An intercultural dialogue on social and cultural contexts of livestock production

Workshop illustration by Birgit Boogaard (2017)

On the 19th of September 2017, Dr. Wiebke Wellbrock (Rural Sociology at Hohenheim University) and I hosted a pre-conference workshop at the Tropentag 2017  (Annual interdisciplinary conference on Research in tropical and subtropical agriculture, Natural Resource Management and Rural Development) at the University of Bonn. Dr. Hanneke Nijland (Research & Consultancy) contributed to the design of the workshop, although she couldn’t join. During the workshop we engaged in an intercultural dialogue on Western and non-Western perspectives of livestock production.

Livestock production is ascribed high potential to contribute to food security and sustainable livelihoods in the tropics. This potential tends to be based on –often implicit – Western assumptions about increased and intensified livestock production. This entails a risk of imposing Western ideas on non-Western contexts and disregarding the large variation in social and cultural contexts. Yet, animal farming is strongly embedded in social and cultural contexts, including local knowledge, traditions, values, institutions and ethics. Following prof. Heinz Kimmerle’s stages of an intercultural dialogue, we designed a creative and interactive workshop to jointly discuss the mentioned context, to inspire each other and to identify common interests and networking opportunities.

Despite a low number of participants, the premiere of our workshop was a success. The methods were adapted from ‘Liberating Structures’ and helped the participants to stay focused and engage in the workshop without fatigue and all of us left with new inspirations, connections and food for thought.

If you are interested in the concept of this workshop or you would like to receive further information, kindly contact me.