• Participatory Methods, Counterpower, and the Co-Production of Space

    Participatory Methods, Counterpower, and the Co-Production of Space

    The role of the external researcher committed to a truly participatory process — to effecting a shift in power relations — is one of providing access to methods, tools, technologies, resources, and availing themselves and their expertise to projects emerging from the interests, concerns, needs of a community. It requires both an acknowledgment of the researcher’s positionality, and an ongoing process of self-reflection and transparency with respect to their own motivations and how they align — or don’t — with the desires of the community.

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Enclosure in the original sense refers to breaking up common land into private segments and forms the underlying logic of capitalist exploitation. In this essay series, I consider wider interpretations of enclosure, starting with land, but moving to the body, community, time and space, knowledge, experience, learning and labor, and how schools in particular reproduce the enclosures found in the greater society. It is through this lens of enclosure that I advance my own definition of abolition, not merely of schools, but as a universal praxis.

Earthseeding: New Worlds is a rotating art installation, skill share series, and abolitionist planning forum hosted by One Art Community Center. Throughout 2024 we will explore how the speculations of sci-fi legend Octavia E. Butler correspond to social and economic conditions in Philadelphia, across a variety of themes like food, water, governance, and care. We will use those juxtapositions as a staging point for imagining and building an altogether different city.

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