When I began my fieldwork on sanitation work in Bangalore, India, the city had already suffered two decades of class polarization and environmental degradation, after being marked as a site for low-cost solutions, back-end support, and offshore expansion. So, I should have suspected that the paradoxes of progress would leave me tongue-tied: lost in my mother tongue (Kannada), along with everyone else’s.
The Culture & Agriculture Sensorium explores the intersections between sensory experiences, agri-food systems, and the socio-political conventions surrounding food production. In this installation, Rebecca Richard explores the role of touch in the care of race horses and the place of this skill within horse racing’s labor hierarchy.
That lunch turned out to be the first of many meals that left me asking questions. Since 2014, as part of my research on biotechnology and agricultural development in Ghana, I have attended dozens of development programs throughout the country. These programs—events, workshops, trainings—are impressive microcosms of so-called development efforts. They are where farmers, government officials, development practitioners, NGO program officers, and the occasional anthropologist share spaces, ideas, and meals.