Craig and Liz’s first AAG presentation was part of a series of sessions on “Anarchism, Autonomia, and the Spatiality of Revolutionary Politics and Theory”.
Our paper focused on mapping as militant investigation. Here’s our abstract:
Since its founding in 2004, the Counter Cartographies Collective at UNC-Chapel Hill has used different forms of mapping to plot, understand, and prompt alternative ways of seeing and producing spaces and knowledges in the NC Research Triangle Area. This paper lays out the theoretical foundations of the collective and highlights a series of cases that were instructive to the direction of the group. The cartographic intervention we propose constructs mappings in ways that render, through sight, action and communication, a multiplicity of alternative worlds. These ideas stem from the ‘new cartography’ of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, as well as recent cases of activist-mapping in Europe and the United States. Among others, we draw on the work of Precarias a la Deriva in Spain, Bureau d’Etudes in France, Colectivo Situaciones in Argentina – all groups consciously challenging the boundaries between academic research and political action, through their research methods and the products they produce. In our work, we aim to employ miltiant research methodologies that have ranged from a version of the derive to direct action or interventions. In the past four years, the collective worked on a number of different mapping projects, including the “disOrientations” map/guide to UNC-Chapel Hill and investigations of the spaces and organization of knowledge production at Research Triangle Park and UNC-Chapel Hill.
Other presentators discussed their research on anarchist movements/groups, autonomous experiences within/around the university (like the New School occupation!), and anarchist/autonomist theory in general and how it might be applied to geography.
It is exciting to see geographers engaging these concepts and we hope this can become part of a larger conversation about autonomy in the university.