In the context of capitalist crisis, a re-emergence of reciprocal economic relationships has been praised by postcapitalist researchers. Self-organised solidarity food economies have indeed brought promise of democratic change. However, this article draws on two years of fieldwork in Thessaloniki to develop Iris Young’s Politics of Difference
in order to challenge the view of solidarity economy as wholly a process of collaboration. Thus, the article overturns prevalent myths regarding the cultural ineptitude of Greek actors. In doing so, it highlights the need for food movements to acknowledge the inevitable tensions that arise from structural inequalities. The article argues that overcoming these tensions requires challenging difference-blindness in grassroots democracy. It concludes that an acknowledgement of shifting structural inequalities, exaggerated by the economic crisis, must be incorporated into an initiative’s democratic processes alongside mechanisms for dealing with disharmony.
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