Date: 22 June 2006 - 26 June 2006
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The project of changing social relations has been related to the
transformation of material dimensions of class relations and given
form by a politics of redistribution. Yet a long tradition of
criticism has shown that class is not the only social organizing
principle that constitutes our position in a complicated and wide web of power relations. When we speak about oppression or exclusion we equally have to mention gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, health, age, etc and social, economic and symbolic/discursive relations that construct and sustain the norm. Accordingly, knots of resistance and social transformation are generated from these different positions reflecting different forms of labor, different ways of living, different views of the world and differing desires.
Departing from such fragmented subject positions we would like to
open up a discussion about the possibilities and limitations of and
strategies for creating more equal and inclusive social relations.
Inclusion involves changing these social ordering principles by
deconstructing the norms that nourish the production of social
hierarchies without constructing new exclusive norms. Equality does
not refer to sameness but to the acceptance and negotiation of
differences that can be articulated in dialogic processes. To strive
for equality in social relations involves the creation of the
conditions that would allow everyone to take part in the process of
social change, from her own particular social context.
Constructing social change
Dialogic processes for change in a world that is not manageable
cannot flourish when one departs from the concept and practice of
'directing change'. 'Vanguardism' is no valid option for a
participatory collective process. Therefore, we would like to speak
about constructing change, which refers to a collective participative process that involves the articulation of differences by creating permeability and mutual contamination between different struggles and ideas.
CASA 2006: Constructing social change
CASA 2006 will be centered on four interrelated strategies for social transformation, focusing on a different strategy each day. These are: desires and utopia, art, knowledge, and direct action.
All these themes can -and hopefully will- be discussed from many
Possible questions are (but should not be limited to):
**Desire and utopia
How does desire relate to social change? How can reflections on our
own desires for change and its implications be developed? Can desire
be changed or directed? What is the role of desire in research? Can
desires for alternatives help to shape an effective research
strategy? What is the role of utopian writing for the stimulation of
social change? What can be considered as utopian movements? What are
the utopian aspects of social movements and knowledge construction?
How can art contribute to emancipatory change? Is art merely
reflecting social change, or can it be transformative in itself? How
are art, knowledge and desire interrelated? How should we imagine the agency and autonomy of art in the age of global culture industries? Can art be a form of direct action? In what way is art related to the social? What is the role of the artist, and what is the role of the public in both the production and experience of an artwork? How can we discuss social responsibility of the artists?
In what ways can knowledge be used for social change towards more
inclusiveness and emancipation? Which agents or parameters determine
different types, modes and sites of knowledge production and
transmission, knowledge hierarchies, the organization of knowledge
and of academia? What alternatives are available concerning the
production, distribution/sharing and use of knowledge? What is the
role of education in processes of transformation?
What kind of interruptions and interventions are useful for reaching
emancipatory transformation? How and by whom are direct action
interventions carried out and to what ends? What kind of knowledge is produced by direct action? Can direct action also be used for
knowledge construction and the interruption of hegemonic academic
practices? Can we talk about "aesthetics" of direct action as a way
of politicizing and mobilizing aesthetic experience?
The format of the CASA meeting is as crucial as its content. We want
to ask all of you to engage in a construction of interactive spaces
that contribute to constructing emancipatory change that is inclusive.
Interactivity, here, means acknowledging that knowledge construction
and knowledge transmission are not one-directional but rather
collective processes. Thus participants of all kinds (presenters,
discussants, facilitators, technical assistants, and organizers)
should actively engage in collaborative processes rather than in a
mere conveying of knowledge. We are open to alternative formats -
from workshops to performances - that would open spaces for
participation and collective production.
Proposals for contributions within the four outlined topics are very
welcome and can be submitted until April 1, 2006.
For further questions, contributions or participation please mailto: email@example.com
CASA c/o ASCA
Oude Turfmarkt 145, room 008
1012 GC Amsterdam
Tel.: +31 20 525 3874
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