Summary: Tim shares his experiences of militant research with university workers and students, making disOrientation Guides, and the importance of starting from your own position for building solidarity. Reflecting on the Queen Mary Counter/mapping project and community-based cartography, he discusses the challenges of map-making collectively, as well as the benefits of the process for building a plane of commonality for struggles. Against the individualizing and recuperative functions of academia, he shares some thoughts on how we can better traverse the tensions our movements face across the boundaries of universities and communities.
An interview with the Q Mary Countermappers came out in Lateral a few months ago: http://www.culturalstudiesassociation.org/lateral/issue1/countermapping.html
There’s also a nice online version of the map and the game!
3Cs will be participating in the Hemispheric Institute Convergence in November. Deadline to apply to a working group is July 1!
Call For Participation
The year 2011 marked an explosion of radical mobilization, from student protests and occupations to uprisings and insurrections. These events were characterized by the embodied reclaiming of public space, demands for economic, social, and political change, and instrumentalization of technology to communicate, organize, and revolt. As these political struggles spread globally, artists, activists, and scholars have engaged and responded to these actions by generating militant research practices, radical art gestures, and networked communities.
The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics Graduate Student Initiative invites graduate students from the humanities, arts, and social sciences to come together for our Convergence 2012 to discuss contemporary notions of emancipation, liberation, revolution, occupation, geopolitics, “artivism,” and militant research, and to consider the lived tensions of these concepts in bodies, knowledge, and locations.
In the spirit of the Hemispheric Institute Encuentros, Convergence 2012 intends to bring together about 100 participants to generate a space of intensive connections between scholarship, artistic expression, and politics, promoting embodied practices — performance — as a vehicle for the creation of new meaning and the transmission of cultural values, memory and identity. During the three days of Convergence 2012, we aim to explore new political potentials for emancipation, liberation, and revolution.
Invited Speakers and Artists include: Andy Bichlbaum (The Yes Men), Colectivo Situaciones (Argentina), Counter-Cartographies Collective (Durham NC), Ricardo Dominguez (UCSD), Esther Gabara (Duke University), Macarena Gómez-Barris (USC), Jack Halberstam (USC), Michael Hardt (Duke University), Brian Holmes (activist), Josh Kun (USC), Pedro Lasch (Duke University), Diane Nelson (Duke University), Walter Mignolo (Duke University), Spirithouse (Durham NC), Diana Taylor (NYU), and Wu Tsang (performer/filmmaker)
Over the past two years, members of 3Cs have worked with the Sustaining OurSelves Coalition through mapping workshops to help SOS use maps to fight rising gentrification in the Northside neighborhood of Chapel Hill. We’re so proud that SOS was awarded a 2012 Indy Citizen Award this week!
“SOS, with the help of the Counter-Cartographies Collective, learned new software and mapped the change in single-family owned to investor-owned properties, the number of at-risk properties, those owned by elderly families and others that were already on the market.
The data showed that among 26 building permit applications approved in the past year, an investor submitted all but one. Single-family homes were 45 percent investor owned, a three-fold increase in the last decade. Forty more were “at-risk,” meaning for sale, in transition or owned by residents older than 75.
The maps showed the rapid shift residents were describing, but they also illustrated that there was still a family neighborhood left to save. The maps drew a collective gasp when they were presented at Town Hall.“
The participants in a self-organized Counter-mapping workshop I’m helping to facilitate at UNC-CH have chosen to work on mapping the occupy movement as our class project for the semester. So far, we’ve used the project to learn about data gathering, GIS data design, and basic mapmaking using ArcGIS. Here’s what we produced together after our first class session together on ArcGIS! Data for the Southeast is missing because the member of our class who was responsible for that data-gathering hasn’t finished it yet.
This is just a draft for now — let us know what you’d like to see in the finished version!!!
Other ideas are to incorporate a word/quote cloud of slogans from the different protests, or quotes from mayors in different cities responding to the Occupy movement.
Saturday night, comrades in Chapel Hill occupied an abandoned building in downtown Chapel Hill and made this map of a possible future for the building:
The City of Chapel Hill apparently felt threatened enough by this proposal to send in a SWAT team armed with semi-automatic weapons to evict and arrest occupiers.
We send our love & solidarity to the comrades in Chapel Hill and hope to hear of many more buildings being liberated in the near future! As winter comes, stay strong, stay safe and stay warm!
Contact Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and tell him what you think of this use of force: (919) 968-2714/cell: (919) 360-8458 or email@example.com
El mes pasado Liz, quien está ahora en Buenos Aires, participó en el taller de Iconoclasistas: Territorialidades urbanas, corporales y subjetivas en el CIA. Se puede ver fotos y leer el diario del taller acá.
Last month, Liz, who is now in Buenos Aires, participated in Iconoclasista’s workshop: Urban, Corporal, and Subjective Territories in the CIA. You can see pictures and read an account of the workshop here.
And recently two of Iconoclasista’s maps, on the soy and mining industries in Argentina, were translated into English. See and download them here.
Local folks will remember the fights, several years ago, over the construction of Greenbridge — a “LEED-certified” monstrosity built right on top of one of Chapel Hill’s few remaining black business districts. When the shovels first broke ground on that building, I had pretty much lost hope that anything could be done to stop the tidal wave of greenwashed capital that was transforming Chapel Hill into a playground of condos and boutiques.
How things have changed!
For the past year or so, we @ 3Cs have been working with folks from UNC-NOW (a student-neighborhood alliance) and the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History to figure out how counter-mapping could be useful to the continuing struggles of residents of Northside and Pine Knolls. Northside and Pine Knolls are two of the remaining historic African-American neighborhoods in CH; more appropriately they’re the only names left for a cluster of historic neighborhoods on the W edge of Chapel Hill.