The concept of transparency is now an unescapable reference in public, professional, and private life. As transparency-making has recently transmuted from a progressive instrument to counter corruption into a new universal ideological formation, it is time to problematize the concept of transparency and its uses. In this article, I consider transparency not as a moral principle or static ideology but as a terrain of political struggle over its meaning and practices. An emerging literature in anthropology highlights how transparency has become a form of governance that leads to a sense of deprofessionalization in working life. Based on ethnographic research with activist networks and small-scale farmers in Italy, I investigate experiments with horizontal and inclusive forms of alternative transparency-making in food processing. I consider three interrelated emblematic frictions within these experiments: informal versus formal, top-down versus horizontal, and not-for-profit versus commercial. While these experimental forms of transparency-making allow small-scale farmers to reappropriate a sense of autonomy and professionalism, the frictions indicate that conventional and alternative transparency-making are not diametrically opposed. Frictions in emancipatory transparency-making repoliticize decision-making processes in ways that are unknown in contemporary concepts of transparency. Ultimately, the concept of emancipatory transparency-making calls for engagement in open dialogical processes.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.