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Thursday, September 8, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
GAZ/ARBOR at L/A/N/D site on Montview Neighborhood Farm, Northampton (outdoor farm site, at the east end of Montview Ave.)

land_sig_pigsL/A/N/D, a new community project space and learning site at Montview Farm, created and built through the collaborative efforts of Montview Farm, C3, and Artists in Context is pleased to sponsor a community workshop by neighbor Sigrid Schmalzer.

Sigrid Schmalzer will be leading the workshop. I am an activist and a professor of history at UMass. I am eager to bridge my research on the history of agricultural science in socialist-era China with local efforts to create more just, sustainable, and self-reliant communities through grassroots farming initiatives.

This workshop will use the history of agricultural science in China during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) as a way of opening up questions relevant to the work of activist-farmers everywhere. The goal is not to use this extraordinary historical case as either model or cautionary example, but rather to allow radically different understandings of science and society to provoke us into thinking in new ways about farming movements closer to home. During the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese state promoted agricultural scientific experiment as one of three "great revolutionary movements" that would overthrow oppressive old ways of thinking and further the construction of a new socialist countryside. Science was to be liberated from the ivory tower and grasped by "the masses" themselves. Through an exploration of propaganda materials and accounts documenting the actual (and quite varied) experiences of participants. We will consider such critical questions as: What constitutes agricultural expertise? What role does science play in farming practices today, and how do diverse participants in farming grasp and contribute to scientific knowledge? What is the relationship between agro-technological change and social transformation?

PLEASE RSVP TO This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it so that I can plan for the right number of people and so that I can update you in case of rain, etc.

PLEASE WALK OR BIKE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. It is especially important that you RSVP if you need to drive to the site. The farm is located in a quirky corner of the city, with narrow roads, lots of children and animals, and limited parking. If you need to drive and are able to walk a block, please consider parking on Williams St. and walking up Montview Ave. to
the farm.

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