Culture, Power & Politics: WAY OUT CULTURE
This Summer join Culture, Power & Politics for a new programme!
What is the connection between culture and power? How do the ideas we have about what is ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ influence our decisions? How did Brexit happen? What is gender? Why do some people think Covid-19 is a hoax? Cultural theory makes use of techniques from philosophy, history, sociology, human geography, anthropology and political and critical theory to examine these and other questions in the context of contemporary popular cultures. The course is free because we believe not only that education should be free but that knowledge is a crucial weapon in the war against all forms of inequality. If you’ve never been to university, have been but miss the critical debates or are curious about who decides what counts as knowledge in the first place, please join us. There is no set reading (although we’ll recommend some if you’re interested) and no essay assignments, exams or deadlines (although we’ll set some if you want to challenge yourself). All the classes are interactive and give you the chance to think about everyday life in the context of the history of ideas. We’ll provide the learning environment. The rest is up to you. Ridley Road Market Bar, 49 Ridley Road, Dalston, London, E8 2NP Thursdays 6.30 – 8.30pm Join the conversation on Slack here
The Antiuniversity and the Anarchist Bookfair in London are joining forces in 2021 to bring together a week-long Antiuniversity Festival from the 4th to the 10th of September and the Anarchist Bookfair on the 11th of September.
To book a stall or a workshop for the Anarchist Bookfair day, please get in touch with the Bookfair Collective early, as spaces might be limited. The physical event has been scaled down in order to be Covid responsible, and we will reassess the ongoing situation.
Antiuniversity events will be programmed in the usual way, directly through the Antiuni website ~2021 edition coming soon~. Submissions will be open from the 3rd to the 24th of July.
The entire festival will take place in-person (when possible) and digitally. 💥💥💥
This year, the festival coincides with a global pandemic and the ongoing wave of state violence, both disproportionately affecting our Black siblings. The Antiuniversity stands in full solidarity with all those taking to the streets and we hope the festival can do its part in creating a space to reflect, share, agitate, educate and organise.
We believe radical self-organised education is important now more than ever. As a collective and over the past five years, we made our anti-racist politics clear. We are aware that this year’s fest, organised over the past few months by hundreds of returning and new organisers, has a relatively small number of anti-racist, anti-colonial and anti-state violence events. That’s why we are leaving the possibility for organisers wanting to put on relevant content to register an event throughout the festival. A few events are already being changed/postponed to a later date in the festival, in view of the weekend’s protests, so stay tuned.
Culture, Power & Politics: WAY OUT CULTURE
Between the two 2020 Antiuniversity festivals, Culture, Power & Politics organisers and invited guests will present a mini online programme exploring exiting, escaping and leaving behind.
Wednesday 13 May, 7-9pm
EXIT FROM PLANET EARTH
Giles Bunch, Sam Keogh & Kat Deerfield on sexual politics in outer space and the loneliness of the long distance astronaut
Wednesday 20 May, 7-9pm
LEAVING THE BODY
Alex Thomas & Erika Cudworth on cheating death, preserving the rich and living a dog’s life
Wednesday 27 May, 7-9pm
Nick Dearden & Jeremy Gilbert on Brexit culture, global trade and escaping entanglement
More information and zoom links on 2020.antiuniversity.org
Antiuniversity Mayday Fest: 1-3 May 2020
Antiuniversity Festival: 6-13 June 2020
Antiuniversity May Day Fest is a mini festival in a new, experimental format. During a time of social distancing, we invite Antiuni organisers and guests to find new radical ways to come together and re-politicise our present.
How does the virus affect our relationship to waged and unwaged labour? To production and social reproduction? And to our personal and collective position in relations to capital, property and the state?
We are looking for your thoughts and actions in response to the current crisis and would love to hear from people plotting and scheming around labour rights, supply chains, care, trade unions, logistics, borders and anything else work related.
A note about spaces: This year, Antiuni festivals will take place in new real and virtual spaces, in full consideration of the social distancing measures. As always, we encourage you to be as creative as possible.
Go to our new platform 2020.antiuniversity.org for the full programme.
Tuesday, 22 October 2019, 7-9pm
Mayday Rooms, 88 Fleet St, London EC4 1DH
Democracy is in crisis. Across the widest possible political spectrum - from the Brexit Party to XR, Washington to Rojava - people use it to describe their ideology, while bigots everywhere invoke it to justify oppression, inequality and violence.
It is clear that democracy - the principle of government by and for the people - is not living up to its promise. In fact, it seems like real democracy, may never truly existed.
But what does the term even mean?
Is democracy a means or an end? A process or a set of desired outcomes? If democracy means rule by the people, what counts as rule and who count as the people? Democracy’s inherent paradoxes are too often unnamed and unrecognised, but it is no longer possible to ignore them.
This Antiuni session will explore the different meanings of the term Democracy with author and filmmaker Astra Taylor. We will look at how the term has been used (and misused) by different people in different times, its challenges and limitations, the atrocities enacted in its name and the potential for ever achieving ‘true’ democracy, inclusive and egalitarian, free and just.
Astra Taylor is the author of The People’s Platform (winner of the American Book Award) and made two documentary films, Zizek! and Examined Life. Her writing appeared in the Guardian, New York Times, the Washington Post, n+1, and The Baffler, where she is a contributing editor. She lives in New York City.
Her latest book ‘Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone’ offers a comprehensive, challenging and original reflection on all these questions, covering Ancient Greece and Occupy Wall Street, the Founding Fathers and Greta Thunberg, Karl Marx and pirates.
Taylor has been described as ‘a rare public intellectual, utterly committed to asking humanity’s most profound questions yet entirely devoid of pretensions’ (Naomi Klein).
Book your free ticket here.
NEW DATES ANNOUNCED!
Wednesdays, 16 October - 11 December 2019, 6:30pm
Ridley Road Market Bar, 49 Ridley Road, London E8 2NP
What is the connection between culture and power? How do the ideas we have about what is ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ influence our decisions? How did Brexit happen? What is gender? Cultural theory makes use of techniques from philosophy, history, sociology, human geography, anthropology and political and critical theory to examine these questions in the context of contemporary popular cultures.
There is no set reading (although we’ll recommend some if you’re interested) and no essay assignments, exams or deadlines (although we’ll set some if you want to challenge yourself). All the classes are interactive and give you the chance to think about everyday life in the context of the history of ideas. We’ll provide the learning environment. The rest is up to you.
This first part of the course is an introduction to the subject written and delivered by Debra Benita Shaw and Helen Palmer. Part two (dates tba) will be a series of more advanced seminars organised by Jeremy Gilbert with guest speakers. Debra and Jeremy are directors of the Centre for Cultural Studies Research at the University of East London
No need to book, just turn up. Free to attend, obviously.
Download the course outline.
Special offer for Antiuni guests at Ridley Road Market Bar: £10 for a bottle of wine and £2.50 for beer before 10pm
Read our statement of solidarity with activist, academic and friend of the Antiuniversity Lisa Mckenzie who has been arrested while campaigning for employment justice at the LSE.👇
“The Antiuniversity stands in solidarity with activist and academic Lisa Mckenzie, who has been arrested on Wed 15 March during a peaceful action at the LSE. The protest was in support of the university cleaners, members of the trade union United Voices of the World, who are fighting for fair treatment by the cleaning contractor Noonan and for equality of terms with other workers at the university.
This was a political arrest, carried out by the Met police as part of an ongoing campaign of harassment and intimidation against the union and its supporters. Lisa was targeted because of her activism and public position as an academic.
Lisa was arrested in a coordinated attack by a large number of officers, who waited for a sign to close in on her. She was picked out of a large crowd and has been bundled into a police van within seconds. Anyone trying to intervene was violently pushed away and officers delayed giving any information of her location for hours. She has been falsely accused of assault (there is evidence to disprove that), not yet charged and released on bail the same day.
You can find out more about the campaign at LSE and the arrest in this article on Novara Media.
Yet again, the Met police proved to be working in the service of capital and against the public, inflicting violence on activists and trade unionists for the purpose of stifling dissent.
Lisa was part of the Antiuniversity festival in 2016 with the event Looking Down on Us: The View from Below, which she organised together with Martin Wright. In the same year the police targeted another Antiuniversity event and tried to intimidate our organisers and guests. We will continue to collaborate with activists and trade unionists and will not tolerate police harassment against Antiuniversity organisers, partners and supporters.
The Antiuniversity stands in solidarity with Lisa Mckenzie, United Voices of the World, LSE cleaners, staff and students and everyone working to defend workers from exploitation and injustice.
All power to the union! Hasta la victoria!”