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How are colonial structures reflected in the media discourse about meat in relation to German climate movements?

Jihad Yagoubi

In our X-Student Research Group’s contribution, we will be addressing the following research question: How are colonial structures reflected in the media discourse about meat in relation to German environmental movements? In our research process, we focused on two aspects simultaneously that are necessary to critical academic research. The first one is to conduct a critical discourse analysis of English and German written media about the politics of meat (consumption and production) in Germany. The purpose is to find out how and what is centered in the environmental discourse about meat in Germany, but also what is absent from it in light of decolonial feminist ecological knowledges.  The other aspect of focus in this research, central to critical and decolonial methodologies, is the research process itself. On the one hand, the researchers’ positionality is defined to provide an honest standpoint from which the analysis is conducted. In this case, we are a group of young feminist researchers with academic and various migratory backgrounds, affiliated with a German higher education institution, and taking interest in the interconnectedness of environmental justice issues globally. On the other hand, the methodological process needs to be transparently described, from the reformulations of the research question, to steps taken to narrow down the media platforms, articles, and the research object (meat).  The objective of the research group was not only to identify central and marginal themes in German media discourse about the politics of meat, but also to practice and reflect on feminist decolonial methodologies as a non-linear process requiring adaptability, reflexivity and flexibility at every stage of academic research, from the literature review to result dissemination. Part of this practice was to discuss the research process and early findings with a representative from a feminist decolonial environmental collective based in Brandenburg. This conversation shed light on a environmental discourse absent from mainstream media through a first-person account. The expected outcome of this research is a reflection on the methodological process targeting researchers interested in feminist methodologies and attempting to decolonize their research practices, in addition to a zine or a poster summarizing the observations from the critical analysis discourse analysis, for it to be accessible to a large audience.