Past: Creating Worlds Workshop

Creating worlds: The affective spaces of experimental politics

Monday 14 January, 2013

Royal Holloway, Bedford Square, 2 Gower Street, WC1E 6DP.


facilitated by Anja Kanngieser and Jenny Pickerall 

Geography has always been concerned with spatial and temporal ecologies productive of, and created through, political processes. Considerations of ‘political’ spaces and places – macro-political, global, micro-political and localised – are crucial to geographical research praxes, perhaps most especially to those hoping to conceive of alternative and imaginative pathways through the contemporary conditions of capital.

 Over the past decade, vocabularies of relationality and affect have been seeping into the more usual ethnographic and ‘grounded’ tropes that geography is known for. These vocabularies have placed an emphasis on the felt, shifting, sensed, complex, resonant aspects of how we live and work, inviting us to pose more questions than find answers, to remain flexible and mindful of the topological spaces and environments we inhabit and investigate. This has given rise to sometimes conflictive, sometimes enthusiastic dialogues that are becoming more popular with the opening of geography to less conventional methods and perspectives. Perhaps now more than ever, intersections are being forged through which we can experiment and speak about the political worlds we are implicated in.
This event seeks to bring together those exploring questions of how we live within, formulate, create and antagonise, spaces and places of politics: public and private, macro-political and micro-political. It is specifically interested in inviting conversation about spaces in which self-organisation occur, whereby people come together in some sort of common articulation. Moreover, what is of key interest is the ‘how’: how people come together in what kinds of spaces and places; what forces and desires inform these collective spaces, and how they are sustained; how spaces and subjects are processually entangled; how social reproduction occurs – the lines of class, gender, race, ability; and the ways spaces are differentiated, that is to say, how boundaries are performed. Rather than marking topographies of conventional ‘radical’ political sites, such as social centres, camps, protests, assemblies, allotments, workplaces, bookstores, what might be uncovered are the more messy affective and relational threads that run though them, and also far beyond them, and how we might even begin to apprehend and engage with them
The day event will comprise of three round tables, each taking a particular conjunction as a starting point for interpretation and dialogue:
– spatiality and affect (Chair: Dr Anna Feigenbaum);
– spatiality and organisation (social reproduction) (Chair: Dr Fabian Frenzel);
– spatiality and politics (Chair: Dr Gavin Brown).
These conjunctions are in no way discrete, and many overlaps are anticipated. Each round table will be made up of three speakers, who have been asked to formulate a response to the conjunction, whether that be in the form of a question, idea, or trajectory.
Each attending participant will be encouraged to bring one idea, or point of inquiry that they might like to discuss responding to the thematic conjunctions. A small amount of funding can also be provided for travel for unwaged/ under-waged participants, please indicate if you will need this in your expression of interest. This event is part of a series associated with the Protest Camps: Experiments in Alternative Worlds project and is funded by an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship project with Anja Kanngieser at Royal Holloway, University of London.

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