by David Boarder Giles
Duke University Press
In A Mass Conspiracy to Feed People, David Boarder Giles explores the ways in which capitalism simultaneously manufactures waste and scarcity. Illustrating how communities of marginalized people and discarded things gather and cultivate political possibilities, Giles documents the work of Food Not Bombs (FNB), a global movement of grassroots soup kitchens that recover wasted grocery surpluses and redistribute them to those in need. He explores FNB's urban contexts: the global cities in which late-capitalist economies and unsustainable consumption precipitate excess, inequality, food waste, and hunger. Beginning in urban dumpsters, Giles traces the logic by which perfectly edible commodities are nonetheless thrown out -- an act that manufactures food scarcity -- to the social order of "world-class" cities, the pathways of discarded food as it circulates through the FNB kitchen, and the anticapitalist political movements the kitchen represents. Describing the mutual entanglement of global capitalism and anticapitalist transgression, Giles captures those emergent forms of generosity, solidarity, and resistance that spring from the global city's marginalized residents.
"Chronicling the work of the urban justice organization Food Not Bombs, David Boarder Giles analyzes urgent and overlapping social, economic, and political concerns common in today's global cities. Giles engages with a range of scholarly disciplines and theoretical arguments eloquently and elegantly, while offering ethnographic details that are both vivid and convincing." -- Robin Nagle, author of Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City
"In A Mass Conspiracy To Feed People, David Boarder Giles documents the rhizomatic magic by which the anarchist direct action group Food Not Bombs converts urban food waste into meals for the hungry and hope for a better world. Along the way he intertwines his own lived experience and a sophisticated critique of the contemporary capitalist city to create a beautiful book that is itself a recipe for a slow-simmering revolution." -- Jeff Ferrell, author of Drift: Illicit Mobility and Uncertain Knowledge
About the Author:
David Boarder Giles is Lecturer in Anthropology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University.