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Well-being, Ecology, Gender and cOmmunity - Innovation Training Network (WEGO-ITN)

WEGO-ITN: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 764908

Well-being, Ecology, Gender and cOmmunity – Innovation Training Network (WEGO-ITN)

Project 10: The Politics of Food in Urban Southern Europe

Supervisor: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gülay Çağlar

ESR 10: Marlene Gómez Becerra

Focus: Governing Food as a Commons through Urban Community Kitchens. The Cases of Berlin and Barcelona

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and to the article 25.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights food is considered to be a right and in this sense it is a good that everyone has the right to access to under any circumstances. However, due to the current capitalist world organization of the food regime and the various national, regional and local food systems, over 820 million people experience hunger on a daily basis (FAO, 2020). This is the consequence of diverse economic and political factors, ranging from the degradation of the ecosystem and crops, inequitable distribution of food, and the consideration of food as a commodity, among others.

In this context and from a Feminist Political Ecology perspective the research seeks to analyze the relations of power, political strategies, and care dynamics that self-organizing food initiatives such as community kitchens employ for the governance of food as a commons through practices of food preparation, food provisioning, and solidarity economy. Therefore, four community kitchens selected in the cities of Berlin and Barcelona are analyzed and compared through ethnographic technics in order to explore to what extend these communities can govern food through the act of commoning. In this sense, three main dimensions are key for the analysis: governing food in processes of commoning, producing food in processes of commoning and caring for others in processes of commoning.


About the WEGO network and the Feminist Political Ecology approach

The Feminist political ecology approach aims at understanding and exploring how diverse patterns of power such as race, sex-gender, class, ethnicity and decisions coming from the political and economic sphere influence the gendered use, access, and transformation of nature.

As a network conformed of 15 PhD students we seek to understand and give space in the academy to new ontologies and epistemologies that come from below and that seek to face the voracious machine of capitalism in their everyday political walk. Therefore, we are learning from and working with communities where the rules of conviviality and access to goods are based on commoning practices or with communities that seek to have a dialogue with the authorities with a community perspective.

We call ourselves the WEGO network because our projects are not only linked by the Feminist Political Ecology Framework but also by the field of study. For instance, Nanako Nakamura is working with communities in Japan looking at relations of aging and new economies related to food landscapes, as well as Anna Voss who is looking at Alternative food Networks and food landscapes in Italy. The three of us are planning to have collaborative writings to compare our research findings. Nanako will be having a secondment at Freie Universität in the upcoming year as part of the training network.

Click here to find more about our projects and our network!


Mobility and training. The basis of an innovative training network

For a European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmes, mobility is a basis for the academic development of young scholars. We have actively participated in different academic events. This has allowed us to present WEGO-ITN in different institutional settings and network with other scholars interested in the Feminist Political Ecology approach. Marlene Gomez was actively engaged in the following events:

  • Feminist Political Ecology Dialogues Berlin. Organization, record and edition of the videoclip: Feminist Political Ecology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nfKrvImdwg January 2022
  • Participation in the workshop: Communications training: How to tell/present your research story by Karin Hueck and Vivienne Benson. The objective of the training was to learn how to think and communicate big ideas and findings in a way that is accessible and helpful for future career paths and finding dissemination. December 2021
  • Speaker and organizer of the Feminist Political Ecology Dialogues Barcelona presenting the topic: “Feminist Political Ecology and the policy making negotiation”. https://www.wegoitn.org/register-now-ecologia-politica-feminista-y-ciudades-vivibles-dialogos-transatlanticos/ November 2021
  • Speaker in the panel “Feminist Food Studies and the Commons” with the presentation of “Urban Food Politics in Berlin” at the Degrowth conference. August 2021
  • Organizer of the Decolonial and Degrowth conversation cluster at the Degrowth Conference, taking part as a speaker and moderator of the panel ‘Women on the Verge’.
  • Speaker at the Feminist Political Ecology Dialogues Passau with the presentation. The Politics of Food in Berlin, 2nd of July 2021.
  • Participant as a speaker at the European Conference of Politics and Gender 2019 presenting the paper “Urban food commoning: a theoretical debate"
  • Participant as a speaker in the Science Slam at Freie Universität Berlin in April 2019
  • Presenting a poster about the research during “the day of the faculty” (Fachbereichstagat Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Speaker at the conference "The Great Transformation: On the Future of Modern Societies" presenting my project hand in hand with Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gülay Çağlar
  • Participant in the “Study Day: Agrarian Food Politics” in the city of Geneva, Switzerland organized by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gülay Çağlar in October 2019
  • Participant at the international conference: “Solidarity Economy and the Commons: contributions to the deepening of democracy” in the city of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Contribution 8 of March: Feminist communitarian organization in times of femicides. Insights from the second international encounter of women who fight.
  • Review of the book: Feminist Political Ecology and the Economics of Care. In Search of Economic Alternatives. Bauhardt, C.; Harcourt W. (Eds.) Oxon/New York: Routledge, 2019. – 298 pp., ISBN: 978-1138123663. Review can be found here.


WEGO training labs and secondments:

  • Final Training Lab in The Hague 24-29 April 2022
  • Secondment at University of Passau, Germany under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Martina Padmanabhan January-April 2021
  • Brighton, UK from 8th to 17th March 2019
  • Secondment at Wageningen University and Research under the mentoring of Dr. Chizu Sato
  • Upcoming Online training lab 15-18 June 2020


Seminars & Colloquiums

  • Presnter at the Biannual PhD Colloquium of the Gender and Diversity department of the Freie Universität Berlin in charge of Prof. Dr. Gülay Çağlar 6th May 2022
  • Presenter at the Biannual PhD Colloquium of the Gender and Diversity department of the Freie Universität Berlin in charge of Prof. Dr. Gülay Çağlar 13th-15th January and 20th-22nd July 2021
  • Participant and presenter in the biannual colloquium for PhD students “Gender and Diversity” in charge of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gülay Çağlar
  • Participation in the training seminar (Post) growth society: feminist and post-colonial perspectives (part I and II) at Freie Universität Berlin in charge of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gülay Çağlar winter semester 2018 and summer semester 2019
  • Participant in the seminar: Food and Feminist Political Ecology –Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, winter semester 2019
  • Participant in the seminar Global and Regional transformations –Freie Universität Berlin, summer semester 2019
  • Participant in the seminar: Climate Politics in comparative perspective, winter semester 2020
  • Active participant in the Foodscape cluster of The Centre for Space, Place and Society at Wageningen University



Field Work

Berlin: Summer 2019

Barcelona: 10-14 April 2019

Community Can Masdeu, Barcelona 2019

Eating together, Barcelona, 2019

Alternative Food Networks, Berlin 2019

Barcelona, 2019

Food Sharing Movement, Berlin

Berlin, 2019