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An all new term of Sumac Skillshares

Sumac Skillshare | 20.04.2010 11:55 | Education | Social Struggles

The Sumac Skillshare has a new term! And this time it's going to be experimenting with it's form and style.
Emphasising the notion that we are all skill-sharers this term will be seeking to empower and facilitate dormant skills that we have all developed through our life experiences.

If communities are going to strive and flourish outside of the states control and influence then we must break down the current paradigm of learning and knowledge. There can no longer be a dependence on what has been established, but development of what is hidden and kept silent. In order to do this we must bring together all our existing understandings and create new ways of doing, learning and sharing. We must no longer reach to the outside for expertise, as there will come a time when that
reach is slapped back and we will be left to fend for ourselves as a community.

When exploring how we will create and maintain shelter for ourselves and one another, as individuals we already have life times of experience in doing this in a variety of ways, if we bring these experiences together what will we be able to create? What new knowledges will come forth? And
will we make these knowledges both sustainable and flexible? These are the questions we'll be asking in the first two weekends, where discussions will encourage us into action. Action which will be determined by those
who attend. Whether those practicalities are the setting up of a new co-op, squatting a new building, improving an old house or creating a shanty town.

In the second fortnight we will enter the realm of education. For the majority of us formal state schooling is our primary education reference point. However, what is the worth of the lessons we learn in those environments? And how long will it enough for us? What other ways can we
pass on knowledges and share ideas? The Skillshare programme is perhaps one form of alternative, but what are the others? And do they have to be formalized? With reflection what can we learn from ourselves? Once more
these discussions will inform what practical action we take, this could range from the drawing up of a workshop, the setting up of a literacy group, the creation of a new language or making a video or show about the future of education.

In the third fortnight the attention falls on health. We all fall prey to sickness, whether that be a common cold or something more serious. But do we really need to be so reliant on the National Health Service and the medical industry? Which aim for quick fixes and quick profits, and are intrinsically tied up with the various causes for the illnesses that may come our way. What other options are there? What other options have people being used for centuries? How can we produce and share new models for
maintaining our physical and mental health? What importance does our mental health and social situation play in our physical well being? What affect does child care have on the health of the child as they become an adult? As individuals we may have our own answers to these questions, but if we combine our knowledges and resources what can develop from that?

For the fourth fortnight we'll be creating our own entertainment, media and culture. It's been said that culture does not dictate human behaviour, but is the sum of human behaviour. With this in mind we'll be looking at
what we can do to create cultures that represent who, what and where we are as well as where, what and who we want to be. Do we have to accept the culture industry's dominant interpretation of humanity? And how can we
create a news media which accurately reflects our interpretation of the world around us? What outlets for our music, film and news are there, where can we find them and how can we create new ones? When capitalism and
it's cadre collapses will their still be a desire to tell stories and share ideas, what forms will these take and how can we go about making them a reality now? These questions will be explored and acted upon in our entertainment, culture and media skillshare. In the past Sumac Skillshares have covered topics surrounding food issues as varied as skipping to composting, from cooking to growing your own
vegetables. In this fortnight of skillshares we'll be using these ideas, along with all the others people come along with and creating solotions to the myriad of food provision issues that we currently face. When capitalism collapses we're going to have to eat, but without repeating the
mistakes of capitalism we will have to focus upon collective rather than individual food provision. The mass production of food since the advent of capitalism has slowly diminished our skills in this area. How do we
recreate these skills in a relevant and applicable way in a capitalist and post-capitalist society? How do we ensure that these skills are accessible to all, no matter where they are geographically located and whether or not
they have access to land? How do we then organise the variety of methods we've already developed and broaden them to include whole communities rather than just our friends and families? Will it be possible to provide food for large numbers of people without conflict over land? Come along
to this fortnights skill shares to develop and create new knowledges about food, and new skills to make those knowledges relevant to our daily lives.

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