A Preliminary Outline of Paulo Freire's "Thematic Investigation" as Cultural Action Chapter 3, Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1968). Prepared by Ultra-red for discussion, revision, dissemination, and practice
Arianna Bove (www.generation-online.org)
Arianna Bove is an independent researcher and translator involved in the making of www.generation-online.org, where her work can be found. She currently teaches at QMUL.
Mate Kapović, assistant professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (University of Zagreb) and political activist (Academic Solidarity, Zagreb)
Academic Solidarity is the first directly democratic trade union in the sphere of science and higher education in Croatia. It has spread to several cities in only a few months, gaining wide spread media attention and support, influencing the mass rebellion against the introduction of neo-liberal laws in education throughout Croatian universities.
Vedrana Bibic (The Occupation Cookbook, Plenum delegate; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb) http://slobodnifilozofski.org/?p=1901
Friday May 6th
Doina Petrescu (Atelier d'Architecture Autogérée, Paris)Doina Petrescu is an architect, co-founder together with Constantin Petcou of atelier d’architecture autogérée (aaa) in Paris and Professor of Architecture and Design Activism at the University of Sheffield.
Her publications include Trans - Local - Act: cultural practices within and across (2010), Agency: Working with Uncertain Architectures (2009), Altering Practices: Feminist Politics and Poetics of Space (2007), Urban Act: a handbook for alternative practice (2007), Architecture and Participation (2005). During our session, Doina will speak about metropolitan commons and self-organised spaces.
Jane Wills (QMUL, London) Jane Wills has research interests in low paid employment, migration, trade unionism and new forms of labour organisation, the living wage, community organising and political-economy. Her new co-authored book on low paid migrant labour in London entitled Global Cities at Work: new migrant divisions of labour was published by Pluto in 2010. Jane is convenor of the MA Community Organising and an active member of London Citizens.
Published in Multitudes 3/ 2007, Urban/Act and included in the disobedience archive
D. Petrescu, Jardinieres du commun published in Multitudes 44/2010
C. Petcou, D.Petrescu, At the Ground Level of the City Published in Multitudes 20/2005
What makes a biopolitical place? , , Paris - September 17, 2007
Jane Wills 'Identity Making for Action. The Example of London Citizens', in M. Wetherell (ed) Theorizing Identities and Social Action, London: Palgrave, 2009.
Jane Wills 'The Living Wage'
Friday April 1st, 5-8 pm
From cooperatives to social enterprises, between state funding, self funding, alternative economies and charity dependence, and the related questions of authorship, redistribution of resources, production of value and co-production.Siôn Whellens (Calverts Coop, London)
Siôn Whellens was a contributing editor at Anarchy Magazine, and active with London Workers Group, Workers Playtime and the anti-party and autonomist communist left in London in the late 1970s and 1980's. He co-published a bi-weekly newsletter, the Picket Bulletin, during the long Wapping printers' lockout of 1986, dedicated to creating an effective communication tool for grassroots activists. Since 1983 he has worked with Calverts, a collective-type worker co-operative of graphic designers and printers, and in the wider worker co-operative milieu. He is an elected member of the Worker Co-operative Council and a director of Co-operatives UK . Siôn is interested in exploring the conflicts and potentials of workers’ self-expression, self-organisation and self-management under capitalism, and understanding how the development of our day-to-day activity can contribute to the emergence of a new social economy.
For resources, see:
Sion's blog: Bethnal Bling;
A group of worker co-operators recently wrote and published a ‘code of governance’ which is really a guide to what the seven co-operative principles should look like in practice. PDF download;
Bob Cannell's blog. He is a thinker-practitioner of worker co-operation and its enemies;
For a more political take, see the opening paragraphs of Barrot & Martin’s ‘Eclipse and Re-emergence of the Communist Movement’
Marcel Mars (Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht/MI2, Zagreb)
Marcel Mars will discuss the use of free software, proprietary collaborative software/social networks and file sharing practices in the context of self-organization. Software is a socio-technical system in which machines, people, and processes are inextricably interconnected and interdependent. 
The collaborative development of software, as in the case of free software movement, brought to the world enormous autonomous infrastructure beloved by many activists and self-organization freaks. Still, the network effect  created by most of the groups, activists or not, pays off to the web2.0 startups, social network giants and other proprietary solutions.
"Utility Computing is the packaging of computing resources, such as computation, storage and services, as a metered service similar to a traditional public utility (such as electricity, water, natural gas, or telephone network)." When computing in general and computer-supported collaboration becomes public utility its development becomes more and more invisible to the public. Utility computing is still in its first phase. It is mainly led by big corporations like: Amazon, Microsoft, HP, Google, Oracle, IBM etc.
Their infrastructures are built upon Free software (Linux, Xen, KVM, Apache, Hadoop). But, they keep their advances in technology as trade secrets.
 Ensmenger, Nathan L. The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers,
Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise. The MIT Press,
 “Network effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”, n.d.
 “Utility computing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”, n.d.
For resources, see: http://ki.ber.kom.uni.st/
Toni Prug will discuss the impossibility of democratic self organization in the economy.
"If the economy disrupts our lives, then we must disrupt the economy" (UK Uncut, 2011)
For self organization to be democratic, there must be no capital, state power holders, or holders of physical forces of coercion (parts of society without state/capitalist controls over them) who are in the position to impose their will to dictate the model of cooperation by utilizing people’s need to acquire the means of subsistence by selling their labour for a wage, or to obey in fear for life. The egalitarian impulse that exists in self organization is rarely developed due to participants’ different class positions (skills, time, space, money, social networks) and the lack of value chains external to capitalist models of valorization whose inbuilt anti-egalitarianism cannot valorize egalitarian self organization.
The richest parts of the world have increased their productivity several times since WWII. Instead of proliferation of time for self organization based on abundance of the time gained by increased productivity, egalitarian elements (access to shelter, health, education, care) are disappearing and the amount of labour time sold for a wage, or volunteered in a hope of one, is increasing. If we consider self organization as a form of emancipation, and if we aim for it to be democratic, in the times of rapidly reduced material equality amongst the people of some of the wealthiest states in the world, the possibility of democratic self organization has to be considered not as a sporadic question, but as a central, systemic one.
Werner Bonefeld: ‘What is the alternative?’ (Shift, 2011, No. 11) http://shiftmag.co.uk/?p=400
Alexei Penzin, ‘The Soviets of the Multitude: On Collectivity and Collective Work: An Interview with Paolo Virno’ (Mediations, Volume 25, No. 1, Fall 2010) http://www.mediationsjournal.org/articles/the-soviets-of-the-multitude
"Marx's Method" by David Harvey: A Colloquium Talk Video (Geography at Berkeley, October 21, 2010) http://geography.berkeley.edu/about/story.php?id=47
Self-Organisation and Internal Ecologies
Friday 4th March 2011
Conflicts, frustrations, pauses and acceleration, the development of habits and fixed roles, all that is left unsaid and all the words that are repeated as a refrain until they lose meaning are just some of the issues that hunt the constant process of groups creation.
Here you can read David's text 'Anti-hierarchical artifices for groups to use'.
Also, in French or Spanish: The book is published in French for Édition Les Prairies Ordinaires (www.lesprairiesordinaires.fr) and freely accessible online at http://micropolitiques.collectifs.net/ In Spanish, for Traficantes de Sueños and freely accessible online at http://www.universidadnomada.net/spip.php?article360
Special Guests: REFF
Many thanks to Ade Alele for his logistical support.