[Pga_europe_process] pga in London

rgnunes at riseup.net rgnunes at riseup.net
Thu Oct 7 16:13:16 CEST 2004

as for the radical theory forum, here's the programme...



Thursday 14th October; 11am until late at the 491 Gallery (491 Grove
Green Road, Leytonstone, London E11) (www.491gallery.com)

Tube: Leytonstone (Central Line); two stops from Stratford (Central
line/ Jubilee line); Bus: 66, 145, 257, W13, W14, W16, W19; Train:
Leytonstone High Road (Gospel Oak - Barking line) or Stratford (Richmond
- North Woolwich line)

Entry: By donation

Summary: The Radical Theory Forum will host a series of daytime
workshops/discussions on the theme of 'Radical theory: How can theory
inform action?' followed by a party with film screenings, art
installations, spoken word and damn good music.



Doors open for people to help to set up the space, listen to music,
watch some activist films and browse around the ongoing gallery space.

Gallery: To be shaped by activist artists Guy Smallman, Julian Gibson
and Christian da Souza.



Introduction - 'What is Radical Theory?'

1pm-2.30pm (Two parallel workshops run for 90min each):

1a) 'Beyond the Lecture Theatre: Subverting the Neoliberal Paradigm
Through Popular Education' (facilitated by Emma Dowling)
* As the capitalist logic informs the management of schools and
universities, its ideology hijacks the classroom - what role does free,
popular education play in current activist projects and what new
possibilities are there for virtual and face-to-face informal education?

1b) 'Who are "we"? Complexity and Social Movements: Theory and Practise'
(facilitated by Alex Plows)
* One of the core elements of social movement theory is that for a
social movement to 'be', it has to have a "collective identity" (Melucci
1996). Especially in the moment of action, that sense of "we", of "us
and them", is notable- "we" are not the arms sellers at DSEI or the
bullshitting warmongers - "we" are the people taking action against
"them". Yet activists and theorists have long been problematising that
sense of "we" in our movements. Not only is there great diversity and
difference amongst "ourselves", our personal identities and motivations
(though also much we all hold in common), this complexity becomes more
problematic when eg globalisation throws up 'strange bedfellows' in
terms of other actor groups who oppose the same issues but often for
different reasons. Is "our movement" fragmenting? Was it always
fragmented? Is "my enemy's enemy is not my friend" a context-dependant
thing? Why does any of this matter? Open discussion.

2.45-4.15pm (Two parallel workshops run for 90min each):

2a) 'Feminist Theory, Feminist Practice at the ESF/WSF' (facilitated by
Catherine Eschle and Bice Maiguashca)
* This workshop will explore the contributions, limitations and
possibilities of feminist activist and academic interventions in the
ESF/WSF process. Although feminists succeeded in gaining a high profile
at the last WSF, their presence in the ESF seems more marginal. Further,
there has been little sustained analysis of the nature of their
contribution. Indeed, while there exists a large body of feminist
research critical of the impact of globalised capitalism, and analysis
of feminist activism in that context, there has as yet been little
theorisation of the place of feminism in the recent wave of
anti-capitalist, anti-globalisation politics. This workshop seeks to
bring together theoretical and activist concerns of feminists and fellow
travellers involved in and studying the ESF/WSF. It will ask: what have
feminists been doing, and what should they be doing, to engage with the
ESF/WSF? What can feminist theory and practice offer the ESF/WSF and
vice versa? How best can we research and theorise ESF/WSF politics in
feminist ways? (Cate and Bice have confirmed they are running this)

2b) 'Are Other Worlds Possible? The Challenges and Possibilities of
Pedagogical Open Spaces' (facilitated by Vanessa Andreotti)
* The educational project Other Worlds was funded by DFID and hosted by
Mundi. It proposes an approach to transnational (global/political)
literacy based on 'reflexive ethics', in which participants are
encouraged to engage critically with issues related to global and local
contexts and think about how their way of seeing the world and acting in
it are connected to justice and injustice. This approach is based on
ideas related to critical and postcolonial pedagogies, as well as a
constructivist understanding of the learning process. This workshop is
divided into two parts. In the first part participants will be invited
to experiment with the methodology and in the second part, the
background of the project, three case studies and a research cluster
proposal will be presented for discussion.


Coffee/tea/cake/drinks break

4.45-6.15pm (Two parallel workshops run for 90min each):

3a) 'Post-/Marxism in the 21st Century' (facilitated by Jeremy Gilbert
and Simon Tormey)
* What is the relevance, if any, of the Marxist tradition to the
anti-capitalist movement? Does the idea of class have any relevance in a
post-modern world? What use can be made of those ideas which have
emerged from a sympathetic critique of orthodox Marxism in theory and
practice - the 'post-Marxisms' of Deleuze & Guattari, Laclau & Mouffe,
and Hardt & Negri? Should the concepts of revolution and class struggle
still be at the centre of our thinking, or should we be working to break
down concentrations of power in more diffuse and heterogeneous ways? Is
it true, as Leninist groups like Globalise Resistance maintain, that
anarchist, libertarian, and radical democratic political currents are
incapable of formulating effective political strategies? How do we make
new kinds of political alliance on the complex terrain of 21st century

3b) 'Academia, Immaterial Labour and Cognitive Capital' (facilitated by
Rodrigo Nunes)
* What can it mean to be an academic activist? Can we conceptualise a
form of activism specific to the academic, as a form of immaterial
labour within certain institutional constraints? Could collective action
around processes like the 'RAE' (re?)-radicalise the academy?

6.30-8pm  (Three parallel workshops run for 90min each):

4a) 'The Organisation and Politics of the London ESF' (facilitated by
Steffen Bohm, with Oscar Reyes, Rodrigo Nunes, Emma Dowling and Jai Sen)
* Many of us have participated in organising this year's ESF, which has
left many of us with a sense of frustration and sometimes anger. The
process of getting 'horizontals' and 'verticals' into one room has often
been painful. So, where do we go from here? This workshop starts with
the premise that we need to go beyond our surface emotions and try to
contextualise the organisational process of the London ESF within the
wider historical sphere of the organisation of the British and
international Left. What kind of theoretical trajectories can help us
understand the current political confrontation between 'horizontals' and
'verticals'? What lessons can we learn for future political struggles in
this country and beyond? How does the British experience compare to
other processes of organising social forums (e.g. in India and Brazil?).
In this workshop we seek to start to explore these questions, because we
feel that they are absolutely crucial for the social forum movement.

4b) 'Building a European-wide Radical Media Distribution Network'
(facilitated by Sam Wild, with Chris Reeves and Zoe Young)
* Alternative media is finally hitting its target: Farenheit 911 is
dragging Dubya's dodgy past into the spotlight and Supersize Me is
denting the McDonalds' super armour. Critical voices are finding a
platform and progressive ideas are reaching wider audiences. However the
reality of making - and ultimately distributing - radical media content
is still problematic for many people ... breaking out of the alternative
media 'ghetto' is no small task! Looking at examples of successful
radical media projects which have reached out to large numbers of
people, this multimedia seminar aims to take inspiration and establish
the foundations for an Internet-based European-wide radical media
distribution network. The ESF - with representatives from across the
world - provides a unique and timely opportunity to combine developments
in digital technology with the established strengths of the massive
global underground cinema and screening network ... maybe the revolution
will be televised after all!

4c) 'Anti-consumerism' (facilitated by Jo Littler and Nicola Kirkham)
* Exposing the social, cultural and environmental exploitation upon
which everyday consumer brands depend has become an important part of
contemporary activism and popular culture - from culture jams and
actions against BP and Starbucks, through downsizing and fairtrade to
Supersize Me! and No Logo. Can anti-consumerism be both part of a late
capitalist niche market and part of progressive social change? If
anti-consumerism seeks to function 'outside' a corporate economy, then
how can it move beyond 'enclave politics'? If it attempts to work
alongside it to effect change (such as fairtrade being sold in
Starbucks, or No Logo being published by a Murdoch-owned conglomerate)
then what are the boundaries? When does co-operation become co-option?
How do we deal with consumerism - and anti-consumerism's - complex
relationships to gender, 'race' and class, desire and identity? Does
'anti-consumerism' offer exciting possibilities for new alliances or is
it just too broad a strategy and term to be useful?



Radical poetry/spoken word (by a handful of London's leading radical
poets led by Yap, Whatshername and others)


'Rebel Thinking / Rebel Visions': Activist film screenings co-ordinated
by Zoe Young
* Form and content in radical film may - or may not - relect radical
theories of social and ecological change. We'll show short videos we
like (or don't), from 'riot porn' to 'expert exposition' via  'poetic
license', 'cuts for the post MTV generation' and 'plain weird'. And if
we feel like it, we'll pull them apart. There'll be no uptight film
experts here, only film makers, film viewers and film users. So bring
your favourite shorts (CD, DVD, DV or VHS PAL) and your most cutting
critique. And we'll try and sort out some pop corn J


Party with DJing by Nikki Lucas (Bitches Brew, The Shrine, Future

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