SoliLa! (Solidarisch Landwirtschaften! Solidary Agriculture!) is a Vienna-based collective of people which started squatting a piece of land in a Northern district of the city in April 2012. The piece of land, 3,5 hectares, belongs to the BIG, a state company which holds and manages public real estate. It was previously rented by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU).
SoliLa! decided to squat the land to start growing vegetables, and thereby question our food production, distribution and consumption systems. More specifically, the group, mostly composed of students and young prospective growers, was looking for a plot to start a community supported agriculture project in Vienna.
The collective was harshly evicted after just a few days. Negotiations started between the SoliLa! collective, BIG and BOKU, to provide a short-term lease of the land to SoliLa!. But the negotiations were interrupted, bringing to an end the land occupation and effort to use that plot for local food production and consumption.
As a collective, the initiative has since moved on to a new plot in Vienna’s Southeast, sharing the same location with a group of other local agriculture initiatives since 2014 and continuing local small-scale farming on a self-organised basis.
Despite the short duration of the initial land occupation, the collective effort has shown the way forward and played a pivotal role in connecting actors and sparking a local movement.
Read more about the land occupation in:
Möhrs, K., et al. (2013): The politics of land and food in cities in the North: Reclaiming urban agriculture and the struggle Solidarisch Landwirtschaften! (SoliLa!) in Austria, in: Franco, J. and Borras Jr., S.M. (2013): Land concentration, land grabbing and people’s struggles in Europe, p. 82-113. Transnational Institute (TNI)
For more infos on the current project, visit: http://solila.blogsport.eu/solila/