Description

This project contributes to the LOST program by exploring temporal, spatial and normative dimensions of evidence production with regard to micronutrient deficiencies as a recent problematization in public health nutrition. Solving world hunger is a political, socioeconomic and juridical dilemma. It concerns the relations between humans and their strained environments, and more specifically the promises and vulnerabilities of human-plant-relations in view of damages done by derailed capitalist systems of agricultural production. In the face of revived Malthusian dystopias and their urgent impetus to grow more and better food, this project focuses on biofortification, one recent high-tech agricultural solution for micronutrient deficiencies. I did eight months of ethnographic research at an agricultural research institute in Uganda, where scientists are developing a transgenic, micronutrient enriched banana variety in a multistakeholder collaboration. My work explores the future that this selection intervention in human-plant-relations anticipates and how testing practices of the laboratory and the field assemble assumptions about deficiency, experimental results and phenotypic observations to prove the banana’s safety and efficacy on human bodies. My works draws on science and technology studies, more-than-human anthropologies and medical anthropology to study how evidences and sensibilities of unequal human conditions are shaped, mobilized and come to matter in global health and agri-food research.

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