We’ve just come across the Urban Commons Handbook, “a handbook for those interested in starting, growing and supporting community-led projects”. “Which ingredients of a cooperative community project most help it succeed? What are urban commons and how do they fit into current activist and civil society debates? And what tools and methods do commoners need to strengthen their work? These are the three questions at the heart of The Urban Commons Cookbook“.
Here’s our report on the commons in Naples, which readers of this blog should find of interest. It is based on our fieldwork in Ex Asilo Filangieri, a self-managed cultural space in the historic centre of the city.
From the introduction of the report:
In Naples, the fieldwork of Heteropolitics is focused on Ex Asilo Filangieri, a self-managed cultural space in the historic centre of the city. In this space, cultural activities are consciously organized as commons. Τhere is also an intense concern with the internal political self-administration of the space, the relationships with the municipality and the city at large, as well as an endeavor to experiment with alternative democratic politics in ways which could resonate with citizens, cities and communities more widely. Civic and cultural praxis in ‘L’Asilo’, as it is called by participants, pivots around a) collaborative artistic creation and experimentation; b) egalitarian democratic self-management; c) self-legislation through the production of an internal regulation that was finally ratified by the municipality after a long struggle; d) the making of a different community and politics informed by openness, plurality, horizontality, non-violence and non-domination, consensus, collaboration, and experimentation; e) the negotiation of a different relationship with the municipality characterized by both collaboration, struggle, conditional municipal support and autonomous self-organization of the community in l’Asilo.
COMMONING THE CITY
COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES FROM ISTANBUL AND BEYOND
Güldem Baykal Büyüksaraç & Derya Özkan (eds.)
This edited volume has its roots in Spaces in Common, a seminar series realized in Istanbul in the Spring of 2016, where a group of academics and activists were invited to think together about forms of urban living created through acts of commoning –spaces imagined and lived as urban commons, belonging to no one and everyone.
The proposed collection of papers similarly aims to reflect upon urban inhabitants’ commoning practices that produce and reproduce life in the city for the sake of cultivating a new ethos to sustain livelihoods and affirm communal instincts beyond motivations of profit, competition, and wealth spared for individual well-being at the expense of others. These practices develop a culture of commoning that helps imagine a city marked by alternative socio-spatial relations and practices. Such imagery is possible only with active and creative urban inhabitants immersed in cultures of commoning through their quotidian practices, be they work, reproductive labor, or leisure and festivity. It is these practices that make our spaces in common despite (and in the midst of) capitalist social relationships. We embrace the concept of urban commons as it allows us to think beyond the public-private and state-market dichotomies that are the building blocks of capitalist social formations.