Sep 19, 2012

Occupying Language in NYC

The Committee on Globalization and Social Changeis putting on a very cool event:

Occupying Language

with Dario Azzellini and Marina Sitrin

Friday, September 21: 2:00 pm at the Free University of NYC at Madison Square Park and 7:30 pm at 16 Beaver Street (4th floor)

This is their shpeil about it:

Occupying Language is an open conversation. Through it, we invite you to join us to explore insurgent movements that have been organizing in Latin America over the past twenty years, and to connect key concepts and language from those struggles with what is new and beautiful in the social relations being created by people’s movements in the United States today.

There are of course many similarities with preceding forms of organization and mobilization, especially with the movement for global justice of the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, we are choosing to ground the discussion in movements and groups that arose from and are comprised of ordinary people, rather than activists.

Language is not neutral, and words transport and express concepts and ways of thinking. They can consolidate and perpetuate hierarchies, domination and control just as they can underline equality and strengthen consciousness. Latin American struggles for dignity, freedom and liberation are rooted in more than five hundred years of resistance. Language derived from their struggles comes with historical antecedents.

Among the concepts we explore are Territory, Assembly, Rupture, Popular Power, Horizontalism, AutogestiĆ³n (self-administration), and Protagonism. Examples of each term are drawn from different Latin American communities of struggle, from the spreading of Horizontalidad with the popular rebellion in Argentina, and the concept of Territory seen in Bolivia and Mexico, to the construction of Popular Power in the Consejos Comunales in Venezuela, and the vision of interconnected human diversity articulated in the call for “one world in which many worlds fit” by the indigenous Zapatista communities in Chiapas, Mexico.
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