Curious about my work in Italy with shepherds?!

One of the days of my recent workshop in southern Italy was spent making cheese in an old shepherd’s house, abandoned for over 150 years but reborn as a place to make and talk about cheese and the people that have produced it for centuries.  At one point, as we waited for the fresh milk to get heated to the right temperature, we stepped out of the house into the field and saw a flock of sheep grazing their way towards us on the opposite hill.  It was a beautiful sight that clearly highlighted the connections between humans, landscape, and food traditions.  There were two journalists with us that day, and they have published this web article about their impressions.  I am proud to have offered the structure for heir article, one of my contributions that day was a lecture on shepherding, religion and economics.  While I am thrilled that the article makes our workshop sound good, as an anthropologist I have one beef: the title.  The shepherds do not need to be rescued; salvation can sound quite paternalistic and makes individuals sound passive and unable to help themselves.  I think a much better term is “support”, which is absolutely in keeping with the philosophy of the Messors workshops.  They need and deserve our support, which  can come in a number of different ways, often dictated by them; they do not need to be rescued by a bunch of foreigners!

Mario and Natasha brought their sheep by for a visit while we made cheese and had a picnic lunch at Fornello