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Social Centres, Where Next? - your experiences and views sought

freespaces | 26.01.2006 12:17 | Culture | Free Spaces | Social Struggles

The Social Centres movement has moved forward considerably in the last few years but is still very much an embryonic movement compared to Italy or some parts of Spain.

While many spaces are now up and running and certainly many things happening in these spaces; skill sharing, film screenings, action training, political discussion, info exchange, campaign meetings etc. it is important to constantly re-evaluate what we are doing and whether we are achieving our goals.

Do these spaces offer a valuable service to 'the movement' that actually creates more effective action outside of these centres?

Does bigger and perhaps more diverse crowds watching radical films actually translate into more people taking part in radical action?

Does the energy and dedication required to run the spaces mean less energy is available for campaigns?

Do the spaces we create live up to our rhetoric and our visions of a world we would like to see?

Did something you experienced at a social centre make all the difference and get you working on a specific issue?

These questions may be useful in evaluating the current social centres scene in the UK and also help in deciding in which directions the movement grows. Such evaluation is always required if spaces are to avoid the trap of simply following patterns established by previous spaces as if it were a guaranteed formula for success.

Recent meetings have looked at these issues, as will a meeting in Leeds this coming weekend. Additionally there is a book be written as a DIY guide to autonomy which also dedicates a chapter to the subject. Your own experiences can provide valuable feedback to existing and future projects so how about you add you experiences to this article?

With new spaces always emerging (such as the new central London space opening this week), your feedback about spaces you have visited or been involved in could help other groups avoid wasted effort and repeating the mistakes of others. Feedback can also highlight the most positive aspects of social centres and help to focus and generate energy to make things work the best they can.

Please feel free to add your experiences here...



Social Centres Gathering 2007 January 28th Saturday

19.11.2006 13:00

Social Centres Gathering

space for discussion, practical workshops,

sharing ideas, skills & experience

followed by MAYHEM Cabaret & Cocktails

Sat 28th January

at the 1in12 Club, Albion Street, off Fulton Street, Bradford, BD1

tel: 01274 734160

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Display the following 5 comments

  1. GrandBanks Social Centre* mentioned in Camden New Journal
  2. funny old game — Dino
  3. You forgot one — Matilda
  5. Seomra Spraoi is Rockin’……Dublin's Social Centre finally open — seomra spraoi - dublin social centre collective