Next week we have a very special meeting of our reading and discussion group around practices of Pirate Care.
On Thursday 27th February 2020, 19:00, Drugo More office (Korzo 28, second floor, Rijeka), we will read from Community Organizing or Organizing Community? Gender and the Crafts of Empowerment by Susan Stall and Randy Stoecker.
Just to remind you, Pirate Care reading group is a series of meetings organised by Valeria Graziano, Marcell Mars and Tomislav Medak, as part of Dopolavoro flagship of the Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture project.
You can download the text here: https://pirate.care/blog/2020/02/17/04-community-organizing/
This paper looks at two strains of urban community organizing, distinguished by philosophy and often by gender, and influenced by the historical division of society into public and private spheres. It compares the well-known Alinsky model, which focuses on communities organizing for power, and what the authors call the women-centered model, which focuses on organizing relationships to build community. These models are rooted in somewhat distinct traditions and vary along several dimensions, including conceptions of human nature and conflict, power and politics, leadership, and the organizing process.
Here’s a taste from the beginning of the text::
Behind every successful social movement is a community, or a network of communities. The community behind the movement provides many things. It sustains the movement during the hard times, when the movement itself is in abeyance. It provides for the social reproduction needs of movement participants, providing things as basic as childcare so parents can participate in movement events. It provides a free space where members can practice “prefigurative politics”, attempting to create on a small scale the type of world they are struggling for.
These communities do not just happen. They must be organized. Someone has to build strong enough relationships between people so they can support each other through long and sometimes dangerous social change struggles. Or, if the community already exists, someone has to help transform it to support political action. Sometimes that requires reorganizing the community by identifying individuals who can move the community to action.
This process of building a mobilizable community is called “community organizing.” It involves “the craft” of building an enduring network of people, who identify with common ideals, and who can engage in social action on the basis of those ideals. In practice, it is much more than micromobilization or framing strategy. Community organizing can in fact refer to the entire process of organizing relationships, identifying issues, mobilizing around those issues, and maintaining an enduring organization. The distinction between community organizing and social movement is that community organizing is localized, often “pre-political” action, while social movements are multi-local.
Find the whole text here.
Pirate Care reading group meets in Rijeka about once a month to read together texts about the ethics of care and civil disobedience. We look at a mixture of theoretical and historical resources and have some informal conversations about past and present practices of pirate care and their implications.
Our group is open to all. Newcomers and drop-ins are welcome to join at any point. No booking is required and no previous knowledge is necessary.
We usually read texts in English, made available in advance from our website. Read them if you can, but equally, do come along even if you haven’t had the chance, as we read some extracts together at each meeting.
ABOUT READING GROUP LEADERS
Marcell Mars is a research fellow at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures. Mars is one of the founders of Multimedia Institute/MAMA in Zagreb. His research Ruling Class Studies, started at the Jan van Eyck Academy (2011), examines state-of-the-art digital innovation, adaptation, and intelligence created by corporations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and eBay. He is a doctoral student at Digital Cultures Research Lab at Leuphana University, writing a thesis on Foreshadowed Libraries. Together with Tomislav Medak he founded Memory of the World/Public Library, for which he develops and maintains software infrastructure.
Tomislav Medak is a doctoral student at the Centre for Postdigital Cultures. Medak is a member of the theory and publishing team of the Multimedia Institute/MAMA in Zagreb, as well as an amateur librarian for the Memory of the World/Public Library project. His research focuses on technologies, capitalist development, and postcapitalist transition, particularly on economies of intellectual property and unevenness of technoscience. He authored two short volumes: The Hard Matter of Abstraction—A Guidebook to Domination by Abstraction and Shit Tech for A Shitty World. Together with Marcell Mars he co-edited ‘Public Library’ and ‘Guerrilla Open Access’. https://tom.medak.click