The sixth heteropolitics report authored by Manuela Zechner, Case Studies in Spain: Childcare Commons and the Micropolitics of Municipalismo, spans four years of embedded research in Barcelona and beyond, looking at the micropolitics of municipalism and at the politics of neighborhood childcare commoning.
Report 5. Case Studies in Greece, authored by Aimilia Voulvouli, reports on the case studies that Aimilia conducted in Greece in the context of the Heteropolitics research project, namely the wireless community network Sarantaporo.gr and the Cooperative Ecosystem of Karditsa.
In the fourth heteropolitics report, Antonio Vesco addresses the research questions and theoretical framing of the Heteropolitics project by carrying out engaged ethnography in two major Italian cities, Naples and Turin.
The third Heteropolitics report, authored by George Dafermos, delves more deeply into the literature of the digital commons: it attempts to elucidate the way in which the communities spearheading the development of the digital commons are constitutive of an alternative paradigm for the organization of economic, social and political life, which is claimed to have the potential to change the world.
In Report 2. The Common, Alexandros Kioupkiolis peruses the various strands of contemporary research and thought on the commons, or the political principle of the ‘common.’ Its aim is to elucidate how late modern theories and practices of the common(s) can inspire and energize new modes of thinking and practicing democratic politics, economy and culture, which further collective empowerment and respond to the political, socio-economic, civilizational and ecological crises of our times. The commons, that is, collective goods and aspects of social life which are produced, governed and shared in common, are critically considered in terms of their effective contribution to reimagining and refiguring democratic politics today. The object of the present report is, thus, to probe and to lay out how the commons in their diversity (environmental, cultural, technological etc.) stage an actually existing alternative to the ruling regimes of politics, economy and culture but, also, how they can provide a motor of historical transformation, which could usher in a society of ampler freedom, equality, solidarity, reciprocity, openness, diversity and care for earth.
The final Heteropolitics reports, which are the main research outputs of the project, have just been published online. Report #1. The Political by Alexandros Kioupkiolis, engages critically with the theories and practices of the commons and alternative democratic politics -‘alter-politics’ or ‘heteropolitics’- from the perspective of egalitarian, democratic and ecological transformation.
Here’s a video presentation of Yiannis Pechtelidis’ recently published book on the commons in education (Για μια Εκπαίδευση των Κοινών εντός και πέραν των “Τειχών”), followed by a very interesting discussion on the potential of a commons-based education for a democratic transformation of the educational system and of knowledge production.
The Heteropolitics research project (2017-2020), which has been funded by the European Research Council (ERC), explores alternative modes of political organization at local level in Greece, Italy and Spain.
The Heteropolitics project looks at local structures of community organization as cultural spaces self-managed by citizen groups in collaboration with the municipal government and political formats by which citizen collectives run for elections and claim the right to take a more active role in municipal administration with the intent of increasing the real participation of citizens in local government. In other words, the research is focused on alternative forms of political organization at local level based on the citizens’ own initiative and on the local government, which improve everyday life and the real quality of democracy.
As Alexandros Kioupkiolis mentions: “our aim is to collect, show and spread good practices of alternative political organizations, which emerge from the bottom up in the three countries we studied. Our goal is to promote a deepening of democracy with the aim of dealing creatively with the political and social crisis”.
For those who were unable to follow the live-stream of the workshop we organized last weekend at the Faculty of Economic and Political Sciences at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, here’s the video of the 1st day, which includes the presentations of the final findings by the heteropolitics research group, as well as the sound-recording of the plenary discussion that took place on the 2nd day of the workshop.
We are also going to add english subtitles to the videos in order to make them more accessible to non-Greek speaking audiences, so make sure to check back in a few days!
For researchers and activists interested in exploring the transformative potential of the commons, the Heteropolitics research team is organizing a two-day workshop at the Faculty of Economic and Political Sciences at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on 17-18 October, which will be live-streamed via our periscope channel: https://www.periscope.tv/w/1ynJOqarjzyKR
Update: the stream will go live at 15.15 p.m. on Saturday