dorms. My roommate described the living areas of New College as an instituti onal Florida student village with experimental dorms covered in stucco, ranging in style from hotel lobbies to ski lodges. The room that I chose for the exhibit is located in the center of the residential area. A "common space," it was approximately 30 b y 15 feet with a wall of large
135 windows facing a prominent walkway. The lighting was florescent, and the walls were white. I designed the exhibit so that when a visitor walked through the main door, she immediately saw the project participants on the wall i n front of her, as well as the sign: "What is BIO ? Conceptions of Organic on a Demeter Farm in Germany." Before reaching the sign, the she first encountered a podium, labeled "come here first." On this podium, I posted a synopsis of the project, and asked people to provide their names and emails for a post exhibit survey (described in the next section). After the podium, I hoped that the visitor would start at the wall with the project participants to get an introduction to the members of the project, as well as read their answers to the basic question raised in the project: "What is BIO ?" After this, the room could be approached in a multitude of ways. There was no direction implied by the exhibit's layout, nor did I provide instructions on orientation. I thought it would be more accessible if visitors were able to decide themselves where to go, and how to structure their own experiences. In one corner of the room I set up a television that continuously played a DVD of videos taken by myself and particip ants that I edited with subtitles (see Image 17). In another corner, the visitor could pick up a CD player with audio conversations and an accompanying booklet of transcripts. These audio conversations corresponded to different posters' themes around the r oom; posters contained numbers which corresponded to CD tracks. I included this element so that exhibit visitors could hear the voices of participants, instead of only reading their words. Attached to this thesis is a video exploration of the exhibit itsel f, following the aforementioned path through the space.
136 Image 17: An Overhead View of the Exhibit Layout
137 Although I used the suggestions of participants to think about and organize the exhibit as a whole, I still "digested" and processed the discuss ions. Using the themes we discussed, I created an outline for the text I wanted to use in the exhibit. I used all of the themes, but chose to generally emphasize the elements for which I had more salient textual and photographic examples, and deemphasize t he elements for which I had less. It is important in the context of collaborative ethnography to explicitly state this level of organizational input because, as I have mentioned many times already, collaboration exists on a spectrum. This project, although significantly collaborative, did not engage in collaboration to the extent that Lassiter emphasizes. Considering the physical distance from Germany, unreliable means of communication, and a seeming lack of motivation from the participants, this was not a viable option. I tried as much as I could to base my decisions on collaborative conversations that I had with participants, but unavoidably made decisions for the exhibit without their input. I picked nine prominent themes, and labeled them clearly wit h printed signs. The themes were: Biodiversity, Hard Work, Sustainability, Cooking, Raising Kids, The Power of Nature, Preservation, Animals & Insects, and What is Not BIO Under each heading was a more specific subtitle, which corresponded to sub themes o n the posters below. Each theme had between one and four posters, and each poster contained at least five photographs and substantial blocks of text; all of which were transcribed from the conversations that occurred during the summer. In some instances I condensed conversations from multiple participants into one paragraph. I indicated each participants' words through different colored underlining, separating statements with three dots. On the ground in two "patches" I included a series of photographs that Teo
138 took of different plants, to mimic a row of plants in a field. The photographs I chose were ones both identified by participants as especially engaging, and also ones of my own that I felt were engaging or well composed, and that expressed the chosen theme particularly well. I chose photographs for the exhibit based on three criteria: accurate expression of the theme, the participants' identification of the photograph as engaging, and my personal judgment of the photograph as engaging. I organized th e photographs and text on each poster, and arranged the posters evenly throughout the room. The goal was an artistic and spatially pleasing arrangement. In order to reach this goal, I asked for feedback from five fellow students on layout both of the pictu res on the poster and the posters on the wall prior to the opening of the exhibit. I advertised heavily through emails and fliers, and had two openings: one for students and one for professors. Both enticed viewers with food. I was present at both openin gs, encouraging active feedback and answering questions. I kept the exhibit open 24 hours a day for three weeks, but the majority of people who wrote their names on the email list for the post participation survey were present at one of these openings. By using photographs to guide the project, I was attempting to let a multitude of voices speak through many different mediums. Photographs can communicate ideas that videos and words cannot. Videos can communicate things that photographs cannot. Text can com municate things that pictures cannot, audio can communicate things that text cannot. I used multimedia because I believe that (1) photography, video, audio and text can communicate mutually exclusive ideas, but also because (2) these mediums can also commu nicate the same ideas, but communicate them more effectively to different people: if a message was not clear to one person through a photograph, or a caption, I
139 thought it would perhaps be more clear through another media. The participants' pictures could also speak to different people in different ways than they spoke to me. The appreciation of multimedia in the exhibit was mirrored by visitors to the exhibit in their surveys Singhal et al. (2007:223) state that in order for photographs or other visual materials produced by group participants to be "truly participatory," the visuals have to be shared with members of the community, policy makers, and concerned citizens. Engaging a local public with the photographs can, in particular, create an even more l ayered and dynamic dialogue that can be useful in conveying more accurate information. In the case of my project, I brought the information back with me into a seemingly unrelated context. However, I sustained a certain level of contact with the group part icipants in that I constructed the exhibit based on their advice, as I mentioned previously, as well as continued occasional email correspondence with Manfred and Ina, and Teo. I also engaged a public (New College students and professors), although not a p ublic local to the original context. At least 60 people visited and participated in the exhibit, and 23 engaged further by taking an online, post exhibit survey. The Post Exhibit Survey After the exhibit, I designed an anonymous, online survey for visit ors (see Appendix B for questions and selected responses). This survey points to the final element in collaborative projects; an attempt to reach outside of the academic discipline and have both cross discipline communication as well as communication betwe en academia and non academia. The responses to the exhibit survey made it clear that
140 visitors found organic farming an engaging and interesting topic. This topic spans multiple academic disciplines, and extends outside of the academy. The exhibit focused o n powerful visuals, and included stories, pictures and video media which imply no specific connection to anthropology or any discipline. Exhibit visitors responded approvingly of the topics covered, as well as to the multimedia approach both explicitly and through their explanations of their learning experiences and personal identification with the exhibited issues. The primary reason why I used an anonymous survey was related to the regulations of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Originally I wanted to make the response much more collaborative, and intended upon having conversations with exhibit visitors during and after the exhibit. Ideally, I would have had a post exhibit focus group discussion, during which I could have clarified any issues that pe ople had with the exhibit and explored their reactions more deeply. It certainly would have been useful for me in the development of future collaborative research projects as a process in my own critical self reflection and reflexivity. Because of time con straints and bureaucracy, it was not a viable option to apply for such a complicated IRB addendum. Primarily, the visitors to the exhibit were students from New College. My assumption is that the vast majority of survey respondents were also New College students. However some non students and professors also attended. Because of this, as well as the sample size of respondents (twenty three), and their potentially affiliated motivations for attending (i.e. friendship with me), the analysis of the project as successful for the general public through this survey is not necessarily indicative of how successful the project would have been outside of the academic context. I was, however,
141 able to get a general sense of how this particular group of New College st udents was affected by the project. Although not necessarily a predictor of future success, the post exhibit survey allowed both me and participants to critically revisit the exhibit, think about what we learned, and critically reflect upon why or why not certain information was interesting for us. The survey also allowed me as a collaborative researcher to see how people were potentially connecting to the exhibit on a non academic, i.e emotional level. The survey contained questions about both theoretical issues, which deal with collaboration as a research methodology, as well as personal responses to the issues brought up by the project participants. The theoretical responses raised in the questionnaire initiated a process of self reflection and critique of collaboration which I have integrated into my approach to this thesis. Because the exhibit was focused primarily on these topical elements, and not explicitly about collaboration (rather, collaboration was the methodology that lead to the exhibit), the focus of this section is to show how visitors responded to the lives of the participants, and the particular way in which these aspects of their lives were being exhibited. When asked what they identified with most, respondents most frequently listed th e following things: the participants, their lifestyles, and their stories (as exhibited through photographs, text and video). Many stated they felt they connected with the participants on specific issues such as working hard, raising a family, or wanting t o live sustainably: I identified with a lot of the collaborators' goals in their lifestyle. For example, one woman (Ina? Ida?) said something about trying to find time to cook. Some of the collaborators expressed that they wanted to be able to grow all of their food themselves, but that it was not easy and that they
142 didn't achieve that goal. So I identified with the struggle to grow, cook, and eat local, organic, healthy food when you don't have a lot of time and you have a job and other things to do. Re spondents indicated that they connected well with the participants through the strong visuals provided in the exhibit; both photographs and video. Photographs and videos thus seem to be accessible forms of communication. As one respondent articulated, I t hink this exhibit really elucidates the potential value of multimedia in anthropology. Pictures do really speak a thousand words, and while I'm sure there's the same potential for appropriation or misrepresentation, it seems to be more accessible and palat able, at least at the emotional level. In the survey, I asked participants, "What did you learn as a result of this exhibit?" Learning experiences are hard to place. It is difficult to articulate exactly what a person learned from a particular instance, as it may not become clear to a person for a while after, or ever. However, within the constraints of the project, the results indicated that what people learned generally fell into a few categories. Nine respondents said they felt they gained a more devel oped appreciation of the complexity of the term organic. Eight respondents answered that they felt they understood who the participants were, and what they cared about. Five respondents stated that they learned the usefulness of alternative methodologies i n research. These general responses gave me insight into the value of the project; although people responded extensively on collaboration as a methodology, the most prevalently listed learning experiences were related to the topics covered in the exhibit a nd not the methodology of research. A number of non anthropology students responded to this exhibit. Not all respondents indicated their academic field of interest, as it was not a question on the
143 survey. However, some people willfully offered their fiel ds of interest in response to a question about their motivation for attending the exhibit. A non anthropology (Religious Studies) student commented, I felt like I got an idea of the participants' ideas about bio and farming. I learned about Germany in the sense that I didn't positively know that organic farms like this one existed there, and I also learned about it through seeing the pictures (what this place looks like). The collaborative aspect of the post exhibit survey was that, although not having personal conversations with the exhibit visitors, I engaged them in a type of conversation because I valued their experiences with my project. This was collaborative, because by letting exhibit visitors respond to the exhibit, I learned a great deal about the participants' subjective experience of the exhibit, which I integrated into my thesis. For example, I realized that the way that I displayed text in the exhibit was overdone, and came across as confusing for some visitors. In order to communicate the i deas of the participants better in the thesis, I focused on direct quotation, and put the quotations in context. Another important thing I learned was that I, in all my effort to reproduce the opinions of the project participants, neglected to explicitly i ntroduce myself and my subjective experience as a participant within the exhibit itself. This point, mentioned by a few people, helped me to critically reflect further upon my subjectivity within the project, and helped me be more explicit about my subject ive role within the thesis. Respondents challenged me to rethink my approach. They pointed to benefits of collaboration and multimedia displays of knowledge that I had not thought of previously (for example, the extent to which visitors self reflected), a s well as critiqued issues of collaboration (for example, that the realities of everyday life something that collaboration strives to represent accurately can be boring for some people)
144 Most relevant to my analysis of collaboration, however, the respond ents demonstrated that the topics and the way they were displayed in this exhibit made the ideas accessible across disciplines, and potentially outside of academia. Through their personal connection with particular everyday issues, and realities of the par ticipants' lives (working, eating, having children etc.), they demonstrated the powerful effectiveness of public, anthropological approaches in communicating ideas and stories. Respondents were appreciative of reading and hearing stories from the people on the farm, instead of stories which were extrapolated by an academic. As one exhibit visitor wrote, "It is interesting to see what happens when the ethnographer loses a little control, the participant gains some and so the project becomes a little more ope n so that the viewer has to make more of an effort to understand the underlying themes instead of having them easily imposed." As another wrote, "Because there was no voice of judgment or intellectual evaluation going on, all you see is their faces, and th eir words, and in that there's a lot of room either way for respect or maybe even disrespect but it's left to the individual viewer to decide."
145 CHAPTER VIII: A CONCLUSION This thesis elucidated the theoretical underpinnings of contemporar y collaboration, placed it on a spectrum, described a case study, discussed the issues of organic agriculture, and Demeter agricultural practices, which were specifically relevant to participants in the case study, examined collaboration in a public contex t with an exhibit, and added to the developing literature on collaboration. This research, and the writing process of the thesis was a rewarding learning experience, both in the sense that I learned a skill set of research methodology that I will carry with me into future educational environments, and in the sense that I learned a great deal about what it is like to live a farm centered life in rural Germany. This process was very difficult, but personally meaningful. The ideas of collaboration are in li ne with many of my own beliefs; engaging with it critically allowed me to revise and strengthen those beliefs and increased my general ability to self reflect and communicate effectively. Throughout the thesis, I relied heavily on the collaborative endea vors of Luke Lassiter, the most widely published proponent of "collaborative ethnography." However, I did not focus on his approach exclusively. Rather, I amalgamated an approach to collaboration based on a review of contemporary literature on the subject emphasizing throughout the thesis that collaborative approaches should be tailored to specific research contexts (i.e. the spectrum). Using Lassiter as a collaborative ideal I reviewed the many diverse approaches to employing collaboration in anthropologi cal research and writing, but gave five guidelines that collaborative research should attempt to integrate if they
146 want to be explicitly collaborative. In light of the relative shortage of collaborative projects, outlining these principles should give rese archers a starting place for their own research. The more successfully completed collaborative projects, the more these principles can be expounded upon and revised. In this concluding chapter, I summarize the overall goals of this thesis, as well as rev iew how my project can add to the development of collaboration within anthropology, and across disciplines. First, I will summarize how the thesis accomplishes the five central elements of explicit collaboration, then, I will revisit Lassiter's approach to collaboration and evaluate the process of my project in terms of collaborative ethnography. After this, I will examine where this project fits on the spectrum of collaboration, and offer suggestions for the future development of collaboration within the d iscipline of anthropology, and all through academia. Throughout the thesis, I use a listing of five central elements of explicitly collaborative approaches to organize much of my discussion about collaboration within anthropology. I will now use these el ements to succinctly analyze this thesis, and the case study which it entails, as collaborative. A collaborative researcher should: 1. Acknowledge subjectivity. Because I acknowledge the existence of subjectivity, I purposefully designed a collaborative pro ject to provide the views of German organic farmers. The fact that I utilized surveys, and corresponded through email with participants after the project, shows that I acknowledge the value of getting different subjective views on both the project, the exh ibit and the thesis itself, and do not overemphasize my own views as authoritative. 2. Recognize multiplex identity, and attempt to deconstruct dichotomies particularly the dichotomy of research and life. I developed and maintained normal social relationship s with the participants in the project, not distancing myself intellectually. I brought the project back to the United States, and integrated it into my life at the New College of Florida by having an exhibit, talking about my experience with friends, othe r students, and professors. I
147 consciously tried to blur the boundaries of what is considered "field work" and "desk work." 3. Engage in critical self reflection, and self reflexivity at all stages of the research process. I engaged in these reflections thro ugh all stages of the research process, and devoted an entire section of Chapter V to an explanation of my particular biases, as well as weaved a recognition of biases throughout the thesis. 4. Engage in continual dialogue with project participants about the research. During the project, I worked together with Ina and Manfred to determine a primary focus of the project. I engaged in continual conversation through focus groups and informal discussions, as well as polled participants at the end of the process o n their interpretations of the project itself. I continued email correspondence with Manfred and Ina as much as possible during the writing process in order to ensure an accurate representation of their ideas and interests. Additionally, I am planning to c ollaborate with participants past my baccalaureate exam. I will be sending the participants a copy of the thesis, the thesis DVD I showed in the exhibit, all audio recordings taken, all transcripts, and all photographs. I also plan to give participants a b ook version of the exhibit (with all text and photographs), a video of the actual exhibit, and answers from the post exhibit surveys. I will encourage participants to send me lengthy commentary on the thesis. 5. Attempt to make the ideas of the project acc essible to the project participants, and to non academics in general. I attempted to make the ideas of the project as accessible as possible from the outset of the research process by actively discussing them with the participants, as well as reformatting them so that participants would be more able to understand, and have more of a say in the goals of the project. In the public exhibit, I used the communicative approach of multimedia because I determined it to be the most accessible way to display informat ion to a varied audience. 6. Finally, I made the project accessible to non anthropologists by exhibiting an engaging topic in a publicly accessible way, as well as by reaching out across disciplines in my advertisement for the exhibit specifically in my in vitations to professors. Based on these criteria, the ethnographic project of the thesis as well as the thesis itself can be defined as an explicitly collaborative project. It is not, however, "collaborative ethnography," as defined by Luke Lassiter. In addition to the five elements that I just reviewed, Lassiter also highlights an extended time commitment, and a full integration of the participants in all stages of the writing process.
148 It was a goal of this project to collaborate as much as possible However, in this particular research and writing situation, this extent to which Lassiter collaborated was not possible. Instead of abandoning the project of collaboration, however, I employed a tailored approach which fit the particular context and situ ation in which I was collaborating. Given more time and sufficient funding, I probably would have sought out a group of people specifically looking for the opportunity to do a collaborative research project. Perhaps I would have approached several groups of people involved in the organic movement, and found particular groups who would have had more time and more interest in the project I designed. The project that I designed seemed a little out of the ordinary for the participants. But, at the same time, the post participation surveys indicated that most were surprisingly pleased with the project, and looking forward to its outcomes. It was also one of my goals that the participants both enjoy and find the experience of collaboration meaningful. My tailor ed approach to this collaborative anthropological project emphasizes the spectrum of collaboration. I adhered to all of the five central elements I collaborated as much as I could and as much as was appropriate in the context. I designed a project appropr iate to an organic farm in Germany, which I felt would be most interesting to the project participants, as well as to an academic and non academic audience in the United States. As I stated previously, I think this should be a goal of anthropologists : to c ollaborate as much as possible in ethnographic projects. This thesis should be evaluated in the context of developing collaborative approaches. It has the potential to develop collaborative approaches in three ways. First,
149 by creating an accessible exhib it, I gave other students and some professors an example of a successfully completed collaborative research project. By doing so, I spread the knowledge of alternative methodologies of research both the process of the research itself, and different manifes tations that the results of the research can take. Second, by analyzing collaboration as a spectrum of methodology, and giving a base of central elements, I am providing future researchers with a template they can use to engage in collaborative projects. F inally, by writing about, and critiquing my particular process of collaboration from planning, to research, to writing I am providing readers with a successful example of a collaborative project, and showing one example of how collaboration can be tailored to a particular context. As Tricket and Espino (2004) suggest, I am adding to the establishment of a gradient of collaboration, so that it is easier for readers and other academics to assess "the relationship between collaboration rhetoric and collaborati on reality" (2004:14). Anthropologists are being faced with new challenges in fieldwork a new set of emerging norms and expectations (Rabinow 1999). It is important to be critical of accepted procedures in the collection of knowledge, but also to recogniz e the different types of knowledge vary, and so do the most suitable methods for attaining them. I believe that anthropologists should generally integrate more collaboration within their research in general, but this does not necessarily need to be a dra matic shift. There are steps that anthropologists can take to do this from letting consultants or participants read their texts before they are published, to more actively reflecting on their own subjectivity in research and writing Anthropologists should recognize that collaboration has the potential of making the jump between academic and applied
150 anthropology smaller, helping to create more of a dialogue between the two. Non collaborative forms of research may be unavoidable for some projects, but the di scipline should continue to support the development of collaborative research. Collaboration is not easy. It requires a lot of effort to design a project, and tailor it to a context, then to re design and continually re tailor a project depending on the particularities of the research and writing context. However, this approach of critical reflection is essential in all parts of the research process. To collaborate as much as one can in any given research context is to demonstrate a level of respect for t he people, with whom who one is researching a topic it is to attempt to level unequal relations of power which plagued anthropology in the past, and academic research as a whole. Although collaboration is not the panacea of anthropological approaches to re search and writing, I see it as taking steps in a positive, critical direction encouraging anthropologists to further reflect upon, and redefine their roles as researchers, academics, and social actors.
151 APPENDIX A: "BEFRAGUNG AM AUSGANG DES PROJECTS" (POST PARTICIPATION SURVEY) 1) Im Allgemeinen, was haltest du von diesem Projekt? (All in all, what do you think about this project?) 2) Denkst du, dass solche Projekte von Wert sind? Wieso? Wieso nicht? (Do you think projects suc h as these are valuable? How so? How not so?) 3) Wie hat das Projekt fr dich geklappt? Wie nicht? (In what way did the project work well for you? In what way did it not?) 4) Was war fr dich am schwierigsten innerhalb dieses Projekts? Am einfachsten? A m rgerlichsten? Am interessantesten? Am unbequemsten? (What was for you the most difficult part of the project? The easiest? The most annoying? The most interesting? The most uncomfortable?) 5) Denkst du, dass deine Meinungen ein wichtiger Teil dieses P rojekts sind? Wieso und wieso nicht? (Do you think that your opinions are an important part of this project? How so, and how not so?) 6) Hast du mehr als Arbeitskollege oder Teilnehmer oder Subjekt gefhlt? (Did you feel more like a colleague, a partici pant, or a subject?) 7) Wie knnte man ein hnliches Projekt machen, so dass du mehr als Teilnehmer oder Arbeitskollege fhlen wrdest? (How could one make a similar project, so that you would feel more like a participant or a colleague?) 8) Wenn das Pr ojekt ein bisschen anders wre, htte es besser fr dich klappen knnen? Denkst du, dass Lee Ellen dir und den anderen zuhrte oder nicht? (If the project had been a little different, could it have worked for you better? Do you think that Lee Ellen listen ed to you and the others or not?) 9) Gibt es ein anderes Thema, das du interessanter finden wrdest? Oder ein anderes Thema, auf dem du denkst, man sollte ein hnliches Projekt machen? Ein Thema deines Lebens, das sehr wichtig fr dich ist? (Is there ano ther theme that you would find more interesting? Or another theme that you think one should do a similar project on? A theme of your life that is really important for you?) 10) Denkst du, dass die Treffen geklappt haben? Wieso und wieso nicht? Wie knnte man ein Treffen besser machen, sodass alle Teilnehmer sich gut fhlen wrden und so sie sich
152 nicht langweilen wrden? (Do you think that the meetings worked well? How so, and how not so? How could one make a meeting better, so that all participants would feel good and would not get bored?) 11) Hast du etwas Neues gelernt, weil du dieses Projekt machtest? Wenn ja, was hast du gelernt? Von wem hast du das gelernt? (Did you learn anything new because you did this project? When yes, what did you learn? Who did you learn it from?) 12) Denkst du, dass du jetzt mehr ber die anderen Teilnehmer wei§t? ber Bio in Deutschland? ber anderen Themen? In wie fern? (Do you think that you know more now about the other participants? About Bio in Germany? About other themes? In what sense?) 13) Meinst du, dass Lee Ellen dich und deine Ideen respektiert oder nicht? Inwiefern? (Do you think that Lee Ellen respects you, and your ideas, or not? In what sense?) VIELEN DANK! (THANK YOU VERY MUCH!)
153 APPENDIX B: POST EXHIBIT SURVEY QUESTIONS AND SELECTED ANSWERS 1) What drew you to this exhibit? Selected Quotations: "As a vegetarian for fifteen years, I am very interested in health and nutrition. I have read a good deal about organic produce but find the issue confusing." "My interest in Anthropology, Organic Farming, Photography and German and Western European Culture. I was surprised and delighted to see that the research method attempted to be collaborative. The use of direct quotations f rom informants in response to questions was a great way to give the individuals interviewed voice in the exhibit." "Curiosity. I was interested in both the cross cultural understanding of the idea of "organic", and also in general life on a farm, not havi ng any phenomenological experiences of my own to reference. I also like pictures." "I like anthropology. And I like Lee Ellen." 2) What aspects of this exhibit do you identify with? Selected Quotations: "I could identify with the alternative mode of l iving which having the profession of organic farmer represents. I think that this means of making a living, while less financially rewarding, is far more rewarding than most when considering quality of life." "I suppose that I identify most with the "Work ing Hard" portion of it, as well as the raising children portion of it. I felt that the values expressed by the informants were close to mine. I also enjoyed the photographs, and especially the exhibit panel that had photos of all of the main informants. T hat was great, and it really gave a face to imagine behind all of the quotes." "I identified with the pictures of vegetables on the ground, arranged like a garden. My family planted a garden on a yearly basis during my childhood. I also identified with go ing to the farmer's market and talking to people and looking at the produce." "I'm not sure I identify with anything specific -not farming myself or even trying to buy organic groceries. In a topical way, I feel I can identify with the stresses of gener al family life, and the descriptions of cooking and mealtime in the home."
154 3) Describe your overall reaction to the exhibit. What did you find the strongest and weakest parts of the exhibit? Selected Quotations: "The weaknesses are difficult to come u p with given the completeness of the project despite the limitations of time, space and money." "Strongest: You presented all of this information without attempting to conclude anything from it. Though I think that most people would take either a natural or positive viewpoint towards the ideas presented, there was never a feeling that you were trying to convince us of anything." "...the fact that these people's lives are relatively similar to ours, their culture is not really in danger of extinction, and they face no great perils or evils, makes the exhibit kind of, well, boring. I think that's why the dramatic plot structure developed in the Western narrative... to keep people's attention. But what do you do when you no longer want to impose a narrative? You are left with the realities of day to day living, which is in many ways... quote forgettable." "Some of the strongest points are just the exploration of life on a farm, presented in different categories of memory, to combine political rhetoric with a seemingly simple experience to show people how 'abstract' life in America becomes." 4) How would you describe your relationship with organic farming? Healthy living? The environment? Food and eating? How are your ideas similar to or different from the ideas expressed in this exhibit? Selected Quotations: "I don't have a relationship with organic farming. Before this exhibit I basically knew nothing about it. I sort of assumed that most 'organic' products sold in stores were grown on farms somewhere... but by huge organizations only interested in playing into the health food craze that seems so pervasive in the states. Getting a picture of a family on a small farm, trying to do this, grow things bio, because they really think it's better and worth it an d trying to sell it to make a living it was a perspective I hadn't really thought of." 5) What did you learn as a result of experiencing this multimedia exhibit? (Something about "BIO"? Farming? Herleshausen? The participants? Germany? Anthropology? Alte rnative metholdiogies? Something else?) Selected Quotations:
155 "...I learned that anthro can be fun and accessible... To the degree that ambiguity is ever accessible." "I had never heard of collaborative ethnography before, but it makes much more sense to me than a lot of the more traditional anthropology I've been exposed to. I felt like I was more receptive to people's photographs than their verbal statements. I learned the most through the photography." "The exhibit gave me a lot of ideas for alternati ve methodologies that I could use in my future research.... It made me start thinking about collaborative methods and how I could use them." "I think this exhibit really elucidates the potential value of multimedia in anthropology. Pictures really do spea k a thousand words, and while I'm sure there's the same potential for appropriation or misrepresentation, it seems to be more accessible and palatable, at least at the emotional level.") ("I definitely learned something about alternative methodologies. I w as really impressed by how effective incorporating all of these different aspects (photography, audio recordings, and video) was." "...came away with a sense that collaborative ethnography may be a very effective way of learning about a subject and sharin g one's findings." "I also saw aspects of farm life that I've never witnessed before, which was alienating, because I eat food that comes from a vacuous 'someplace' everyday, even if that place is nearby Punta Gorda." "I learned about Germany in the sens e that I didn't positively know that organic farms like this one existed there." 6) a. Was the setting appropriate for this type of exhibit? Where could it have been displayed to make it more effective and more comfortable for the viewer? b. Did you find the exhibit to be physically accessible? How and how not? Selected Quotations: "It was certainly well designed and everything was well displayed and readable. Thumbs up on the aesthetic presentation. But like I said already, it was very similar to any kind of multi media museum exhibit... more engaging than just reading texts, but still pretty uni directional... from the exhibit to the viewer." "The setting for the exhibit was perfect. I don't think a better spot could have been picked." "I thought it was accessible in some ways (as far as content) more than others there was a lot of detail and sometimes the method of underlining to show who was talking got
156 confusing. I like to see the plants positioned on tables like garden beds on the floor, but I th ought the atmosphere was a little steril, just because of the room, but very thoughtfully planned." 7) Please comment on the amounts of, and types of text, photograph, and multimedia used. Was there too much, or too little? In which ways were these eleme nts effective and not effective? Selected Quotations: "There was a lot of text to cover, perhaps too much, but it was all interesting and perhaps that much text inevitable." "It was a little text heavy, but probably because it was all restricted to a s ingle room. If it was held in multiple rooms, the motion from one area to another would have allowed to participant the time to digest the previous area's information and make the overall experience less overwhelming." "The posters were pretty text heavy; I found myself skimming and not reading everything, but I don't think this was a problem necessarily because the photographs complemented the text and the text was divided into manageable sections and the posters were organized by topic." 8) Collaborativ e projects tend to focus on the following elements: 1) dialogue between academic and non academia 2) dialogue between and among academic disicplines 3) respect and accurate representation 4) moral engagement 5) subjectivity and self reflection 6) usefulnes s of knowledge. How do you see this project approaching these axes of collaboration? Selected Quotations: "While the variety of media was a great gesture towards this type of approach, I don't know that the exhibit was necessarily 'interdisciplinary.' I didn't necessarily see any engagement with any approaches other than anthropology and the exhibit could have been better thought out, aesthetically. That's not to say that the layout was a failure, but I would characterize Lee Ellen's achievements as being more geared for democratization of authorial presence (or whatever terms one would use for the researcher's perspective), and less about bridging the gap between disciplines." "I'm not really sure what you mean by 'moral' in this context. I do think that this is a very ethical approach to anthropology but I'm not sure that your participation in the community could be considered 'moral engagement.' Is it moral engagement insofar as you are in a way getting people to be more reflexive about their lives? I'm guessing not insofar as this is a very acadmeic value to subscribe to."
157 "Yes. You are respecting the subjectivity of the participants and you are also causing self reflection in the visitors, ESPECIALLY through this survey. It wasn't until doing this su rvey that I realized that the point of your exhibit, and maybe the point of anthropology more generally, is not to really give a memorable account of a foreign culture, but rather to point out that the quotidian elements of human life can be interesting in themselves and are remarkably universal I many ways... even if they vary in the details." "I would have loved Lee Ellen to input herself more... to frame and analyze the conversations more, acknowledging her voice." "I was happy to see that you had str essed the voices of the farmers and WOOFERs rather than your academic interpretations of their lifestyles and worldviews. I'm sure that will be incorporated into your thesis, but I think that, for the sake of the exhibit, it was good that you let them spea k for themselves in the most direct way possible. This is bound to leave the visitors to your exhibit with the most accurate representation possible (and therefore more respect of your German hosts)." "As far as subjectivity and self reflection, I felt li ke that was missing for me although hearing your voice/reading your words/seeing pictures of you working did help with this." "It is interesting to see what happens when the ethnographer loses a little control, the participant gains some and so the projec t becomes a little more open so that the viewer has to make more of an effort to understand the underlying themes instead of having them easily imposed." "The respect part here sticks out to me. Because there was no voice of judgment or intellectual evalu ation going on, all you see is their faces, and their words, and in that there's a lot of room either way for respect or maybe even disrespect but it's left to the individual viewer to decide." "As far as usefulness... I think this is useful. Is it more u seful than a methodologically sound academic paper? I'm not sure. I guess it depends on who you are, and your definition of use. If it's in the context of like trying to enact policies or make reformative changes, then I think this isn't that useful. If it 's for having a profound experience and getting perspective on the experience of actually doing this, growing bio, and living on a farm like this, then it's extremely useful. I do not think than an academic paper is useful in and of itself, however methodo logically sound. It has to be made into something else, applied to real life." "However, as I am thinking about this I am wondering how this approach would work on more easily criticized people and I think that it would do just fine. For example, if you h ad taken the same approach with people from the KKK, the results would be much less pleasant, but we might gain some very useful information on why people like that act the way that they do. The only difference with groups like that is that you would have a
158 harder time situating yourself within the project and maintaining 'respect.'" "I was happy to see that you had stressed the voices of the farmers and WOOFERs rather than your academic interpretations of their lifestyles and worldviews. I'm sure that wil l be incorporated into your thesis, but I think that, for the sake of the exhibit, it was good that you let them speak for themselves in the most direct way possible. This is bound to leave the visitors to your exhibit with the most accurate representation possible (and therefore more respect of your German hosts)." "Yes. You are respecting the subjectivity of the participants and you are also causing self reflection in the visitors, ESPECIALLY through this survey. It wasn't until doing this survey that I realized that the point of your exhibit, and maybe the point of anthropology more generally, is not to really give a memorable account of a foreign culture, but rather to point out that the quotidian elements of human life can be interesting in themselves and are remarkably universal I many ways... even if they vary in the details." "The last poster especially provided useful knowledge. I'm thinking about the guy talking about the perfect paprika and how people go to the store to buy perfect looking produ ce. How he can't sell some things because they don't look perfect so no one will buy them (something along those lines). That makes me reflect on my choices and values when I'm buying food." 9) After seeing this project, could you imagine using collabora tive approaches in your own research or in other research projects? How does it and how does it not appeal to you as a research method/ Selected Quotations: "The more I think of it, the more I'd like to incorporate a collaborative approach into any thes is research that I do.... I like that the ethnographer doesn't have to pretend that they are absent from the story they tell. Though the increased emphasis on the voices of the 'studied' is promising, there is always the opportunity of the researcher to ma nipulate the final image of these people through (possibly unintentional) selective portrayals." "The more I think of it, the more I'd like to incorporate a collaborative approach into any thesis research that I do.... I like that the ethnographer doesn't have to pretend that they are absent from the story they tell. Though the increased emphasis on the voices of the 'studied' is promising, there is always the opportunity of the researcher to manipulate the final image of these people through (possibly uni ntentional) selective portrayals." "Collaborative approaches seem responsible, but are not always viable in disciplines outside of this type of 'cultural' study." "Lee Ellen was able to live casually with the people she interviewed, which is excellent
159 but I don't think that's a research method that could be applied to all areas of study." "It appeals to me on a theoretical level because I see how it works to overcome some of the central ethical problems that have always plagued the social sciences. One central one being the way the point of view of the ethnographer can distort and marginalize the subjectivities of those she is studying and another being the way that those studied become the objects of academic discourse being positioned and manipulat ed by the discourse without ever being the authors (And often even readers) of that discourse. Now communities can construct their own discursive identities, which is much more ethical. However, in doing extensive social scientific research for my thesis, I realize the value of setting forth my own investigative goals and making my own analytical conclusions. I think that in many ways I wouldn't be able to uncover some of the 'objective' social reality, if it weren't for my ability to analyze the data and c reate my own interpretive narrative. I think that if I only went with what my interviewees were interested in, I would never get to the bottom of the issues that are really interesting and important because the interviewees often do not consciously think a bout them. I think that what I will take from this is that I will certainly allow the participants in my study to read my final work and give their feedback. IF there is something they explicitly disagree with, I Will probably modify it. My guess, however, is that what I will write will cause them to discover their social reality in a completely new way that they would never have discovered with my very academic and theoretical twist on things." "Collaborative approaches seem responsible, but are not alwa ys viable in disciplines outside of this type of 'cultural' study." "Lee Ellen was able to live casually with the people she interviewed, which is excellent, but I don't think that's a research method that could be applied to all areas of study." 10) Wo uld you be interested in learning more about collaboration in research? Would you be interested in learning more about organic agriculture? What would make you more or less interested? Selected Quotations: "It is interesting to see what happens when the ethnographer looses a little control, the participant gains some and so the project becomes a little more open so that the viewer has to make more of an effort to understand the underlying themes instead of having them easily imposed."
160 APP ENDIX C: SELECTIONS FROM MY SPRING, 2008 IRB REQUEST III. RESEARCH SUMMARY Provide a brief summary of the purpose of the research (3 5 sentences). This project proposes a two month pilot study of residents in the municipality of Herleshausen, German y, who engage with organic/alternative agriculture both as producers and consumers. I hope to recruit a core group of people from the geographic area to reflect on the meaning of alternative food in their lives. In order to facilitate this process, I will use photo elicitation, collaborative focus group discussion, and informal interviews. The goals of this project are specifically to 1) create a space where members can generate material which is interesting to them, and which they can use to reflect upon t heir lives 2) create a space where group members can collectively assess, rethink, and ultimately represent their connection to food 3) focus on collaboration, and allow the group to direct the research process and outcomes 3) lay the foundation of future research with this community 4) teach myself about research in collective inquiry, and the collaborative production of knowledge, and to further my professional development in this area of study. IV. BACKGROUND Provide a brief summary of prior, relevant research findings (provide citations AND full bibliography of included citations following stylistic guidelines for your academic discipline below the background summary) and the importance of the knowledge you expect to gain (approximately 2 3 paragraphs) In 2005 I worked as a voluntary farm hand on an organic farm in Herleshausen, Germany. This summer, I will return to the same farm to facilitate this research project on alternative food. In order to facilitate this project, I will use collaborative met hods of inquiry. I will ask participants to take photographs of their lives, and in particular issues relating to food. In group discussions, I will ask participants to talk about, expand upon, and relate these photographs to their lives. I will place a ve ry strong emphasis on group questioning of research, and group control of the research process. I picked the topic of research (alternative agriculture in Europe), the particular geographic area of study (Herleshausen, Germany), and the methodology (coll aborative) for a number of reasons. For a graduate anthropology class at Umass, I did extensive independent research on sociological and anthropological perspectives on alternative agriculture in Europe. I delivered a paper at the 2008 conference of the No rtheast Anthropological Association about the multiple, and shifting meanings of organic agriculture in Europe. I found that producers produce, and consumers consume organic for a wide variety of complex reasons. This is a topic I would like to explore wit h this project. I selected the area of study (Herleshausen, Germany) based on the following reasons: 1) Germany has a particularly high level of organic farms 2) the necessarily
161 short duration of the study compelled me to select a familiar context of inqui ry 3) the farm on which I worked was very engaged in the production and local distribution of their produce 4) my familiarity with the context allowed me to make an informed guess on a topic of interest for the community (alternative agriculture). There are many, complex reasons for choosing a collaborative and visual method of inquiry. I will summarize my background and reasoning in this paragraph. I have experience in facilitating a collaborative research project through the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As part of an internship with a farm to school program, I designed, and implemented a Photo voice, Participatory Action Research (PAR) project in a public elementary school. Through this process, and through reading extensively about collaborative methods of inquiry (including, but not limited to, collaborative ethnography, community based participatory research, and photo voice), I found that collaboration in research is more ethical of a process than are traditional methods of data collection. Co llaborative inquiry emerged and is still emerging out of a post modernist critique of anthropology and other disciplines. The collaborative process that I will employ is an attempt to place representation primarily in the hands of those who are being repre sented; I will base every step of the process, as well as the ultimate presentation of the project on the approval and will of the group members. Through collaboration, this project not only has the potential to convey the voices and visions of organic fa rmers -those directly involved in the system but also those of non farming community members -those experiencing the system solely as food consumers. Based on these considerations, the results of this research could also potentially lead to insight into th e effective community level implementation of more sustainable and holistic agricultural systems in the United States. This project also has the potential to encourage collective re thinking about food in relation to members lives, as well as to expose non anthropologists and anthropologists alike to primarily community defined representations of identity, to different ways of living life, to different ways of approaching the production of food and to different methodological approaches to the study of cult ure, and the articulation of knowledge. VII. PROCEDURES/INSTRUMENTS A. Describe the setting for conducting the study (e.g. classroom, table in coffee shop, participants' residences, etc.) Because I will be showing the photographs on my computer, group discussions will have to take place inside. I am envisioning that the group will meet once a week in the living room of my hosts. However, the meetings may occur in another group member's living space. I will conduct informal interviews in and around the s ite of Gaetnerhof im Zipfel. B. Expected duration (in total minutes) of individual participation *** The duration of participation depends on how many pictures each participant wants to take every week, and how much effort they want to put into taking p hotographs. The
162 actual group meetings will occur once a week for about an hour (a total of eight hours before I leave). For the provided 16 24 hours, I am estimating that participants will spend about an hour to two hours per week taking photographs in add ition to group discussions. D. Will participants be compensated or provided a gift or incentive to participate? If YES how much or describe the gift The gift will be group selected photographs that I will pay to have printed, and that I will send to par ticipants from America. E. Provide a specific description of what each participant will be asked to experience or to do. I will lend each participant a digital camera, and ask each participant to take photographs of what is important to them in their liv es, what they are especially proud of, and what they want to change. I will ask participants to focus on food in their lives, but will also tell them that they are welcome to take non food related pictures. Then, in group meetings, I will show these photog raphs to group members as a whole. I will ask them to describe the photographs, and identify the importance of the photographs in relation to their lives and their community. At first, I will ask them to focus their pictures on food, but I will allow the g roup to decide the ultimate trajectory of the project. I will place an emphasis on the active questioning of group participants of the method of research, and allow them to change the research process. I will also ask group members individually to tell me about their life histories -but I will emphasize that they do not have to share anything that they do not want to share. In addition, I will emphasize that I will not share anything they tell me, unless I explicitly get their permission to do so. I will co ntinually and explicitly ask for feedback from participants about the process, and about their comfort level in the project. F. Will you be using an unstructured interview? If YES describe the goals of the interview and below provide a list of questions or the types of questions/information you anticipate asking or attach a separate list. The unstructured interviews that I will be using in this project will be 1) group discussions, in which all participants are present and 2) informal interviews with ind ividual participants, and smaller groups of participants. In informal interviews, I will ask people about their individual backgrounds; their personal histories. This will help me better understand the intricate subjectivities of individual participants. With the permission of these particular members, I would also like to use this information to inform my facilitation of group discussions. In group discussions, I will introduce the initial topic of alternative agriculture for consideration in a group cont ext. I will show individual selected photographs to the group, so that group members can reflect upon them verbally. I imagine that these discussions and reflections of the group may help members clarify for themselves the
163 type of relationship that they wa nt to have with the farms, or produce, or help identify areas that they, as a community, might want to help change. The emphasis is on where the group wants to take the discussion, how they respond to pictures, and whether these pictures make connections t o other aspects of their lives. I will ask open ended questions in order to facilitate group discussion. For example, "What is this picture of?" "Why did you take this picture?" "Why is this important to you?" Each week we will, as a group, identify and d iscuss emerging themes in the group's photographs. When themes do arise, I will ask questions such as, "Why or how is this theme important to you and your community?" Important themes may arise that are not related to alternative agriculture. When this occ urs, the group can collectively decide on a more appropriate topic of focus. The final week of this project will involve active questioning on my part; "Which photographs represent yourself and your community the clearest?" "Do you want to share these phot ographs with other people?" "What photographs do you want to share?" "How should I present your photographs when I return to school?" "How do you want to be represented?" VIII. RISK/BENEFIT ASSESSMENT BENEFITS A. Describe the potential direct and indirec t benefits, if any, to participants. (Note: incentives for participation should not be included here, such as monetary compensation.) The creative, collaborative approach of this project, could allow participants to generate knowledge collectively that t hey could then use to reflect upon, and rethink their connections to alternative food, other related elements (such as nature, or sustainability), and ultimately their lives. Participants will also have access to all photographs, and transcripts of group d iscussions and will be encouraged to use this data to make a display of the project in Herleshausen, in order to inspire other residents to rethink their own connections, if this ends up being what the group wants. The group may also want to do something e lse with the data, and that will also be encouraged. The collaborative data may also be useful to participants as a visual and verbal documentation of certain aspects of their lives. RISKS In this project I do not anticipate any serious risk. I have, in fact, designed my entire project based on risks normally associated with social research (in particular, I specifically address the risks of miscommunication, and inaccurate representation). I will ask people to take pictures, talk about their pictures, a nd talk about their lives. Participants that choose to become involved in this project will be involved in every aspect of this project. They will select what photographs, and information will be shared with other group members, and what information that t hey ultimately want me to use in presentation of this project, and how they want me to structure the presentation. They even will play an essential role in how I write about my own experiences with this
164 project; I plan to have my writing edited by the grou p members before I submit it. SECTION II E: Release of identifiers: If a person explicitly asks for recognition (of his/her name and/or a picture of him/herself) for their important input into this project, it would be contrary to the project's goals of collaboration to censor that information. I will document a request for recognition in writing (Please see my photograph/audio/information release form). Describe how you will minimize any risks posed. I will only release identifiers if explicitly asked by the identifiable person XI. CONFIDENTIALITY ISSUE A Will you be audio/video taping or photographing participants? (Audio: with the explicit, and continuing approval of all group members) Describe confidentiality and retention procedures, including what will become of the data after use (e.g., shown at scientific meetings, erased), the final disposition of the data (e.g., destruction, archiving), and a reasonable timeline for this disposition. [PLEASE NOTE: Federal rules require retention of all data for at least three years after conclusion of the study.] Following federal regulation, I will keep all data for at least three years. Because this is a collaborative project, I plan to discuss this topic of data retention with group members, and reach a consensus about its ultimate retention or disposal. B. Will you be collecting any obvious identifiers (names, social security numbers, detailed physical descriptions, genealogies, addresses, etc.?) **only if explicitly asked t o do so by participants** C. Will you be collecting data that, when considered in light of the potential participant pool, could lead to the identification of an individual participant? Examples include autobiographical accounts, identifiable patterns o f demographic information. If YES to either B. or C., specify to the extent possible what information will be collected and why By default, I will not collect or present obvious identifiers. However, if a participant in this study wants recognition for his or her photographic work, intellectual insights, involvement in the project, or otherwise wants to be recognizable in photographs, or in others descriptions, it would be contrary to the goals of this project to censor this.
165 For group discussions, I m ay collect data that could lead to the identification of an individual participant. I will use this data in group discussions only with the approval of the interviewee, in order to facilitate discussions. However, the disclosure of this information is not required by participants. In addition, because participants' involvement in the project will be completely voluntary, and collaborative, we will come to a collective consensus on what information will be shared, and to what extent it will be shared. This c oncluding consensus will be documented in writing. D. Will the data you collect be coded? E. If data are coded; will you retain a master list linking study codes and direct identifiers? F. Will information that could identify the participant be shared in any way? If YES to D., E. or F., specify the procedures for coding and/or storing the data so that confidentiality of participant data is protected, why this is necessary, how and where you will secure the master list. I will store all data on my laptop and will back up this information on a USB drive. In order to protect the confidentiality of all participants, I will embed all data within multiple, misleading file folders on both my laptop and the USB drive. By default, I will use pseudonyms for parti cipants (coded names) in these files. I will retain a master list of names, which, upon returning to the United States, I will print out, store in a fire safe box, and then delete from my computer. Describe your plan for presentation and/or publication (e .g. thesis in library, conference poster session, etc.). I plan to exhibit the group selected photographs, text, audio, and my group edited self reflection in a public, accessible display. This is an attempt at "public anthropology", or at an anthropology that is accessible across disciplines and outside of the academic sphere. Ideally, this presentation would appear both in the Iserman gallery at New College, and at the thesis showcase at the end of the 2008 2009 school year. I plan to produce three bounde d copies of participant selected photographic prints, transcribed explanations of the photographs' relevance to the lives of group members, digital copies of group selected, audio anecdotes, and a self edited/ group member edited version of my critical sel f reflections. One of these bounded copies would be a part of my thesis, and would be stored in the New College thesis library. The second copy I would send to the group participants in Germany. Finally, I would like to keep the third copy for my personal records; I would store this copy in a fire safe box. The envisioned plan is contingent on the expressed will of all group participants. If the group envisions another outcome, I must heed to that outcome based on the collaborative focus of this project, an d my respect for group participants. I will notify the New College IRB of changes in this plan of presentation before the changes are implemented.
166 Waiver of Informed Consent Form: It is essential to the success of this study that those involved (group members) feel a relatively equal relation of power between themselves and me. The typical, lengthy, and formal consent form would disrupt this attempt at equalization. It would reinforce the standard researcher/ researched role instead of allowing this st udy to break out of it. The formal consent form has the potential of making group members feel like "human subjects" instead of co researchers, which is what I consider them, and what I want them to feel like. The entire process of this project is based on continual consent. I will seek consent every time that I speak with participants through my active questioning. I will encourage participants every time we meet to change the processes and the outcomes based on their level of comfort. (Please see attache d debriefing form) That being said, I have used the consent form as a guideline to produce a lengthy debriefing "form". I will read this in German to potential participants, and give them a copy of it for their reference. I will personally be available to answer any questions; indeed, my entire study is based on answering questions about methodology, and changing methodology based on the comfort level of participants. In addition to this pre project debriefing, I have written a post project consent form fo r the release of information. This form requires participants' signatures for the release of any information collected from participants (including information in my own critical self reflections) during the two month stay. I am providing participants with this form after the study is finished because I consider this to be more ethical; before the project begins, participants will not know the extent of personal information that will come up in group discussions. (Please see attached Information Release For m) Finally, I received verbal confirmation from Manfred Kahle (one of the owners of Gaertnerhof im Zipfel), that he will gladly welcome me back on the farm to live, work, and carry out this project. In addition to telephoning Manfred, I sent him a letter and a debriefing form via "snail mail". He has agreed to sign his name on the debriefing form to indicate that he is both interested in participating in the study, and that he is comfortable with my carrying out this study on his property. I sent this mail very recently. I expect it to take about two weeks to reach Germany, and about two weeks to get back. Thus, his letter of confirmation will probably arrive in about a month (Please see attached copy of letter) Pre Project Debriefing (English translatio n) I am inviting you to participate in a group research project about food, and in particular alternative food in Germany. I am interested in doing this project in your area, because I worked on Ina and Manfred's farm in 2005, and I think you have a reall y interesting mix of both farmland and non farmland; producers of food, and consumers of
167 food If you don't want to be a part of this project, that is fine. But, if you do, then I will describe it to you more fully. In this project, I will lend you a digi tal camera, and ask you to take pictures of your lives ; and in particular, food in your lives. This could be a picture of your family eating dinner, a meal you prepared, a recipe book from your grandmother, the market that you usually go to, a bakery in yo ur town, your garden, your farm field, your plow, someone planting or picking vegetables, someone milking a cow and so on. Then, I will ask you to meet together with me and other participants in this project once a week to have a group discussion about the photographs that everyone took The purpose of these discussions is to collaboratively think about what role food plays in our lives. I will facilitate the discussions, but they will be very open ended, and I will encourage you and other group members t o take them wherever you want to take them It might turn out that we end up talking about something very different than food, and decide that food is not as important a focus as something else. That is fine, and even encouraged. It is important that you h ave a lot of control of the process of this project. I think that through focusing on one issue together, like food, we could all learn to think about our connection to that issue differently, and more complexly. Photographs in particular can say things th at words cannot say, and might help us to better understand each other and ourselves. With the group's approval, I would like to tape record group discussions, and take notes about who said what in these discussions. If you are uncomfortable with this, I will not do it. Outside of the group, I would also like to ask you open ended questions about your life; you will not be pressured to share with me anything that you don't want to share. With your approval, I would like to use things that you tell me to he lp facilitate group discussions. Throughout this process, and especially at the end of this process, I would like the group to decide collectively what photographs best represent group members, and your community as a whole I would like the group to be in control of determining how I present this project, and how I write about this project. In essence, you and other group members will be co researchers in this project, and not the subjects of research. I will not present any photographs, or information t hat I gathered in this project without first getting approval from you and the other group members Even when I write about this project, I will not use this writing until I show it to you and get your approval and your suggestions. You and your communit y will have full access to every part of this project : photographs, audio, text, and my own writing. If you would like to use this information to set up an exhibit, or a presentation in your own town, that would be really great! You can use this informatio n in any way that you want. I am very interested in maintaining a relationship with you, other members of your group, and with your community. I would love to carry out future projects with you if you want to participate in them. I would also love if we c ould, as a group, figure out a potential topic for future collaborative research: figuring out a topic together, instead of me figuring out a topic for you, would be much more in line with my goals of collaborating with you. I will not be compensating you with money. However, I will send you printed copies of any and all photographs that you want copies of, as well as CD copies of all
168 audio, and printed copies of all transcripts, and my own writing. Again, if you do not want to participate in this project that is absolutely fine. It is not a requirement by any means Thank you for listening to me. Pre project Debriefing (German Version) Professor Judith Keyler in the Department of German Studies at Smith College assisted me in correcting this debriefi ng form, so that it most accurately represents my English translation. Ich lade Sie ein, an einem gemeinsamen Forschungsprojekt ber alternative Nahrungsmittel teilzunehmen Ich interessiere mich fr Ihre Region, weil ich 2005 auf dem Bauernhof von Ina Troell und Manfred Kahle gearbeitet habe und weil ich au§erdem denke, dass Ihre Gegend eine sehr interessante Mischung von agrarischer und nicht agrarischer Nutzung hat und eine Mischung von Erzeugern und Verbrauchern von Nahrungsmitteln. Wenn Sie lieber nicht an meinem Projekt teilnehmen mchten, ist das vllig in Ordnung Aber falls Sie an einer Teilnahme interessiert sind, werde ich Ihnen das Projekt im Gro§en und Ganzen beschreiben. Fr dieses Projekt werde ich Ihnen eine Digitalcamera ausleihen Ich werde Sie bitten, Fotos von Ihrem Leben zu machen ; insbesondere Fotos von Essen und Nahrungsmitteln in Ihrem Leben. Beispiele dafr wren z.B. Fotos von... 1) einem Abendbrot bei Ihnen 2) Eine Nachspeise, die Sie backen 3) Ein Rezeptbuch, das Ihre Grossm utter geschrieben hat 4) Der Markt, auf dem Sie normalerweise Lebensmittel kaufen 5) Ihre liebste Bckerei 6) Ihr Garten 7) Ihre Pflge 8) Ihr Ackerbau 9) Jemand, der Gemse pflanzt oder erntet 10) Jemand, der melkt und so weiter und so fort. Es gibt endl ose interessante Mglichkeiten. Jede Woche wird sich die Gruppe von Teilnehmern miteinander fr ungefhr eine Stunde treffen, um ber die Fotos, die jeder Teilnehmer gemacht hat, zu diskutieren. In diesem Zusammentreffen werden wir gemeinschaftlich ber E ssen sprechen und nachdenken, und welche Rolle Nahrungsmittel in unserem Leben spielen. Ich werde diese Zusammentreffen frdern, aber sie werden sehr offen und unbefristet sein. Ich werde die Gruppe ermuntern, das Gesprch anderswohin zu fhren Das hei§t, ich ermuntere Sie, darber zu sprechen, was Ihnen wichtig ist. Es knnte vorkommen, dass Ihnen etwas anderes wichtiger als Essen ist. In diesem Fall wird die Gruppe darber sprechen und nicht ber das Essen. Ich denke, wir knnen viel ber unsere eigenen Leben lernen und anders denken, wenn wir uns auf etwas Spezifisches konzentrieren. Besonders denke ich, dass Fotos etwas bermitteln koennen, was Worte einfach nicht ausdrcken koennen. Ich denke, dass uns diese Fotos helfen werden, einander und uns selbst besser zu verstehen. Wenn nicht, haben wir wenigstens am Ende dieses Ablaufs viele schne Fotos! Mit Zustimmung der Gruppe mchte ich die Gruppendiskussionen auf Band aufnehmen und auch Notizen machen Wenn Sie damit nicht wohlfhlen, werde ich das einfa ch nicht machen Au§erhalb dieser Diskussionen mchte ich mit Ihnen (und anderen Teilnehmern) persnlich sprechen; ich mchte etwas ber Ihr Leben und Ihre Lebensgeschichte erfahren. Mit Ihrer Zustimmung mchte ich spezifische Information
169 benutzen, um dies e Gruppendiskussionen besser zu ermuntern. Whrend des ganzen Prozesses und besonders gegen Ende des Prozesses wird die Gruppe gemeinsam entscheiden, welche Fotos am besten die Meinungen der Gruppe und Ihrer Gemeinschaft reprsentieren. Ich mchte, dass d ie Gruppe die Kontrolle hat, darber zu entscheiden, wie ich dieses Projekt prsentiere, und wie ich ber dieses Projekt schreibe. Im Wesentlichen denke ich, dass Sie und die anderen Teilnehmer auch Forscher sind, und nicht die Testpersonen der Untersuchun g Ich werde nie Ihre Fotos oder andere Information ber Sie prsentieren, ohne Sie zuerst zu fragen. Selbst wenn ich ber diese Projekt schreibe, werde ich den Text nicht verwerten, bis ich ihn Ihnen gezeigt und Ihre Vorschlaege eingeholt habe. Sie und i hre Gemeinschaft werden vollen Zugang zu allen Teilen dieses Projekts haben: Fotos, Audiomaterial, niedergeschribene u§erungen und meinen eigenen Text Wenn die Gruppe diese Information benutzen will, um eine Ausstellung in Deutschland zu organisieren, w re das sehr schn! Sie knnen diese Information benutzen, wie sie wollen. Ich interessiere mich sehr fr Sie, fr die anderen Teilnehmer und Ihre Gemeinschaft. Es wrde mich freuen, wenn Sie weiter mit mir an einem anderen Projekt arbeiten wollen Es wr e sehr schn, wenn wir (die Gruppe) zusammen ein anderes Thema entwickeln knnten. Wenn wir zusammen ein Thema fnden, wrde das sogar mehr meinen Vorstellungen von Zusammenarbeit entsprechen, als wenn ich Ihnen ein Thema vorgebe. Ich werde Sie nicht mit Geld bezahlen. Aber ich werde Ihnen gern alle Fotos schicken, die Sie mchten Auch werde ich Ihnen das ganze Audiomaterial schicken, das Sie mchten und auch alles, was ich ber diese Erfahrungen schreibe. Wie ich Ihnen zu Anfang gesagt habe ist es ab er auch vllig in Ordnung, wenn Sie nicht an diesem Projekt teilnehmen mchten Vielen Dank!
170 Consent Form For the Release of Photographs, Audio Recordings, and Other Information (English version) I _____________________ ____________________ have explicitly informed Lee Ellen Reed 1) which of my photographs (as well as photographs of me) I want her to use in the presentation of myself and my community 2) which sections of audio and written text I want her to use in the pre sentation of myself and my community 3) which parts of her own writing I want her to include in a presentation of this project, and in her thesis. Please circle one of the following options: (If you do not see the appropriate option, please explain on t he backside of this paper) a. I would like Lee Ellen to include my real name in the presentation of any and all of these photographs, quotes, and writing. b. I have explicitly told Lee Ellen, to which photographs, quotes, and writing I want my real na me connected, to which photographs I do not want my real name connected. c. I would not like my real name to be released in any aspect of this presentation. I would like Lee Ellen to use a pseudonym (fake name) for me in any presentation of this project. However, I approve of the written existence of this connection (for example: in a private file on Lee Ellen's computer). d. I would not like my real name connected in any way to this project. I would like Lee Ellen to use a pseudonym in presentation, as well as in all of her records. Signature: ___________________________________________________
171 Professor Judith Keyler in the Department of German Studies at Smith College assisted me in correcting this Information Release form, so that it most accurately represents my English translation. Einverstndnisformblatt: Die Freigabe der Fotos, Audiomaterial, Text und andere Informationen Ich _____________________________________ habe Lee Ellen Bescheid gesagt 1) welche meiner Fotos (und Fotos von mir, die andere gemacht haben), sie benutzen darf, um mich und meine Gemeinschaft zu reprsentieren und um dieses Projekt zu prsentieren 2) welches Audiomaterial und geschriebenen Text sie in ihren Prsentationen benutzen darf 3) welche Teile ihrer eigen en Texte sie fr die Prsentation dieses Projekts und in ihrer These benutzen darf.. Bitte kreuzen Sie eine der folgenden Optionen an: (Wenn Sie Ihre Option nicht sehen, bitte schreiben Sie auf der Rckseite dieses Blatts) a. Ich mchte, dass Lee Elle n meinen wirklichen Namen in der Prsentation aller dieser Fotos, Audiomaterial und Texte benutzt. Ich mchte identifizierbar sein. b. Ich habe Lee Ellen Bescheid gesagt, mit welchen Fotos, Audiomaterialien und Texten ich meinen wirklichen Namen verbunde n sehen mchte und fr welche Fotos (usw.) Lee Ellen ein Pseudonym benutzen soll. c. Ich mchte, dass Lee Ellen nie meinen wirklichen Namen bei der Prsentation dieses Projekts benutzt. Ich mchte, dass Lee Ellen bei der Prsentation immer ein Pseudonym benutzt. Aber ich bin damit einverstanden, dass Lee Ellen eine Liste auf ihrem Computer gespeichert hat, in der mein Name steht. d. Ich mchte, dass Lee Ellen nie meinen echten Name angibt. Ich mchte, dass Lee Ellen immer ein Pseudonym benutzt; sowohl bei der Prsentation dieses Projekts, als auch auf ihrem Computer. Unterschrift: ___________________________________________________
172 APPENDIX D: EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE WITH MANFRED January 14 th 2009: Lieber Manfred, liebe Ina! Vielein vielen D ank fuer die Karte und das Geschenk!!!! Ich habe viel gelchelt, als ich alles gelesen habe. Es war sehr sehr nett von euch. Thank you so so much for the card and the gift! I smiled a lot when I was reading everything. It was really really nice of you. Es klang super angenehm im Wohnzimmer zu sitzen und Weihnachtskarten zu schreiben. Ich knnte mich das Bild gut vorstellen. Manchmal denke ich ber die Zeit mit euch und bin ich nostalgisch. It sounded really comfortable to sit in the livingroom and write c hristmas cards. I could definitely imagine the picture. Sometimes I think about the time with you guys and I am nostalgic. Der Winter in Massachusetts war sehr kalt, aber es gab viel Schnee und war auch angenehm. Ich besuchte meinen Onkel in Maine und wir sind da mit Schneeschue rumgelaufen. Wie immer habe ich diesen Ferien zu viel gegessen ich denke, alle machen so. The winter in Massachusetts was very cold, but there was a lot of snow, and it was also quite nice. I visited my uncle in Maine and we got t o run around in snow shoes. As always I ate too much during the winter break I think that everyone does that. Ich habe viel ber Gemeinsameforschungsmethode geschrieben und habe die Ausstellung gehabt. Diese zwei Teilen waren die "Anthropologie teilen" me iner Studienarbeit. Jetzt schreibe ich 2 Kapitel ber "Deutsche themen." Das erste habe ich quasi schon geschrieben -ich habe ber die Mehrdeutigkeit das Wort "Bio" geschrieben und habe Zitaten von euch benutzt, um zu zeigen, wie kompliziert "Bio" in Deuts chland (und die Welt) wirklich ist. I wrote a lot about collaborative research methods and I had the exhibit. These two parts were the "Anthropology parts" of my thesis. Now I'm writing two chapters about "German themes." The first one I already kind of w rote I wrote about the ambiguity of the word "organic" in Germany (and the world). Das zweite deutsche Kapitel mchte ich jetzt anfangen. Problem ist, dass ich nicht genau wei§, worber ich schreiben soll: was, au§er Bio in Deutschland, war 1) fr euch s ehr interessant 2) etwas, worber wir viel diskutiert haben 3) ein Thema, dass potential "Deutsch" sein knnte? The second German chapter I would like to start now. The problem is that I just don't know what I should write about: what, outside of "BIO" in Germany, was 1) very interesting for you guys 2) something that we discussed quite a bit 3) a theme that could be considered "German"?
173 Die Folgende sind meine Vorschlge: The following are my suggestions: 1) GVOs/GMOs -darber haben wir viel gesprochen Wir haben Percy Schmeiser gesehen -darber knnte ich schreiben... Percy Schmeiser's Geschichte. Ich knnte die Debatte ueber GVOs zeigen -beide Seiten -und dann die Geschichte von Schmeiser beschreiben und eure Meinungen darber. 1) GMOs we talked a lo t about this. We went to see Percy Schmeiser I could write about that... Percy Schmeiser's story. I could show the debate about GMOs both sides and then describe the history of Schmeiser and your opinions about it. 2) Demeter und alles ber Demeter die Ges chichte von Steiner, Ina's Gesprche darber..., Beispiele vom Bauernhof 2) Demeter and everything about Demeter the history of Steiner, Ina's discussions about it... examples from the farm 3) Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen oder so was... Aber leider habe ich nicht so viele Zitaten von euch darber... 3) Unconditional basic income or something... but unfortunately I don't have many quote from you guys about that... 4) Die Kultur des Essens/Nahrungsmitteln: beschreiben, wie/wann ihr gegessen habt, was ihr g egessen habt, wer kochte, wer nicht (Geschlechtsrollen), wie ihr eure Kinder ernhrt haben, die Kauf/verkaufgesellschaft (Markte usw.) 4) The culture of food: describe, how/when you guys ate, what you ate, who cooked, who not (gender roles), how you raised your children, the selling/buying economy (markets etc). 5) Etwas anderes, dass ihr denkt, ein sehr wichtiges, interessantes Thema ist 5) Something else that you guys think would be a really important, interesting theme Also! Die sind meine Ideen. Bis j etzt denke ich, dass das Thema GVOs/GMOs am besten passt. Knntest du mir bitte deine Meinung darber geben? Ich brauche dringend die Antwort, weil ich bald das Kapitel anfangen moechte, und muss denn viel forschen (lesen usw.) ber's Thema. So! Those are my ideas. Right now I think that the theme of GMOs fits the best. Could you please give me your opinions on the subject? I really need an answer soon because I would like to begin the chapter soon, and I need to research a lot about the theme (reading etc) DANKE SCH N! Bis spter! THANK YOU! Until later! -Lee Ellen
174 January 15 th 2009 Liebe Lee Ellen! Ina und ich sitzen gerade im Bro um es mal aufzurumen. Hier war es in den letzten beiden auch ungewhnlich kalt aber ohne sehr viel Schnee. Ina and I are sitting right now in the office, finally getting around to cleaning it up. It was also unusually cold here, but there wasn't any snow. Ich be z.Zt das Schreiben mit 10 Fingern was aber noch sehr langsam geht. Was das Besondere noch ist ich wu§te sch on nach 4 Std. wo was auf der Tastatur ist. Um zu ben mu§ ich dir jetzt wohl fter schreiben. Currently, I am practicing 10 fingered typing, but it's still going really slow. The special thing is that I already knew after 4 hours where everything was on t he keyboard. In order to practice this, I will certainly have to write to you more frequently. Ina findet das Grundeinkommen recht gut als Thema. Mir gefllt Demeter besser. Entscheide du also was dir mehr liegt. Gru§ von hier Ina thinks that the income wo uld be a really good theme. I personally like Demeter better. You should decide what you like better. Greetings from here. Manfred January 18 th 2009 Lieber Manfred und liebe Ina: Gestern habe ich mit meinem Studienberater ber die Studienarbeit gespr ochen. Zum letzten Kapital werde ich, wie Manfred vorgeschlagt hatte, ber Demeter schreiben. ABER hauptschlich wird das Kapital ber euch und eure Meinungen ber Demeter sein. Er will, dass ich etwas "analyzieren" -ABER, weil mein Projekt ein Gemeinsames forschungsprojekt ist, mchte ich, dass ihr meine Ideen zuerst liesst und kommentiert/ vervollkommt.... Ich will nichts schreiben, was falsch ist, ODER etwas schreiben, was ihr nicht wollt, dass ich ber euch schreibe (z.B etwas peinliches... oder irgendet was anders auf irgendeinen Grund). Yesterday I spoke with my academic advisor about my thesis. For the final chapter I am going to as Manfred suggested write about Demeter. BUT mostly the chapter is
175 going to be about you guys and your thoughts about Demet er. He would like that I "analyze" a bit BUT, because my project is a collaborative research project, I would like that you guys read my ideas first, and then commented/elaborated on them.... I don't want to write anything that's wrong, OR anything that yo u don't want me to write about you (for example, something embarassing... or something else because of any other reason). Also, meine Entscheidung darber war... 1) viele Fragen zu stellen 2) die Fragen zu erst kurz selbst zu antworten... also, was ich den ke, dass ihr denkt! 3) die Fragen und meine Antworten per Email zu schicken (dieses Email) 4) dass ihr denn alles liesst, und die Fragen antwortet (entweder durch Email Manfred knnte wirklich sein Typpen ben! -oder ber den Telefon Ich knnte euch anrufe n, so dass es euch nichts kostet... au§er Zeit und Gedanken... uuunnndd alles auf Band nehmen, so dass es einfacher fr mich denn wre) Knntet ihr mir schnell zurck schreiben... einfach mit einer kurzen Antwort (ob ihr das machen knnt oder nicht)? Ok, s o my decision about it was... 1) to ask a lot of questions 2) to first answer the questions myself... so, what I think that you think! 3) to send both the questions and my answers to the questions through email (this email) 4) that you would then read ever ything and then answer the questions (either through email Manfred could really practice his typing! or over the telephone I could call you guys so that it wouldn't cost you anything... besides time and thought... annnnddd I could record everything on my d igital recorder, so that it would be easier for me). Could you write back really quick... just a short answer (whether you could do this or not). Hier sind die Fragen und meine Notizen dazu: Here are the questions, and my notes about them: 1. Frage: Wie bekommt ihr hauptschlich eure Information ber die Welt? (ausserhalb Herleshausen, Eisenach und Eschwege... Zeitschriften? Bcher? Magazinen? Mndlicherform/Empfehlungen unter Freunden?) Meine Antwort: Manfred hat mir gesagt, er liesst die Zeitung nicht s timmt das auch fr Ina? Ich wei§, dass ihr Magazinenen liesst und viele Gesprchen mit Kunden und Freunden habt. Ich wrde sagen, eine Mischung von Quellen. Stimmt das? 1. Question: How do you primarily obtain your information about the world? (outside of Herleshausen, Eisenach and Eschwege... newspapers? Books? Magazines? Word of mouth?) My answer: Manfred told me that he doesn't read the newspaper is that also true for Ina? I know that you guys read magazines and that you have a lot of conversations with customers and friends. I would say that it's a mixture of sources. Is that true? 2. Frage: Wie habt ihr von den Ideen und Philosophie Rudolf Steiners gelernt/gehrt?
176 (Von einem Buch? Von einem Freund? Von einem Bauer? Von einer Vortrag? Von einem Aufsatz? Irgendwo anders?) Meine Antwort: Als ich da war, hatte Ina gesagt, dass sie ein Buch ber Steiners Ideen liesst. Aber... wovon zuerst? Wie habt ihr entschieden, Biobauern zu werden? Inas Eltern sind keine Demeterbauern sie (oder nur Helmut?) sind nicht b erzeugt. Also, ich wei§ wirklich nicht. Habt ihr Bcher gelesen? Die Agrardiskussionen von Steiner? 2. Question: How did you hear or learn about the ideas and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner? (from a book? From a friend? From a farmer? From a lecture? From an essay? Somewhere else?) My answer: When I was there, Ina said that she was reading a book about Steiner's ideas. But... wherefrom at first? How did you guys decide to become organic farmers? Ina's parents are not Demeter farmers they (or only Helmut?) are not convinced about Demeter. So, I actually don't know. Did you read books? The Agriculture discussions from Steiner? 3. Frage: Im allgemein, wie identifiziert ihr euch mit den Ideen und Philosophie Rudolf Steiners? Meine Antwort: Ich wrde Folgenden sag en: 1) die Ideen ber Agrarkultur 2) Ihr schaut einwrts... die erste Stufe von Steiner (Imagination). Z.B Manfred hatte mir ein mal gesagt, als wir gejttet haben, dass jten fast wie Meditation fr ihn ist. Also, wenn er jtet, denkt er einwrts 3) Ihr s eid beide spirituell, aber nicht dogmatisch. Steiner wurde Catholisch erzieht --ihr wart auch, oder? Christus ist einen Teil euren Leben, aber ihr geht nicht regelm§ig in der Kirche. An statt ist die Religion Teil eurer Weltanschauung: ihr musst nicht jed en Tag darber sprechen, es ist einverstanden. 4) Ina sagte, sie denkt, alles von Steiner ist sehr berzeugend, obwohl sie noch mehr lesen mchte, weil sie denkt, dass sie nicht genug gelesen hat, um alles wirklich 100% zu verstehen. 3. Question: All in a ll, how do you identify with the ideas and philosophy of Rudolf Steiner? My answer: I would say the following: 1) The ideas about farming 2) you look inwards... the first step from Steiner (imagination). For example Manfred told me once when we were weedin g that weeding is almost like meditation for him. So, when he weeds, he is thinking inwardly 3) You are both spiritual, but not dogmatic. Steiner was raised Catholic weren't you also? Christ is a part of your lives, but you don't go regularly to church. In stead is religion seemingly a part of your world view: you don't have to talk about it every day because it's understood 4) Ina said that she thinks that everything Steiner wrote is really convincing, although she would like to read more, because she think s that she hasn't read enough to understand everything 100%. 4. Frage: Wie viele Leute kennt ihr, die sich mit den Ideen/Philosophie Steiners identifizieren? Wie viele sind Anthroposophen? Seid ihr Anthroposophen? Wieso, wieso nicht? Meine Antwort: Ich wei §, dass "Anna" und ihr Mann Anthroposophen sind. Ina findet das wichtig sie hofft, dass irgendwann in der Zukunft, Antje auf euren Bauernhof helfen knnte, weil sie sehr berzeugt von diesen Ideen ist. Aber, Ina hatte auch gesagt, dass es
177 nicht so viele Le ute in der Nhe gibt, die anthroposophisch sind. Au§er Helmut, was denken eure Familienmitglieder darber? Anna und Felix knnte anthroposophisch sein sie denken, Demeteranbau ist wirklich etwas besonders. Aber, ich wei§ nicht, was sie ber die anderen Ide en Steiners denken. Ich denke, ihr wrdet sagen, dass ihr entweder 1) Anthroposophen sind, oder 2) dass ihr denkt, dass ihr wollt, Anthroposophen zu sein, aber ihr denkt, dass ihr anthroposophische Tendenzen habt, aber nicht 100% Anthroposophen sind (weil ihr bescheiden sind... gut gemeint). Stimmt das? 4. Question: How many people do you know that identify with the ideas or philosophy of Rudolf Steiner? How many are anthroposophs? Are you anthroposophs? How so and how not so? My answer: I know that "Anna" and her husband are anthroposophs. Ina finds that important she hopes that sometime in the future, Anna can help you guys on your farm because she is very convinced from the ideas. But, Ina also said that there are not so many people nearby that are anthr oposophic. Besides Helmut, what do your family members think about it? Anna and Felix could be anthroposophic they think that Demeter agriculture is really something special. But, I don't know what they think about the other ideas from Steiner. I think, I would say that you guys either 1) are anthroposophs or 2) that you think that you want to be anthroposophs, but you think that you have anthroposophic tendencies, but are not 100% anthroposophs (because you are modest... meant in a good way). Is that true? 5. Frage: Ist Demeter eine Erscheinungsform euren Gedanken/Gefhlen ber Steiners Lehren, oder ist Demeter in Praxis wichtiger als die Ideen Steiners? Beeinflu§en die Ideen Steiners/Demeter euren Leben, wenn ihr nicht bewirtschaftet? Wieso, wieso nicht? M eine Antwort: Wie ich vorher gesagt habe, ich denke, dass Steiners Ideen vielen Aspekten euren Lebens beeinflu§t. Ich denke, Demeter ist eine Erscheinungsform euren Gedanken darber. Ich habe das Gefhl, dass ihr viel ber Steiner und Demeter gedacht habt. Es ist wirklich eine gro§e Entscheidung, Demeter anzuban. Man muss mehr Geld bezahlen (ich denke), und mehr besorgt/vorsichtig/sorgsam auf dem Feld sein. Man kann relativ einfach BIO anban (also, ich wei§ nicht SO einfach, aber trotzdem...), aber es bra ucht viel mehr Energie und Zeit und Gedanken, Demeter anzuban. Oder? 5. Question: Is Demeter a manifestation of your thoughts and feelings about Steiner's teachings, or is Demeter in practice more important than Steiner's ideas? Do the ideas of Steiner/D emeter influence your lives, when you are not working? How so, and how not so? My answer: Like I said previously, I think that Steiner's ideas are influences a lot of aspects of your lives. I think that Demeter is a manifestation of your thoughts about tha t. I have the feeling that you have thought quite a bit about Steiner and Demeter. It is really a big decision to engage in Demeter agriculture. One has to spend more money (I think) and be more careful and caring on the field. One can engage relatively ea sily in organic agriculture (ok, I know not SO easily, but anyways...), but it requires a lot more energy and time and thought to do Demeter. Right? 6. Frage: Kennt ihr anderen Demeterbauern? Verwirklichen sie die Demeteridealen
178 mehr oder weniger als euch? Wieso, wieso nicht? Meine Antwort: Ich weiss eigentlich nicht, ob ihr anderen Demeterbauern kennt. 6. Question: Do you know other Demeter farmers? Do they embody the Demeter ideals more or less than you do? How so, how not so? My answer: I actually don't know whether you know any other Demeter farmers. 7. Frage: Macht ihr etwas in euren Leben, dass gegen die Prinzipien Demeters ist? Wenn ja, warum ist es gegen die Prinzipien Demeters? Meine Antwort: Vielleicht: 1) dass ihr die Prparater kaufen musst, ans tatt sie selbst zu prparieren 2) Felde neben Konventionellebauern/ eine Zuglinie zu haben 3) vom Rewe einzukaufen, oder Nichtbiologischessen zu essen... (eigentlich habe ich noch nicht genug ber Steiner gelesen. Ich habe ein Buch gekauft und werde es bal d lesen). 7. Do you guys do anything in your lives that are against the principles of Demeter? IF so, why is it against the principles of Demeter? My answer: maybe 1) that you guys have to buy the preparations instead of preparing them yourselves 2) that y ou have fields next to conventional farmers/ or a train track 3) that you sometimes buy from Rewe, or don't always each organic... (actually, I haven't read enough about Steiner. I bought a book and I'm going to read it soon). 8. Frage: Denkt ihr, dass Dem eter Einwirkungen auf eure allgemeinen Gesundheit/Wohlbefinden hat? Oder identifiziert ihr mehr mit philosophischen und spiritualen Aspekten Demeters? Meine Antwort: Meiner Meinung nach denkt ihr, dass euer Gemse besondere Energie hat, weil es Demeter an gebaut wurde. Und, dass wenn ihr es isst, wird die Energie Teil euren Krpern. Ich erinnere mich an die Geschichte auf dem Markt das Ehepaar mit dem Pendel. Ina sagte, sie dachten, dass euer Gemse schlechte Energie hat und das war eine Beleidigung fr euc h, weil Ina denkt, dass das Gemse viele gute Energie hat. Ich denke auch, ihr baut Demeter an, wegen den Kunden ihr wollt eure Gesundheit/Wohlbefinden vom Gemse mit vielen verteilen. Habe ich Recht? 8. Question: Do you guys think that Demeter has effect s on your general health and wellbeing? Or do you identify more with philosophical and spiritual aspects of Demeter? My answer: I think that you think that your vegetables have a special energy because they were farmed Demeter. And, that when you eat, the energy becomes a part of your bodies. I remember the story about the market the couple with the pendulum. Ina said that they thought your vegetables had bad energy and that was an insult for you guys because Ina thinks that your vegetables has a lot of goo d energy. I think also that you are farming Demeter for customers you want to share your health and wellbeing from vegetables with a lot of people. Am I correct? 9. Frage: Bekommt man Finanzhilfe, wenn man Demeter anbaut? Im vergleich mit normalen kologis chen Landbau, wie rechnet es sich aus? Bekommt man mehr oder weniger Geld? Ist Geld fr euch wichtig? Was sind eure Einstellungen zu Geld im Vergleich zum Alltagsmensch in Deutschland? Meine Antwort: Felix hatte mir gesagt, man bekommt insgesamt weniger Ge ld, wenn
179 man Demeter anbaut im Vergleich zu BIO (es braucht mehr Zeit, mehr Energie, aber bezahlt gleich). Ihr habt diesen Sommer viel ber Geld gesprochen. Ihr habt beide ber Menschen gesprochen, die zu viel Geld haben, oder die schlechten Sachen mit ihr em Geld machen. Ihr habt auch gesagt, dass ihr nicht so viel Geld braucht obwohl ihr nicht so viel habt, seid ihr glcklich, weil ihr so ziemlich machen knnt, was ihr glckich macht. Stimmt das? Knntet ihr weiter vervollkommen? 9. Question: Does one get financial help when one farms Demeter? In comparison with normal ecological farming, how does it compare financially? Does one get more or less money? Is money important for you? What are your attitudes towards money in comparison to the average German pe rson? My answer: Felix told me that Demeter farmers get less money in comparison to BIO (it takes more time, more energy, but pays the same). This summer you guys talked a lot about money. You both talked about people who have too much money, or that do ba d things with their money. You also said that you don't need much money althought you don't have that much, you are happy because you can do so much that makes you happy. Is that true? Could you please elaborate? 10. Frage: Demeter ist gegen GVO/Gentechnik Ist Demeter von Natur aus durchaus gegen GVO? Wenn ja, warum ist Demeter im Wesentlichen gegen Gentechnik? Meine Antwort: Es scheint, als ob Demeter wirklich von Natur aus gegen GVO ist. Ich habe folgende gelesen: "Der Anbauverband vertritt die Meinung, dass nicht die Organismen der Wirtschaftsweise, sondern die Wirtschaftsweise der Natur angepasst werden sollte. Eine gentechnikfreie Landwirtschaft ist daher Kernziel der biologischen und biologisch dynamischen Landwirtschaft nach deren Richtlinien Demete r arbeitet." Stimmt ihr zu? Knntet ihr weiter vervollkommen? 10. Question: Demeter is against GMOs. Is Demeter by nature completely against GMOs? If yes, how come? My answer: It seems as if Demeter is really by nature against GMOs. I read the following qu ote from the site... could you please elaborate? 11. Frage: Sind GVOs von Natur aus falsch? Oder ist wie sie durchgefhrt wurden falsch? (Von internationale, korrupte Gemeinde, wie Monsanto). Knntet ihr eine Situation vorstellen, in der einen Aspekt Gente chnik gut sein knnte? Warum/Warum nicht? Wenn ja, was ist diese Situation? Meine Antwort: Ich denke ber Stammenzellenforschung das ist auch Gentechnik. Man knnte was entwickeln, das das Leben von z.B einen Jungen retten knnte. Er knnte sterbenskrank sein, und die Doktoren knnten ihn einen gentechnischen/stammenzellen Herz geben. Wrde das falsch sein? (Ich bin immer noch anti GVO, ich denke nur hypothetisch!) 11. Question: Are GMOs by nature wrong? Or is it the way that they are being used wrong? ( From internation, corrupt corporations like Monsanto). Could you imagine a situation in which an aspect of genetic technology could be good? Why/why not? If so, what is this situation? My answer: I think about stem cell research that is also genetic techno logy. One could
180 develop something that could, for example, save the life of a boy. He could be deathly ill, and the doctors could give him a stemcell developed heart. Would that be wrong? (I'm still against GMOs, but I'm thinking hypothetically!) Tschs!!! !!!!!!!!!! Liebe Grsse!!!!! Bye! Love! -Lee Ellen January 18 th 2009 Lee Hellen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Na klar machen wir das. ich werde mir mit Ina die Fragen durchlesen und sie dann nach bestem Gewissen beantworten. Viele herzliche Gr§e Lee Hellen! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Manfred's joke about my name] Of course we'll do that. I will read the questions through with Ina and then we'll answer them to the best of our knowledge Many heart filled greetings Manfred March 9 th 2009 Hallo Lee Ellen, endlich die ersten Antworten. Finally the first answers 1. Ina: Das Radio fr die tglichen News und Berichte, fr Hintergrundinformationen. Selten die Regionalzeitung. Eine Mischung. Manfred: Gutes Radio und Gesprche. Selten eine Zeitung, wenn eine informative W ochenzeitung. 2. Ina: Rudolf Steiners Ideen betrifft viele Bereiche. Sie ist sehr praxis orientiert. Er hat neue Ideen gegeben, z.B. fr Kunst, Wirtschaft und Soziales, Medizin, Pdagogik. Ich hatte zuerst (mit 12 Jahren) Kontakt mit Waldorfschlern, das hat mich nicht mehr losgelassen. Ich habe mehr darber erfahren wolle und bin dann von meiner Waldorforientierten Erzieherinausbildung zur Demeter Landwirtschaft gekommen. Manfred: Ich habe eine Demeterausbildung begonnen. Das war eine gute Alternative zu r "normalen" Ausbildung. Alles weitere hat sich dann dadurch ergeben.
181 3. Ina: Gut ausgedrckt: Religion ist Teil unserer Weltanschauung. Es ist in uns nicht u§erlich (Kirche, beten darber reden). Ich gehre offiziell zur evangelischen Kirche. Das ist mir auch wichtig. Ich habe als Jugendliche nach Antworten gesucht, Fragen gehabt, die Antworten habe ich fr mich in der Anthroposophie gefunden. Sie haben mir gefallen fr mein Leben. Jedenfalls das wenige was ich wei§. Steiners Werk ist unglaublich umfangr eich. Vieles ist nur angedeutet, man soll selber forschen. Dazu gibt er auch genaue Anleitung. Er will unbedingt dazu anregen selber zu denken und forschen. Spannend! Aber da bin ich noch lange nicht. Ich vertraue aber auf "Fachleute" z.B. Donau Schmidt. Manfred: Was Steiner schreibt ist wenn es verstanden ist, fr ich recht berzeugend bzw. nachvollziehbar. Wir sind protestantisch getauft wurden; hat fr mich aber wenig Bedeutung. 4. Ina: Menschen die stark anthroposophische Tendenzen (speziell Lehrer) haben gibt es natrlich an der Waldorfschule und in anderen Demeterhfen und grtnereien, die wir ab und zu besuchen oder an Vorzgen/Seminare teilnehmen. Anthroposophie ist ein Schulungsweg. Jeder steh fr sich irgendwo. Ich wrde nie sagen "Ich bin Ant hroposopher." Ich mag mich nicht so einengen. Manfred: Was ist ein Antroposoph? Wieviel muss man Steiner kennen und danach beben um sich so zu bezeichnen? Ich denke das ist sehr individuell und hngt von vielen Faktoren ab oder damit zusammen. 5. Ina: Im tglichen Leben ist Anthroposophie im Praxis wichtig: die Kinder gehen zur Waldorfschule, wir arbeiten nur Demeter Richtlinien. Aber wir tun das, weil wir vor den Ideen berzeugt sind und sie verinnerlicht haben. Manfred: Demeter ist mehr als "einfach" nu r Bio: es ist spirituell und mehr Dinge umfassend. 6. Ina: Wir kennen viele andere Demeteranbauern, durch unsere Ausbildung (Manfred 4 Jahre; ich 1 Jahr Demeter). Einmal in Monat besucht die Ausbildungsgruppe einen Demeterhof fr einige Tage, lernt Hof und Baueren kennen, hat Theorie Unterricht. Da lernt man viel kennen. Jetzt gibt es Treffen... Manfred: Wir kennen viele Andere und die Hfe sind so verschieden wie die Menschen. 7. Manfred: Dazu mssten erstmal die Prinzipien festgelegt werden. Demeter lsst im Grunde gro§e Freiheiten und erwartet, dass das "Positive" gestrkt wird -wie auch immer.
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