Date: April 11th, 2012
Cate: actividades, places

Pixelache Helsinki 12 May 2012

The tension between the individual and the collective is always present in filigrane in human society. The wealth of western society and its dependence on the State has generated a situation of excessive individualism, damaging the natural capacity for cooperation and creating a fractured world where all exchanges are monetarized.

The events of 2011 – Arab Spring, 15M, Occupy Movement – and those to come in 2012 –  are the tip of the iceberg of a widespread desire for a more collective way of thinking and living, rejecting huge imbalances of wealth and putting into practise other forms of social organisation and creation. Starting from the idea of the Commons – shared resources that are managed collectively – we will explore examples of initiatives coming from a variety of practises and areas of the world that put into practise strategies for change.

Spain has a long tradition of assembly based neighbourhood politics. In Catalunya the Associations of Neighbours are especially powerful where they play an essential role in urban processes – the struggle around Can Ricart is a good example of this kind of action. These associations have experimented an important renewal in recent years with young activists, inspired by biopolitical thinking, participating alongside the older veterans. In Asturias, the Second Republic in the mid 1930’s saw innovative economic experiments like the Commune of Gijón, where the validity of money was fixed at 3 months, while the tradition of the Andecha, currently being revised in the neorural movement and present also in other regions, proposes a model for collective work without the use of money. In Catalunya, the Cooperativa Integral is presenting innovative campaigns of fiscal disobedience, distributing information for sustainability and is involved in the creation of a new collective bank.

The widespread adoption of communication technologies has changed the manner in which communities exist and come into being, creating a new space for action between online and physical relations, and perhaps making possible new perspectives on rural development and post-petrol scenarios. The impact of the Free Software movement has been profound not only in technical or operative terms but also on how we conceive of cultural creation and production, leading to the use of open licenses, documentation practises and new collectivities. We will analyse this impact and the way that different platforms like, the SeniorLab in Cornellà or the Pontos da Cultura in Brazil are using technologies in social innovation. The discussion will include alternative moneys like bitcoin, exploring the ambiguities of these iniatives. Informed by perspectives from Spinoza to feminism and ecology, we consider the economies of affects and caring as basic, and too often ignored, forces in community development and functioning.

Artistic strategies are increasingly concerned with collective work and interventions in public space. For example the Dare Dare collective in Montréal, the Centro de Cultivos Contemporaneos del Barrio in Barcelona or the series of weddings carried out by Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens as part of their Love Art Laboratory project.

We welcome examples of projects, collectives, neighbourhoods or communities to be included in the examples. Also links to texts and other tools for reflection or analysis. If you are in the Helsinki region, please come and make a presentation and/or take part in the discussions !

Please put examples or proposals for presentations in the Etherpad here

or send to me by email pedruski (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thank you !


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