we wanted to share with y’all a couple of our impressions from the workshops at NC RISING! we were able to attend thanks to the very well organized daycare service at the conference:
2 hours workshops:
RADICAL MAPPING: panelists from 3cs. nice turn out, around 50 people in a packed classroom in Saunders.
after a well crafted power point on 3cs work and other cartographic projects, people were interested in the nitty gritty steps of mapping and also in its theoretical underpinnings, bringing Foucault’s famous pair of knowledge/power several times in relationship to cartography. one of the interventions spoke about squatters in Brasil using GIS…3cs gave some hints about how to use local government websites to identify vacant buildings
OCCUPY EVERYTHING: the panelists represented the recent university occupations in New School of NYC and San Francisco State College as well as the monthly Really Really Free Market in Carrboro.
just listening to the histories of each of this struggle was worthwhile. also, among all of them, and together with interventions from the packed room in Bingham Hall, we got a kind of working definition of occupation that might be useful.
occupation, whether of a campus building, a forest, a house, a multi-story building, a construction site…. whether using chains, barricades, dance parties, exchange of goods, etc… might be understood as:
-experience of possibility
-experience of affinity and solidarity
-experience of transcending well established identities and defined roles
-the creation of a public space outside of capitalist logic
-a reference point that speaks stronger than other kinds of propaganda
-the feeling that something else, different from the norm, works
it was interesting to see that curious crowd and all the buzzing activity taking place at saunders and bingham hall, the quotidian spaces we go through on an everyday basis were temporarily transformed into a anarchist bookfare, anti-capitalist workshops and childcare service….in a way, the conference was an occupation of sorts in itself : )