The Work of Germany’s Food Bank “Deutsche Tafel”: Going Global by Doing it Local
Based on Germany’s and European Union’s ever-growing struggles to give a functional response to the crisis that has brought asylum seekers to the European continent in the last years, this article aims to expand the understanding on how the work of Germany’s largest food banking organization – the Deutsche Tafel – extrapolates its duties and goes beyond the discourse of charity, food security and its local reach. By studying Michel de Certeau’s definitions of strategy and tactics, Professor Saskia Sassen’s notions of local, national and global scales, and the different instances in which the national activities are terrains for global reach action, it examines the role of the Deutsche Tafel in this crisis panorama. Thus, this article pursues to explain that, although local, the work of the Deutsche Tafel is one more that calls into question the idea of global actors as solely the ones directly involved in cross-border negotiations and international tensions. It gives potential to international movements within the German territory, such as the integration of refugees and asylees, as well as supports the idea of a double facet of their role in the German society between being a source of relief to and a ruler of those in need.
Vinícius Silva Santana . firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander von Humboldt Foundation & Universidade Federal da Bahia
Vinícius Silva Santana is a master’s degree student in International Relations at Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBa) and a researcher funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, carrying a project on food security, charity, development and government cash transfers in partnership with the Bundesverband Deutsche Tafel e. V. He also holds a licentiate degree in Linguistics (UFBa) and was part of a research project in Language and Poverty at Vanderbilt University, USA.