step-by-step guidelines for drifting – maggie’s visit cont.

Before starting to post about getting to Madrid, we got inspired by the notes on 3Cs blog about our discussion/drift in Open Eye Cafe on spaces of labor/no labor on Sunday. We would like to contribute to the 3Cs note taking enterprise about maggie’s visit with what we remember from the last bits of our conversation with Maggie: the Step-by-Step guidelines for drifting & mapping discussion @ Weaver St. Market. We are paraphrasing because we took mental notes, apologies in case we don’t remember well”

-But really, how did Precarias a la Deriva go about doing, performing, making, putting together a drift? It is not so obvious when you really want to engage in drifting a la precarias’ …

-It is a long, but at the same time, expectable process”first, a deriva/drift makes no sense if there are not previous discussions on the main themes the group is concerned about and wants to start investigating in a collective way. From a series of group discussions, a set of thematic axes comes up as guidelines for the drifts. A couple of people linked to a particular axe, volunteer to organize one drift. These people know about that particular topic well because of personal experience -working in that sector for example- and have quite a few contacts. These point people strategize an itinerary identifying places that would speak to the issue in question, also contacting other possible participants that could also be interviewed/have a taped conversation with during the drift. That previous work is essential in order for the drift to work and be worthwhile. Then the rest is more or less explained in our different texts. Basically a group of people with note-taking equipment engage in an itinerary guided by a couple of guides who are experts in those spaces, those particular routines, that concrete sector. After visiting places, and having conversations within those locations and also in transition from place to place, each participant goes back ‘home’ and starts writing about the drift: being descriptive, emotional, reflexive, etc depending on the mood. Then all the texts are shared and collaged.

-Drifting feels like mapping, isn’t it? And actually your book includes some cartographic representations of 3 particular drifts? Did you ever follow that path as a venue for your militant research project?

Yes, and actually the precarias research project started as a mapping project. we wanted to document the different everyday itineraries of women workers to put together another vision of the city of Madrid. But it did not work, logistically but also conceptually: all that colorful drawing somehow did not work, the message that came across was not so powerful, and it really did not provided ways of collective organizing. We found out that the idea of actually performing the itineraries together and talking on the way, on the move, allowed for much more powerful communication and mutual understanding developing a sense for commonality and at the same time a sensitivity for diverse particularities.

-So it was a kind of mapping 1 to 1 scale, right? That’s what we are thinking for the mapping the university project”[tim and liz replied]. TO BE CONTINUED in future conversations”.