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Beyond soyisation: Donau Soja as assemblage

2018, Bentia, Coralia Daniela, Forney, Jérémie

Soybeans embody the contradictions of progress in the Western imagination. They proliferated as a utopian promise (cheap vegetal protein for all) only to develop over a short two decades into a symbol of failure (GMOs). Most recently, as a response to the multiple crises of boundless capitalist accumulation and environmental degradation, concerted efforts were variously mobilized in Europe to re-think and re-make the ways in which soy is used along the food value chain. The Donau Soja project emerged as a hybrid, multi-level, transnational programme to assist and intervene in the transformation towards green and just soy supplies in Europe. This chapter gives an overview over this young project and takes the challenge of rendering the complexity of tasks it is confronted with, given the multiple contestations around global soy. It particularly emphasizes the processes involved in reassembling the materialities of soy as these emerge from dynamics of de- and reterritorialization that work both for the re-localization of this agricultural crop as much as they do for decentring its significance in the global value chain.