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European Social Center Conference in Barcelona

Baby.rom | 02.01.2009 11:42 | Education | Free Spaces | Zapatista | World

BARCELONA/, 2009, January 8-10.
Network is Coming.

Social centers - in their different forms and declinations - have been in the last twenty years one of the most significant common words in autonomous movements all over Europe. The fil rouge connecting several experiences from North to South, from East to West has been the constitution of self managed spaces - for culture, rights and socialization - as political counterpowers able to challenge the hegemony of the State, of the Parties, of the Market. Since the 1980s housing rights, underground cultures, anti-hierarchical politics have been the major focuses of these spaces and led them to crisscross the counter-memories haunting Europe and to experiment new fields of struggle for social and urban rights, for emancipation and political expression from below.

Networks on an european level have been rising through the last years, allowing the development of common lexicons, shared strategies, interchange and constructive critique as well as translocal coordination of initiatives for autonomous coordination of struggles on an international scale. The combination and composition of difference, the ability to translate experiences from one place to another and the mutual respect made possible both the constitution of permanent links and alliances between experiences and also the constitution of (virtual and non-virtual) spaces of coordination with variable geometries of participation.

Starting from this stratification of experiences, the emerging projects of social centres are experimenting deep mutations, new forms of acting in the urban space. Metropolis is today a laboratory for new typologies of social centres: as embryonic universities of cognitive workers in the emerging framework of the production of knowledge, as nascent prototypes of social unionism in the new framework of precarious labour, not only for self-defence but also for demanding new social and urban rights in the postcolonial and post-industrial city; finally as autonomous processes trying to configure new forms of cooperative organization able to make common the subjective surplus and able to resist expropriation and exploitation in the contemporary composition of living labour.

In this framework, several social centres met last June in Ljubljana - in Social Centre Rog – for a preliminary articulation of a networking among these new experiences. In Ljubljana meeting, beyond the connection and interchange, we feel the need to open spaces for collective discussion on some issues. This is why we decided to organize two open meeting on these topics.

The first meeting, organized by Exit-Bcn and Ateneu Candela in the beginning of January 2009, will discuss new forms of unionism in the european framework, and the strategies for resources and fundraising of autonomous projects. The second meeting – the proposal is to realize it in Rome in Spring 2009 – will discuss networks of self-formation and the emergence of free universities. Finally it will be the place to discuss and invent perspective for networking and net-forms of cooperation among autonomous spaces.

This is why we call for a Metting in Barcelona/Terrassa – on the 8th, 9th and 10th of January 2009. It will be divided in two parts: in the first days – in Barcelona - various panels will introduce a discussion on new forms of unionism with particular attention to citizenship, informal and precarious labour, cognitive production. The second part – in Terrasa on the 10th - will be for sharing experiences and discuss a first proposal about “alter” erasmus; the european production of spaces for self-education; the role of social centers as metropolitan tools of conflict, in the european framework and in the scene of global crisis.


First two days

SEMINAR ON BIO UNIONISM. January 8, 9. Macba, Barcelona

Thursday January 8th

4pm. Workshop

Experiences of biounionism for transnational social rights


SC Rog (Ljubljana) - Oficines de Drets Socials (Terrasa)


Freefighters (Belgrade) Ferrocarril Clandestino (Madrid), Associazione de Difesa Lavoratori (Padova), Ods, V de V (Barcelona)

7.30 pm. Panel

Organizing the imperceptible: practices emerging in the crisis


Barbara, ROG

Valery Alzaga, SIEU, Justice for Cleaners

Nicolás Sguiglia (CIM-REDI)

Exit-Bcn, Barcelona

Friday January 9th

4pm. Workshop

Experiencies of self-organization for cognitive production


ESC (Rome), Sale (Venezia)


Exgae (Barcelona), Coordination des Intermittents (París), La Casa Invisible (Malaga), Hackademy (Madrid), Traficantes de Sueños (Madrid), Universidade Invisível (Corunha)

7pm Panel

Social rights in times of precarity: new waves in the metropolis

Gerald Raunig (Transform Viena)

Alberto de Nicola (Esc Rome)

Marco Baravalle (S.A.L.E Venecia)

Tomas Herreros (Universidad Nómada)

Third day:


January 10th. Ateneu Candela, Terrassa

11 am Discussion on mobility and Erasmus. Draft Proposal on The Other Erasmus.

1 pm. Discussion on self education. Draft proposal on transnational seminars/European University from Below.

6pm. Political Discussion: Making Europe throw struggles/ Movements Institutions in the Crisis.