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Mariarosa Dalla Costa – So that Fish May Flop in Vegetable Gardens Biodiversity and health in movements for peasant-based agriculture and artisan fishing.

1. Trees and shrubs, earthworms and dung-beetles
Analysing the essential points articulated in the debate for a different management of agriculture and fishing requires dealing immediately with the crucial instance for the defence of biodiversity. In fact, it is an incontrovertible and continually documented datum, and several exemplifications will be given, that the industrial management of agriculture and fishing reduces biodiversity, thus its defence and restoration, where possible, are central to organizing another type of agriculture and another type of fishing. One could say for peasant-based agriculture and for artisan fishing, keeping in mind that the latter refers to a reality in Southern countries that does not correspond to what is meant by artisan fishing in countries such as Italy.1 Therefore, to illustrate the issues, we will refer fundamentally to the experiences in “developing countries”, while still aware of the inadequacy and the ambiguity that such an expression always connotes. Rather, with regard to peasant-based agriculture, we can refer to both these countries and countries such as Italy.
Linked with the loss of biodiversity is the loss of health.

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Mariarosa Dalla Costa – The war on Subsistence

I thought it important to accept the invitation of students to come and discuss issues that affect us all so deeply, not only as students and teachers, but as human beings and citizens. It seems to me that the university, in fact, should be like the round river, to use the image of an Indian farming technique, which builds knowledge drawing on external stimuli, elaborating it and returning it to all of society. The round river carries water to the crops but they give back what is not consumed by the field so it can be carried elsewhere.
With regard to the war that is unfolding now and which is planning further scenarios, I will leave it to others to discuss oil and gas and the new configuration and partitioning of political control over various geographical areas, seeing as these topics are widely
discussed in magazines and mainstream press. I want to say a few things about an aspect that may seem irrelevant but in my opinion is central and which accompanies, more or less visibly, all the wars that have occurred in recent decades and that is the aspect of massive destruction of land and with it, resources for subsistence be they grazing lands or lands for sustainable and diversified agriculture primarily intended for domestic consumption. From Angola to Kosovo to Afghanistan, more and more tracts of land are excluded from the chance to be farmed because they are contaminated by war material such as land mines or long-term toxic substances such as depleted uranium. Unlike the plundering and burning of ancient wars we are dealing with weapons of war that cause infinite damage.

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Mariarosa Dalla Costa – The Attack on the Earth

I just attended a meeting with a Colombian trade unionist who represented networks of farmers. It was organized by the Inter-University student association. What the unionist had to say was a piece of poetry which opened and freed the minds of those who, sitting in the school benches of a crowded lecture hall, sought the truth about the “seeds of discord”, or biotechnology. The same people who were seeking the truth about war and all other forms of siege that more and more often interrupt the fabric of life. This science brings death, said Luis, referring to the agricultural logic and technologies that continue to be imposed on developing countries (if you will pardon the expression). But it also kills the spirit of man. Because we believe that the spirit lies outside of man. It is in the ground, in trees, in rivers. If we destroy all this, man will no longer have spirit. I gathered spirit just from hearing him say these things.

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Mariarosa Dalla Costa – Workerism, Feminism and Some Efforts of the United Nations

When I accepted the invitation to give this talk1, I opted for an informative narrative report that would speak about feminism of the 1970s, in particular of a certain strand of that feminism, because the re-opening of a debate on the issue of abortion, on which some positions would withdraw the recognition of women’s self- determination, made me think it useful to let people know the starting point of that battle, which was in Padua on June 5, 1973, a trial for abortion transformed into a moment of political mobilization, inscribed in a context of struggles that were important in determining major changes in the female condition.
The feminist movement in the 1970s in Italy had basically two souls identified by two different paths of action. One was self- consciousness based on the formation of small groups in which women, starting from their own experience, analyzed the female condition and hardships. This was similar to the North American practice of “raising consciousness” and was widely present in Milan and in relationship with the Parisian group “Psychanalyse et Politique” (with Antoinette Fouqué). The other, which carried out “political intervention” and in which Lotta Femminista [Feminist Struggle], later called Movimento per il salario al lavoro domestico (Sld) [the Movement for Wages for Housework (WFH)], was predominant, turned instead to interpreting the female condition beginning with the analysis of capitalist development and changing it through struggles.

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