Hack the State, Self-Management and Social Media
Toni Prug (of Hack the State) is coming up to talk in Glasgow this weekend – at the CCA on Saturday and at Govanhill Baths on Sunday. The one at the CCA is called ‘Towards Objects of New Communism: Google, Facebook and Other Contradictions of Emancipation in Capitalism‘ (Saturday 14 August 2010 2:00pm – 4:00pm: FREE). The one at Govanhill is called ‘Towards Open Process Society: Govanhill Baths and Social Economy‘ (Sunday 15 August 2010 1:00pm – 4:00pm: FREE)
This is part of a wider programme by Simon Yuill called ‘Fields, Factories and Workshops’ who writes: “I think you’ll find him (Prug) very interesting as he blends Free Software practice with radical left politics, some of which he will be talking about, plus his experiences from the Zagreb University occupations of last year.”
‘Fields, Factories and Workshops’ (from Kropotkin) is described as an ‘ exhibition bringing together three projects that, in different ways, address the relationship between people’s ability to make use of space, either through occupancy or mobility, and the relationship of these to legal processes, such as the ability to form self-defined social groupings that have some form of ‘political’ power. ‘Politics’ here is meant in the most basic sense of an ability to effect or resist change at a social and material level, and to legitimise or contest authority. In realising their spatial agency (finding somewhere to live, to work, to support oneself) people are both shaped by law and, in turn, may also be compelled to challenge or shape that law themselves’.
Stackwalker (to breathe the air of heaven)
A parallel study using film and audio interviews of crofting communities in the West of Scotland and migrant workers in fishing and food production in the North East of Scotland.
New Commons – Field Reports
Developed from a project based in three large housing estates built around old commons land in Bournemouth. In many cases there are strong continuities between the older structures and communities of the commons and the contemporary housing – one area being a long-standing Romany Gypsy settlement. It explores the relation between land and housing as common resources and
a retrospective on the Pollok Free State, the M77 protest camp that radicalised a generation in the 199os and gave a space for, amongst a great many others, leaders such as Rosie Kane and Colin MacLeod to emerge.
From Jimmy Reid to Toni Prug may seem a like a big leap. But the link is in the idea of self-management. You can read the first bit of documentation of the Fields, Factories and Workshops project here, with an account of the Falchera occupations in Turin in 1975* translated by Maud Bracke and presented as part of the “Experiments in Self-Management” talk.
* Falchera occupations of 1975 – 76: an occupation by about 650 working-class families of council houses in Turin’s northern periphery. The Falchera occupation was a very dramatic moment in a wave of house occupation and rent strikes in 1970s Italy. It is situated in a tradition of working-class people claiming the right to an adequate and and affordable living space – a history which also includes the rent strikes in the West of Scotland at the start of the 20th century. Bracke investigates how the Falchera house occupation came about and what impact it had, focussing specifically on the reasons why women in particular experienced the occupation as a moment of liberation.