Theoretical report on the commons and processes of social transformation

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.

Theoretical report on the political and alter-politics

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.

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Video documentation of the Heteropolitics workshop

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!

Education as Commons, Children as Commoners: The Case Study of the Little Tree Community

A new paper by Yiannis Pechtelidis and Alexandros Kioupkiolis, titled Education as Commons, Children as Commoners: The Case Study of the Little Tree Community, has just been published in Democracy & Education. Here’s the abstract:

This paper presents the emergent paradigm of the “commons” as an alternative value and action system in the field of education, and it critically draws out the implications of the commons for refiguring education and its potential contribution to democratic transformation. The paper delves into an independent pedagogical community, Little Tree, which is active in early childhood education and care, aiming to explore the ways in which children conduct themselves in accordance with the ethics and the logics of the commons and to show how they thereby unsettle the conventional meaning of citizenship. Proceeding from an enlarged notion of the political, the collective action of children and adults on social relations and subjectivities in their ordinary activities and intercourse in the Little Tree community are explored, and the dominant beliefs and ideas about the political ability of children are contested. This enlarged take on the political is crucial to empowering children and to enhancing their participation in public life. This pedagogical community is taken up as an instance of commoning education, that is, of configuring education as a common good, which is collectively governed by its community on terms of freedom, equality, active and creative participation.

The Commons and Music Education for Social Change

A new paper by Alexandros Kioupkiolis, titled ‘The Commons and Music Education for Social Change‘, has just been published in the European Journal of Philosophy in Arts Education. Here’s the abstract:

This paper spells out the value of an alternative paradigm of the commons for thinking social change and for refiguring education, in general, and music education, in specific. It sets out from the different strands of thought on the commons as a collaborative mode of living, acting and organizing on terms of collective autonomy, equal freedom, creativity, diversity and participation. It analyses the bearing of the various commons on contemporary music practices –horizontal work, open-source musicianship, individual experimentation, collectivized authorship- and education. Education as commons is transformed into a collective good which is co-created by all parties involved on a footing of equality, autonomy and creative freedom. Commoning music education, more specifically, would imply: an opening of music, and education in music, to any and all; a blurring of the divides between professionals and amateurs, teachers and students, producers and consumers; an endeavour to minimise unequal power relations, whereby the teacher relinquishes the role of the authority and becomes an assistant, an advisor, an animator and a facilitator; collective self-governance of educational processes; equal freedom through individual creativity, diversity, openness, collaboration, hybridity and experiment.

Birth, Death, and Resurrection of the Issue of the Common: A Historical and Theoretical Perspective

Just stumbled upon this recently published (Oct. 2019) issue of South Atlantic Quarterly (SAQ), which is dedicated to the commons. Featuring articles by theorists such as Silvia Federici, Massimo De Angelis, Ugo Mattei and Carlo Vercellone, which explore various themes related to the commons from a theoretical as well as historical perspective, it is a must-read for those who wish to delve more deeply into the subject.