Rashida Alhassan Adum-Atta

PhD candidate, Madina Project,

Year of birth: 1989

Current position: PhD candidate, Madina Project

Personal Profile:

Food is crucial to human existence and attracts people of all walks of lives to locations where it could be obtained or eaten. However, the extent to which people are attracted to food depends largely on their religious and cultural convictions. In Ghanaian culture for instance, it is improper for a guest to reject the host’s food. Yet for religious reasons, food may not be acceptable. In order to avoid such awkward situations, hosts and guests take into account each other’s sensitivities. Consequently, non-Muslims respecting the sensibilities of a Muslim guest would ensure that a fowl for instance is slaughtered in a halal manner. This taking into account of sensibilities plays out in exchanges in the food market.

This study examines the extent to which religion plays a role in the various practices related to food and the implications it has for in and exclusion. For that matter ‘food’ – as a central religious matter – becomes a lens for examining practices of coexistence, including the rise of conflicts and conflict resolution. Special attention will be paid to tracing the chain from pre-market, market, post-market and selection, and the networks involved.

Theoretically, the study will be founded on three different fields of inquiry: Coexistence, Family and Group Dynamics.

The overall objective of this study is to contribute to knowledge by addressing food and eating as a practice of coexistence. To achieve these general objectives, the research seeks to:

1. Trace the origin and development of markets in Madina

2. Examine how various religious traditions – in the spectrum of Christianity, Islam and so-called traditional religion – intersect in the sharing of food in Madina.

3. Assess the impact of food vendors and market activities on coexistence in Madina

4. Highlight the challenges in these encounters and make recommendations for conflict resolution.

Recent scholarly papers/books:

2020. R. Alhassan. ”The Politics of Purity, Disgust, and Contamination: Communal Identity of Trotter (Pig) Sellers in Madina Zongo (Accra)”. Religions 11(8): 421 (2020).
2020. R. Alhassan. ”Starring Food in Madina market @ The Madina Project”. YouTube-link.

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