Arts-based methods for diverse economies

For three days in early July, a group of artists, academics, and diverse economies thinkers gathered in Wageningen to discuss their work and understandings of art and diverse economies.

The event concluded with a public exhibition of individual and collective outputs, entitled Other (Food) + (Art) Economies are possible! 

The workshop was organized by Oona Morrow (from the Community Economies Collective), and Anke de Vrieze, and Chizu Sato (from the Community Economies Research Network), and drew upon past exchanges around art and diverse economies within the Community Economies Research Network.

Implementing the SDGs

From 24 to 26 June, Stephen Healy and Maliha Safri attended the International Conference “Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?” held at the International Labour Office in Geneva.

This was part of a series of conferences launched by the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) in 2018 and organized by United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).

The conference focused on the contribution of the social and solidarity economy towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Coop Workshop

On 5 June, 2019, David Burin (member of the Community Economies Research Network and of INCLUIR, Argentina) and Alejandra Pagotto (Universidad de Buenos Aires and INCLUIR, Argentina) coordinated a small workshop on “Problems and solutions in cooperatives of workers”.

Participants voiced challenges they face when organizing work in a cooperative, with the most frequent challenge being that of shared responsibility, which participants described as very different than the employer/employee logic.

Bolsena Lunch

For 10 days in June, thirteen community economies scholars were ensconced in the 16th century Convento S. Maria del Giglio, Bolsena (Italy), for the 2019 Community Economies Theory and Writing Retreat.

The scholars, from universities in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, UK and US were all recipients of a 2019 Julie Graham Community Economies Research Fund Fellowship.

One scholar described the retreat as providing "the exhilarating swoosh of getting into a writing flow", while another talked about the retreat as "a gift for thinking, writing, and discussing, and a space that was simultaneously productive and restorative".

Flower in Drought

Community Economies scholars Bhavya Chitranshi and Stephen Healy recently participated in a day-long event at the University of Sydney entitled 'Economies after Anthropocene Capitalism'.

A major focus of the event was a dialogue focused on economic transformation and the role that multi-species justice might play in generating a response to the Anthropocene. 

Bhavya Chitranshi presented on her sustained engagement with Eka Nari Sanghathan (or Single Women’s Collective) in India and how their farming practices allow them to be attuned to the possibilities of farming differently. 

Community Economies Summer School

The first Community Economies Institute Summer School was held in Bolsena, Italy June 1-7 and taught by Katherine Gibson, Katharine McKinnon, Tuomo Alhojärvi and Sabrina Aguiari.

It was hosted at a 16th century Convento S. Maria del Giglio, now managed and maintained by the social enterprise Punti di Vista.

Over five days, participants affiliated with institutions in Canada, Finland, Italy, Sweden, the UK and the USA learnt about the foundational concepts of diverse economies and explored how these are put into practice drawing on the tools in Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming our Communities.

The Art of the Cooperative

Katherine Gibson, Kathrin Böhm, and Bina Choi recently participated in The Art of the Cooperative curated by Kuba Szreda for the 2019 Warsaw Biennale.

The theme of the Biennale is “Let’s Organize Our Future” and it brings artists and activist and activist/artists together.

In a day-long workshop held in the gardens of the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, artists and organizers mapped out the economies above and below the waterline that they are involved in and traced the networks of interdependence that their organizations are enmeshed in.

EMES Program Cover

Every two years the EMES research network holds an international conference and, building on Professor Katherine Gibson’s plenary session in 2017, ‘Decentering the Enterprise, Recentering the Social’, this year there is a half-day workshop on Community Economies Research and Practice as part of the opening Interdisciplinary Forum on Monday 24 June.

Vanuatu Urban Garden

In March, Dr Luke Drake took eleven students to Port Vila, the capital of the South Pacific Nation of Vanuatu, to work with the Hango Hango Community Association to identify suitable locations for new urban gardens, and then build thirteen gardens across the city.

The project also involved Ambae chiefs based in Port Vila and community members from Walaha village who were compulsorily evacuated from Ambae Island following the second eruption of the Manaro Voui volcano in mid-2018.

Soft Landing Visit

Researchers Professor Katherine Gibson and Dr Joanne McNeill recently accompanied Australian Senator Dr Mehreen Saeed Faruqi on a visit to the social enterprise Soft Landing.

This was the second meeting with Senator Faruqi (the first female Muslim senator in Australian history) following the release of a Public Declaration on just and sustainable manufacturing in Australia.

SFAA

In March, Stephen Healy (Western Sydney University) and Boone Shear (University of Massachusetts) attended the Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in Portland, Oregon. 

The meeting theme was "Engaging Change in Turbulent Times", and they presented in a session on "Designs for Teaching Other Worlds".

Diverse Economies Workshop

Dr Ann Hill and Professor Katherine Gibson have been at the "Seeds of Change: Gender Equality Through Agricultural Research for Development" conference in Canberra (Australia) this week.

They jointly ran a workshop on "Community Partnering for Local Development" based around the website they had developed as part of their action research in the Philippines.

Ann reports that there were 25 participants from all continents and that they "went away excited about using the website and other resources for assets mapping and diverse economies mapping".

Antipode Keywords

A new short essay on the topic of Community Economy has just been published as one of 50 keyword essays celebrating 50 years of the radical geography journal, Antipode.

The essay was written by Oona Morrow, Kevin St Martin, Nate Gabriel and Ana Inés Heras on behalf of the Community Economies Collective.

The essay overviews the idea of community + economy and outlines various ways that community economies might be further activated.

This essay joins an earlier one, Cultivating Community Economies, published online in 2017 as part of the Next System Project.

Deb's rainbow

A commemoration of the life of Deborah Bird Rose was held on Saturday March 25th on the banks of the Georges River in Sydney.

Deb was an anthropologist, a philosopher, a storyteller, and a passionate advocate for social and environmental justice.

She made major contributions in a range of fields, from the environmental humanities, and the anthropology of Indigenous Australia, to extinction studies, animal and multispecies studies, and philosophies of ethics, justice, religion, temporality, and place.

Her award winning books include: Dingo Makes Us Human (1992), Reports from a Wild Country (2004), and Wild Dog Dreaming (2011). She completed the manuscript of Shimmer just before she died on December 22nd 2018.

Reimaging Livelihoods

At the forthcoming Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in Washington DC, author of Reimagining Livelihoods: Life beyond Economy, Society, and Environment meets a group of readers.

In his book, Ethan Miller argues that thinking of the world in terms of the categories of economy, society and environment not only fails to describe the actual world around us but poses a tremendous obstacle to enacting truly sustainable futures.

Katharine McKinnon. Katherine Gibson

The Community Economies Institute is running a summer school in Bolsena (Italy) from 1 to 6 June, 2019.

The theme of the summer school is Postcapitalist Politics in Practice, and the school is aimed at students interested in learning more about action-oriented research and activists who would like to deepen their engagement with applied community economic thinking.

The course will use Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities (2013) by J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy as the key text.