Birgit Hoinle

University of Tübingen

Emancipatory space appropriations – Urban agriculture and spatial empowerment in Colombia

To what extent can urban and peri-urban gardens form places for empowerment of excluded groups? In my thesis, I investigate the emancipatory potential of (peri-)urban agriculture in Colombia with particular focus on Bogotá. My analysis highlights spatial dimensions of empowerment, an aspect that has not yet been conceptualized in Development Studies and Feminist Theory. Hence, the aim of my research is to develop a concept of spatial empowerment based on the experiences of the urban farmers of Bogotá. Conceptually, my approach is based on insights from theories of Radical Geography, feminist geography and feminist political ecology, as well as empirical data from field research in Bogotá. Accordingly, I have formulated four hypotheses that serve as explanatory tools for the relationship between urban agriculture and processes of spatial empowerment. During my field research in Bogotá (2014 – 2016), I carried out a process of participatory action research in collaboration with the local network for food sovereignty Red Raíces, including a series of counter-mapping workshops. Conclusions from this research emphasize the particular role of women in the urban peripheries of the metropolitan area of Bogotá (Sabana de Bogotá), who experience various forms of exclusion due to factors such as class, gender, single-parenting, displacement or rural origin. Based on my findings, I developed a definition of spatial empowerment as an expansion of agency and power over new roles and spaces, by actors formerly excluded from them. Finally, I indicate ways in which these results could contribute to the current challenges of Colombia in peace-building processes.

  • Urban and Feminist Political Ecology
  • Decolonial perspectives
  • City Sustainability
  • Commons, Agroecology and Solidarity Economy

Since 04/2019:
Coordination of the Studium Oecologicum – Programe for Higher Education for Sustainable Development at the University of Tübingen:

09/2018 – 03/2019:
Coordination of projects for Global Learning and Fair Fashion at the NGO Dachverband Entwicklungspolitik Baden-Württemberg (DEAB).

01/2016 – 06/2016:
Visiting Scholar at the Universidad Externado de Colombia, in Bogotá. Coordination of the conference series „Urban Agroecology and Territories of peace between city and country-side“ in cooperation with the Network for Critical Geography of Latin America GeoRaizAL.

Since 10/2015:
Freelance trainer in the programes for Global Learning „Bildung trifft Entwicklung“ and „Chat der Welten“ – virtual exchange in the classroom between Colombia and Germany(


08/2014 – 07/2015:
Lecturer for ‚German as Foreign Language‘ and regional studies at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá (with DAAD-scholarship).

Since 2014:
PhD at the institute for Geography at the University of Hamburg (supervised by Prof. Dr. Martina Neuburger and Prof. Dr. Manuela Boatcă) with scholarship of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung (07/2015 – 09/2018).

2005 – 2013:
M.A. Studies of Political Science and Geography at the University of Tübingen and Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói (Brasilien).

Hoinle, B., Rodríguez, F.B., Leal, C. & Pérez, M. (2019).Territorios de Paz entre el Campo y la Ciudad. Agroecologías Urbanas y Economías Alternas. Bogotá: Editorial Universidad Externado [in press].

Hoinle, B., Flórez, J. & Rueda, R. (2019). Del capitalismo cognitivo a una apertura pluriepistémica – la economía solidaria y agroecología en la educación superior. In I. Hernández Arteaga & C. Pérez Muñoz (Eds.). Economía Social y Solidaria en la Educación Superior: un espacio para la innovación. Bogotá: Editorial Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia [in press].

Hoinle, B. (2019). Das Saatgut gehört uns! In den Stadtgärten Kolumbiens gedeiht der Widerstand gegen das Freihandelsabkommen mit der EU. Südzeit N°80: 18-19.

Pinilla, K., Hoinle, B., Mahecha-Groot, A. & Cepeda, J. (2018). Mapping the Agrodiversity in Bogotá – the Platform Mapeo AgroecoBogotá. International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, 13(4): 407-414.

Hoinle, B., Cepeda, J., Macheha, A. & Pinilla, K. (2018). El contra-mapeo de la diversidad agroecológica de Bogotá: la plataforma AgroEcoBogotá. In S. Nail (Ed.): Alimentar las ciudades. Territorios, actores, relaciones. Bogotá: Editorial Universidad Externado, pp. 329-348.

Hoinle, B. (2017). „Ich esse keine Blumen.“ Projekte solidarischer Landwirtschaft in der Stadtregion Bogotá.IZ3W, N°360: 12-14.

Hoinle, B. (2017). Gärtnern in der Stadt. Südzeit, N°15: 10-11.

Hoinle, B. (2016). Alternativas agroecológicas entre campo y ciudad. In C. Leal Soto & P. Canelo Bridshaw (Eds.). La movilización social. Experiencias de participación territorial. Santiago de Chile: Instituto de Ciencias Alejandro Lipschutz, pp. 195-225.

Hoinle, B. & Cabero, S. (2016). Migrant*innen im Fairen Handel – Neue Perspektiven für eine Süd-Nord-Kooperation am Beispiel des Chat der Welten und der Kooperative Kallari. In: moveGLOBAL e.V. (Ed.): Fairer Handel. Ein Handbuch für die praktische Arbeit der Migrantischen Organisationen, pp. 40-42.

Hoinle, B. & Werner, M. (2015). Umkämpfte Territorien. Sexualisierte Gewalt gegen Frauen in Kolumbien. In B. Bargetz, A. Fleschenberg, I. Kerner, R. Kreide & G. Ludwig (Eds.). Kritik und Widerstand. Feministische Praktiken in androzentrischen Zeiten. Leverkusen: Budrich, pp. 129-148.

Castro, C., Consuegra, C., Doughman, R., Gerena, L., Hoinle, B. (2015). Agricultura urbana en Bogotá. []

Hoinle, B. & Calba, S. (2015). Herausgabe „Kinder- und Jugendgeographien”. Feministische Geo-Rundmail N°62.