Ethnologia Polona <p>The journal Ethnologia Polona publishes academic articles in the disciplines of social anthropology, cultural anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, ethnology, ethnography, methodology, qualitative research, as well as interdisciplinary research.</p> Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii Polskiej Akademii Nauk en-US Ethnologia Polona 0137-4079 <p>All content published by <em>Ethnologia Polona</em> is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Licence <a href="">CC BY-ND 4.0</a>. The journal provides open access to its content. All articles are free to access, browse and download from the date of publication for the user’s own scholarly use. They can be used for non-commercial purposes provided the original work and source is appropriately cited.<br>All other rights are reserved. <em>Ethnologia Polona</em> retains a perpetual, non-exclusive right to publish, reproduce, distribute, broadcast and post copies of all material on this website. The infringement of copyright may result in legal action.<br>Authors retain full and permanent ownership of their work and they are not charged for submitting and publishing their manuscripts. They must declare that the manuscript sent is their original work, has not been published before and is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere. Authors are also required to possess rights to photographs, illustrations and other materials included in their works. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the article with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. By submitting the paper authors agree to the terms set out above.</p> Introduction: The cultural politics of food and eating in Poland and beyond <p>This special issue of <em>Ethnologia Polona</em> comprises contributions from an international group of scholars who scrutinize the culturally embedded politics of food and foodways in Poland and beyond. The idea for the special issue “The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating in Poland and Beyond” stemmed from discussions and collaborations with academics working in the area of food studies, and with those who use food as a lens to look at different social, cultural and political phenomena. Both groups share a commitment to a critical perspective in the social sciences and humanities, and a need to strengthen this position within international academia.&nbsp;</p> <p>We developed this special issue around the cultural politics of food and eating in order to highlight the importance of a critical perspective while studying food-related issues. Our aim is to demonstrate both the thematic scope and the theoretical directions present in the contemporary studies produced by scholars working on Poland, as well as Polish researchers working on other regions. The territorial scope of the volume is wide as it features analyses based on abundant ethnographic and historical material from Poland, Belgium, Georgia, Ukraine, Dagestan and Argentina. The volume features contributions from scholars representing different disciplines (anthropology, sociology, social history and cultural studies) based on original research (extended ethnographic fieldwork, archival research and autoethnography) and presenting a clear methodological reflection.</p> Renata E. Hryciuk Katarzyna E. Król Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2494 Why should we care? Two experiences in the politics of food and food research <p>The aim of this article is to analyse the political aspects of food and their significance as an object of study. The first author of the article has studied Polish society as an insider, while the other author had previously conducted research in other countries and three years ago started exploring Poland and Polish gastronomy, finding himself in the role of outsider. Both scholars have been recently working together. The power relations between the societies and the academic worlds from which they come from turned out to be crucial to the research dynamics and became one of the paper’s key interests. Three main topics provide the structure of the collaborative paper: 1) the question of the authors’ positionality; 2) food as a phenomenon that is intrinsically political, and the legitimacy issues related to its study within academia and to scholars’ engagement outside it; and 3) the power and inequality dimensions of food research. The authors agree that inextricable connection of food and politics has not only an academic or theoretical dimension, but impacts the realities of people’s lives.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Agata Bachórz Fabio Parasecoli Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2301 Food-gifting in Gdańsk. Between Food Not Bombs and the Food Bank <p>The <em>FoodCitizens?</em> project compares cases of collective food procurement in three countries of the European Union (Poland, Italy and the Netherlands), specifically in three post-industrial cities of comparable size and population, namely Gdansk, Turin and Rotterdam. The project explores how networks of social actors organize themselves at comparable levels of intervention (foraging, namely gathering or producing food themselves; short food chains, namely engaging directly with producers; governance, namely rethinking markets, allotments and modes of procuring food that are relevant to urban procurement). The methodology of the project is to "compare by context" how these three levels materialize in the three cities: which social actors are actually engaged, through which concrete actions, and how politics and governance affect what is otherwise largely depicted as a mere issue of economics and/or sustainability (how to produce and procure food sustainably at affordable prices). This way, so-called (post)socialist food-ways assume a particular significance as not necessarily "the odd one out" in EU regions and economies, but rather as one of the possible identifiable cultural and economic pathways that collectivities take as they are informed by specific histories, territories, local economies, and social or demographic challenges. This article focuses on very different urban forms of food rescue and reallocation in Gdansk, namely through the grassroots activities <em>Food not Bombs</em> and through the <em>Food Bank</em>. Based on participant observation of relevant case studies in gentrifying Gdansk, the article focuses on the re-invention of "food waste", of food gifting, and food rescue.&nbsp;</p> Aleksandra Gracjasz Cristina Grasseni Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2018 Cooking with refugees and migrants. Performing authenticity and traditionality for Warsaw’s culinary tourists <p>During the migration crisis of 2015, a commonly shared belief about the integrating role of food resulted in the emergence of several culinary initiatives directed at refugees and migrants in Warsaw. I show that these culinary initiatives form a space for the creation of ostensibly opposing processes. On the one hand, they empower refugees and migrants by embracing the culinary cultures of their home countries; on the other, they facilitate the creation of simplified and folkloristic images of them. During culinary workshops, the role of migrants and refugees is to recreate traditional dishes, using “authentic” recipes. At the same time, they are restricted by the organizers’ ethical foodways and the demands of Warsaw’s culinary tourists, such as vegetarianism, to which migrants and refugees skilfully adapt. These processes result from a neoliberal logic, whereby refugees’ and migrants’ experiences and their ethnicity become commodities in the NGO market.<br>This article draws on ethnographic research conducted between 2017 and 2018 in Warsaw. I look at the biographies of six women refugees cooperating with selected initiatives. I analyse their strategies of recreating traditionality in the dishes they cook in order to authenticate their migration stories. I also examine their experiences and practices in the context of “food capital” that emerges as a result of the exchange of cultural capital between migrants and residents, and “refugee capital”, defined as the ability to use refugee status for personal development and integration. Combining “food capital” with “refugee capital” turns out to be an excellent recipe for success for refugees’ migration projects. </p> Magda Bodzan Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2156 Weapons of the weak twisted in jars of love. The transnational maternal foodways of Polish migrants in Brussels <p>The aim of the article is to analyse social change in the area of the gendered care practices and identities of migrant mothers, who were forced by the social and economic situation in Poland to (illegally) work abroad without their children and families. It asks what kind of experiences of social change we can find if we look at the foodways practised by transnational mothers from the working classes. The concepts of "transnational maternal foodways" and "maternal bustling around foodways" will be used as tropes to discuss and explore the gendered changes in motherhood experienced by Polish migrants. The analysis presented here is based on the results of extensive fieldwork conducted both in the villages and small towns of Eastern Poland and in Belgium (particularly in its capital, Brussels), and on 54 autobiographical narrative interviews with Polish women who, during the two decades after the fall of socialism in Poland (1989–2010), worked permanently or cyclically abroad. The analysis combines critical food studies with gender and migration studies.&nbsp;</p> Sylwia Urbańska Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2135 "We have all lived and breathed tea." Gendered moral economies of factory tea production in Western Georgia <p>Scholarship on Georgian food and drinking culture has been expanding in the past decades. However, scholars have focused mostly on private spaces of food preparation and consumption, as well as on domestic practices of hospitality. This paper tries to expand the scope of these studies by looking at spaces previously omitted: namely spaces of industrial food production. Building on the results of fieldwork conducted in Western Georgia (the Samegrelo region) between 2016 and 2017, as well as several short field trips in 2015, this paper focuses on gendered moral economies of tea (<em>Camellia sinensis</em>) production in a context of economic change in Georgia.&nbsp;<br>This paper follows people who produce one commodity: tea. Although not broadly considered a legitimate part of Georgian foodways, it is imprinted in the lives of the people who both used to and still do work in tea manufacturing. The analysis focuses on one main protagonist: a tea technologist employed at a factory. In so doing, it demonstrates the moral economies in which downgrading, migration and coping strategies are embedded.</p> Katarzyna E. Król Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2415 The Edibility Approach, Chemical Ecology and Relationality. Methodological and Ethnobotanical Contributions <p>This paper combines ethnographic and ethnobotanical fieldwork with the edibility approach (EA), chemical ecology and Ingold’s ontology of dwelling. The EA aims to “push harder onto and through the boundaries between edible plants and the human-animals that eat them to consider the outcomes produced as a result of these interacting materials” (Attala 2017, 130). This approach places ingestion in the light of multispecies entanglement. As proposed by Attala, this is still a philosophically “open” concept, of limited operational use in ethnographic (ethnobotanical) study. Our article argues for an expansion of the EA, based on this combined perspective and giving more attention to cross-species interactions placed in an environmental context. Our cases are about how people live <em>with</em> plants, exemplified by foraging practices of agriculturists in Ukraine, Daghestan and Argentina. The everyday social relations of our interlocutors are more-than-human interactions, and in these relations we pay a close attention to non-cultivated edible plants. We present two modes of writing ethnographies, in which we focus respectively on a single plant taxon or a group of plants, and where both people and plants are protagonists. We argue that incorporating the dwelling perspective and chemical ecology into the EA is one of the potentially fruitful approaches to the analysis of plant – people relations. The use of language and of the tools of ecology in an attempt to present different aspects of co-dwelling of people and plants, although it may seem anchored in Cartesian dualism, in fact allows for a deeper understanding of the relations among protagonists and their co-dwellers in the environment, and hence goes against dualisms. The relations and the ways through which organisms co-create their environment are the very essence of ecology. The close collaboration of anthropologists, ethnobotanists, ecologists and chemical ecologists is postulated in the article.</p> Iwa Kołodziejska Monika Kujawska Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2009 Eating healthy, eating modern. The “urbanization” of food tastes in communist Poland (1945–1989) <p>The paper analyses the changes of food behaviours in post-1945 Poland in the context of socialist modernization. It is focused on both discourses and everyday practices. After 1945 Poland was a nearly mono-ethnic rural society which experienced fast modernization, industrialization and urbanization. The communist authorities who promised social justice and universal prosperity faced a problem of painful food shortages. This resulted from the aftermaths of war, and later was a by-product of the socialist economy. Thus, dietary education became an important strategy in the effort to feed the new socialist Poland. Special institutions and agendas were established to modernize eating habits according to the “rational”, “scientific” bases of the communist project of modernization. Up until the late 1970s, expert dietary advice promoted pre-prepared food, canned and frozen products, vegetables and meat consumption. Food columns in women’s magazines, advice books and adverts presented the model of a modern cuisine, which was in the first place healthy, but also <em>urban</em>. Official food policies affected everyday practices and, by the end of the 1970s, experts identified a process of the <em>denaturalization</em> of food in rural areas. This changed during the crisis of the 1980s, when “traditional” recipes came to be appreciated as simple and “natural”. The analysis of expert and popular discourses (women’s magazines, medical literature), as well as of personal narratives (personal diaries, memoirs, letters to the editor) shows the changing meanings of food, and their connections to processes of urbanization and social advancement which were elements of a socialist modernization which was not too different from the western modernity of the time.&nbsp;</p> Katarzyna Stańczak-Wiślicz Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2303 Born in the body of beasts. Animals and the social order in didactic Buddhist literature of Buryat-Mongols (XIX- beg. XX century) <p>This paper engages with current discussions concerning the ways in which human cultures construct the sphere labelled as “social” against that of the broadly defined environment. I contribute to these discussions with an analysis of the didactic Buddhist literature of Buryat-Mongols (19th–beg. 20th century), focusing on the image of non-human animals and their position in the social/universal order. With the emergence of environmentalist trends in the humanities, pre-modern/“non-Western” inter-species relationships have often served as counter-alternatives to the problematic “Western” nature-culture dichotomy. While expecting to see the human being described as a part of “nature” in the analyzed texts, I found a different picture: the anthropocentric social sphere is clearly distinguished from animals, and in some fragments, the idioms used with regard to animals are reminiscent of European evolutionist discourse. Through an exhaustive analysis of Buryat attitudes towards animals is beyond the scope of this study, this literature gives insight into a particular cultural discourse as represented in reputed sources of the period.&nbsp;</p> Ayur Zhanaev Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2012 Normality, control and the state. Review of "Balkan Blues. Consumer Politics After State Socialism” by Yuson Jung, Indiana University Press: Bloomington 2019, pp. 192 Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2307 When Sacred Plants Turn into Resources. Review of “Cull of Personality: Ayahuasca, Shamanism and the Death of the Healer” by Kevin Tucker Black, Black and Green Press: Denver 2019, 208 pages <p>book review</p> Zuzanna Sadowska Copyright (c) 2020 Ethnologia Polona 2020-12-18 2020-12-18 41 10.23858/ethp.2020.41.2454