Liberating Territories: A Reportback from Chile
November 20th, 2013 7:30 PM
Neighborhood Assemblies Transforming Urban Habitat & Sustaining Healthy Relationships
A Reportback from Chile
Revolutionary community organizing has a long, significant history in Chile. Today, folks are increasingly putting their roots down, coming together to form new, autonomous neighborhood assemblies--legitimately sovereign self-governing bodies––to transform the built environment and cultural life right where they live. Assemblies are social spaces where folks learn to think and act intentionally and collectively, living laboratories where collaborative, playful, egalitarian relations supplant capitalist ones. It is here where old, fixed subjectivities are jostled loose and new, revolutionary identities that recognize and celebrate difference emerge. By articulating reciprocally solidarious relationships between these liberated and liberating territories, the modern settlers' movement in Chile is forging a counterhegemonic culture pregnant with strategic vision, power and reach.
Casey Butcher is a community organizer, cultural programmer, independent scholar, freelance writer and photographer based in Santiago, Chile. He is a founding member of the Asamblea Vecinal Sembradorxs de Libertad--an open, democratic community self-development project dedicated to improving the cultural life, built environment and autonomous organizational capacity in the commune of Cerro Navia and a graduate of the Certificate Program in Latin American Social Movements and Community Self-Development at the Colegio Paulo Freire. A New Yorker until recently, he co-organized a daily lecture series at Zuccotti Park as part of the Open Forum Committee of Occupy Wall Street, was a founding member of Red Channels--an itinerant band of insurgent activist-curators, was a student-organizer at the New York Marxist School--the educational arm of the Brecht Forum, and actively participated in the Revolutions Study Group--an ongoing seminar focusing on moments of protracted popular anti-capitalist rebellion.
He is visiting from Chile where he spent the last four and a half months living, learning and working in the heart of Santiago's revolutionary settlers' movement--a physical and social space he feels lucky to call home.
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