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Fruit and berry production is a growth sector. What lessons can today’s food movements learn from Serbia, a major global raspberry exporter since the 1970s? Serbia’s raspberry commodity chain has not only withstood the post-Yugoslav wars and sanctions of the 1990s, but it has even grown since several times. What made this commodity chain so resilient that local entrepreneurs often still produce with personnel and technologies shaped by a former socialist cooperative enterprise?

This talk traces the configuration of the raspberry’s ‘infrastructures of value’ – its socio-material network underlying production, focusing on two interdependent infrastructural forms. Agronomic expert knowledge had advanced the plantation side in collaboration with small-scale family farmers, while cold store experts had modernised the freezing and containment of the berries. 

Moderator: Ieva Puzo, PhD, Head of the Social Anthropology study program at the RSU Department of Communication, Postdoctoral Researcher, "Mobilizing Science: Transnationally Mobile Researchers in Comparative Perspective".

Language: English
Location: Zoom (the Zoom link will be sent to everyone who signs up on the day of the event.

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Guest Lecturer

Dr André Thiemann is Lead Researcher at in the project ‘Comparing vital capitals: An anthropological analysis of the global value chains of sea buckthorn and raspberries’. He received his PhD from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and has worked at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Halle-Saale, the ZIF – Center for Advanced Studies Bielefeld, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Budapest and, as Visiting Professor, at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, of the Central European University in Budapest.

André’s research interests include kinship, economics, political and environmental anthropology, with a focus on global value chains, infrastructures and the welfare state in the post-Yugoslav and post-Soviet semi-peripheries.


Project blog

Recent Publications

  • Rolle, Kristīne and A. Thiemann. In press. Becoming In-Visible: Family Farms in Rural Latvia in the Framework of the EU Common Agricultural Policy. CAFE: Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment. Special Issue: Rural livelihood strategies and public policy in Europe: the issue of self-sufficiency, edited by Paula Escribano and Agata Hummel.
  • Thiemann, A. in press. Commodity Chains. in A Handbook of Economic Anthropology, 3rd edition, edited by James G. Carrier: 368–378.
  • Thiemann, A. 2020. "The Red Gold of Serbia: A Historical Ethnography of Serbian Raspberry Production for the Global Market." Vienna Working Papers in Ethnography 10.
  • Thiemann, A. 2019. "Moral Appreciation: Caring for Post-Socialist Cows in Contemporary Serbia". Etnofoor 31 (2): 13–31.
  • Thiemann, A. 2018. "Underimplementing the Law: Social Work, Bureaucratic Error, and the Politics of Distribution in Postsocialist Serbia". in From the Midwife’s Bag to the Patient’s File: Public Health in Eastern Europe, edited by Heike Karge, Friederike Kind-Kovács, and Sara Bernasconi, 293–313. Budapest: CEU Press.

Cooperation Partner

lab_blac_horizontal.pngLatvian Association of Anthropologists


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