The Revolt Of A Generation

11 Apr

12-13th May: Euro-mediterranean happening about education, welfare and new political practices

In the last two years we have participated and assisted with extraordinary movements that have fought for a quality education, for labor rights and new welfare against the austerity politics of the European Union. The wild demonstrations, pickets lines and strikes, the university occupations and the turmoil of the Mediterranean signal a generational revolt and the necessity of a new social pact that involves all those subjects that stand up for their rights and refuse to be blackmailed. The huge strikes last autumn in France showed us the possibility of creating an intergenerational alliance, as blockades of production and circulation of goods constitute different aspects of a common struggle. In Rome, as in London, the Book Block was a collective political practice able to speak out about the dismantling of public universities and processes of deskilling. At the same time, the revolts of Maghreb- Mashrek demonstrate how the construction of a future is tightly bound to both the radical claim for democracy and with the necessity of freedom from the parasitic and corrupt power that commands over our lives, universities, schools and workplaces. The recent revolts and movements have crossed national and European borders as well as the limits imposed on education and mobility by Bologna Process to clash with the failure of a strategy we have always opposed.
The struggles of these months have indicated that the possibility of radical change can only become concrete through the alliance among the different actors of labor and education, through common and transnational practices guided by those whom put their own bodies and knowledge. We hope to give a common meaning to this new space redefined by the conflicts in which the crises opens new possibilities to create an “other” future. It is for this reason that we want to initiate an open debate about the common projects we want to build together, starting in Rome on 12 and 13th May 2011.

Program

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Thursday 12th May 2011
6 p.m.

Aperitive – Global video session #1
Contribution from the education revolt – Book Bloc video and photo

Inside the happening there will be a specific space for videos and photos that may contribute to the discussion in two crucial ways: first of all, by telling us about new practices expressed by movements that are able to go beyond specific local conditions: the manif sauvage born during the French anti-CPE movement spread to the student movement in Italy. Pickets, unauthorized demos, blockades of circulation, in this way students across Europe took to the streets of the metropolises. The occupations were the most common means of activating struggles, not only in universities but also at historical monuments in city centers and the suburbs with mobilizations eventually spreading throughout the urban fabric. The Book Block was, more than any other, the political practice that allowed the bodies subjected to precariousness and the deskilling of knowledge.

Secondly, we would like to give a wide-ranging discussion through contributions from all those who build and play an active role in the movement at a global level.
Global Video # 1 is a session to talk about conflicts and sketch the richness of the imagery they have created in recent years.

°°°°°°°°°
Friday, May 13, 2011
University La Sapienza

10:00 am
Critic of knowledge and self-education: making the other university

The university occupations and practices of conflict signals that the defense of  public universities necessarily depends on its transformation. The free school born in the English movement and the self-education courses and the self-managed learning initiatives in Italy pose the need to urgently rethink the production of knowledge beyond disciplinary boundaries and across national borders, without however limiting ourselves to changing just a small segment of the educational process but, rather, with the conviction to completely change its places, themes and times.
This first workshop aims to investigate those practices where research is linked to learning, and the various working figures of the university – researchers, students and precarious – able to break with imposed hierarchies and move towards a true democratization of the university. Rethinking research and education on a transnational level, inventing high quality knowledge practices in the crisis of the Bologna Process means defending public universities in order to completely transform them in a radical way.

° ° °
14.00
lunch break

° ° °
15.00

The Wind of the South
Labor, income and democracy against the crisis: the social euro-Mediterranean issue

A growing intellectual unemployment and the poverty that affects more and more skilled young people seem to be common and transversal features of the economic growth inside global financial capitalism. Young skilled workers are locked in a vicious cycle of unemployment and increasing poverty, but at the same time they are the co-protagonists of economic and financial growth within global capitalism.

In this frame, there is the need to completely rethink the forms of welfare and the protection of legal rights: their extension is unavoidably linked with the always open question of transversal alliances among the different social sectors. From the Maghreb – Mashreq revolts to the European movements, there is an urgent need to open a real debate on democracy and the forms of generalization of the strike, starting from a central element such as welfare.
On what basis is the reclaim of rights the recomposing weave among different generations and actors at the transnational level?

° ° °

20.00
Dinner – Global video session # 2
Contributions and interviews from the revolts of Maghreb – Mashreq

The revolts of the Maghreb-Mashreq constitute a reference point for reading the political transformations of our time. A changing scenario in which no-one has tools ready to grasp the complexity of such radical ruptures. Youth and students are the subject to blackmail, by now impoverished, but with a degree in hand, and ever so close to all those in Europe who see the Mediterranean, and especially the Maghreb, as something far away. Yet their high level of education, their mobility, the lack of rights in a place that was corrupted and blocked by lobbying groups is not so far from us, indeed. In this session Global Video # 2 we aim to collect the contributions of young North Africans in order to better grasp such radical changes that inform us about new democratic processes, young people forced to migrate, and new social alliances.

 

http://www.unicommon.org

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