Sisters in Solidarity: Resistance and Agency through Urban Community Food Gardens in Pietermaritzburg

  • Linda Naicker UNISA


In this article I explore the solidarity, resistance and agency of a group of women involved in an urban community food garden project in collaboration with the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA). I explore this initiative through the lenses of African Women’s Theology (AWT) and Oikos Theology and suggest that urban community food gardens represent a cooperation with nature and a resistance to social structures and systems that perpetuate marginalization, inequality, and subjugation of women. AWT provides a means to theorize and theologize women’s suffering and agency, and Oikos Theology recognizes the connection between economy and ecology. I tease out how ecological and indigenous wisdom applied in urban community food gardens results in a mutually sustaining relationship between local communities and the earth. I also show how the development of an ecological consciousness not only serves to mitigate food insecurity but empowers women to resist systems and structures of oppression and to embrace affirming and life-giving traditions.

Author Biography

Linda Naicker, UNISA
Linda Naicker is a Researcher at the Research Institute for Theology and Religion, UNISA and a Doctoral Candidate at University of Western Cape, South Africa. Her research interests and publications focus on the intersections of religion, race, class and gender. This work is based on research supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa under auspices of the Desmond Tutu Chair in Religion and Social Justice (Grant number: 118854).