I recently arrived in Colombia where I will take part in a conference that starts on 11 May in Medellín. The topic of the conference is “Other Possible Worlds? Construction of alternative policies from governments and social movements in Latin America” and it is motivated as follows (translated from original Spanish):
Why this workshop?
Recent years have been marked by multiple crises—of an economic, social, political and environmental nature. It is quite clear that the neoliberal model, based on fossil energy and consumerism, has reached its limits. Against this background it is more than reasonable to consider social and economic alternatives.
We presume that these alternatives won’t arise primarily from government politics. They must be born, most of all, out of social practices and debates. Therefore we propose a workshop that connects the academic world with social movements and organizations that try to outline possible ways of transformation. We will seek to develop some key elements of a democratic and socially balanced society that is based on commons and an ecologically sustainable economy.
The topics of the three conference days are:
- Day 1: Crisis of representation, the state and new democratic subjectivities
- Day 2: Sustainable development, solidarity economy, and commons
- Day 3: Socialization of local experiences (reserved for interventions by students and local social movements and organizations)
The conference is organized by the German author Raul Zelik, who since last year teaches as professor for political science in Medellín. I will talk on the second day on “Peer production and commonism: From the free software movement to the ‘free association of producers’.” Most of the other invited speakers will be from Latin America; Elmar Altvater and Klaus Meschkat [de] from Germany will attend as well. I look very much forward to this conference that should bring together critiques of capitalism and experiences of non-capitalist organization from (at least) two continents.
More Information in Spanish is available at the conference website.