Topic: Let’s Eat Them Together’. Food procurement practices of domination and resistance in the city of Athens
This paper discusses how food procurement practices at times of crisis become
political acts. Athenian market spaces today are transforming and we witness the
rising of everyday urban politics of negotiations, resistance and insurgency in
unexpected class strata. More specifically, of the various grassroots solidarity
initiatives in the city of Athens, this paper focuses on those relating to sourcing food,
namely no-middle-men markets and middle-class delis that reshape political
The no-middle men markets operating around the city challenge pre-existing
capitalist structures. At the same time, they bring Athenians closer to nature and to
the Greek rural, by restoring the broken foodways between the country and the city.
At times of crisis Athenians go back to practices of the past and to the comfort of
rurality. This way of understanding and dealing with the crisis manifests as well in
the middle-upper class Athenians. These Athenians create their own political
foodways forming networks of small neighbourhood clusters shops, in a new rising
shopping model of sourcing food directly from/closer to nature which resembles the
old ways of shopping. These become part of exonerating the rural and reaffirming
Athenians’ rural identities. In essence, these shops operate in the same way the no
middle-men markets operate, but in a different class sphere.
Across class divides, the crisis has affected Athenians in similar ways: they tap into
past practices and exonerate and celebrate the rural, by creating a moral economy
and reembedding sociability in the markets. By researching all these movements
described here this paper illustrates how across class divides, food becomes a trope
of resistance in a city in crisis.