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23. Knowledge Lab+

Status: rooms not booked, yet.

Some activists from Graz, Austria, started to organise a knowledge lab (+ action) on "activism, academia and systematic thinking/acting" (well, it should be "Activism and Wissenschaft". The latter concept is really hard to translate. It refers to systematic/scientific thinking/acting regardless of whether it takes place within academia or not.) Anyway, this klab is related to the FourthKnowledgeLab. It probably does not take place :(

German version of the Call


An Emerging Call for Contributions

Knowledge.Creating.social.change
activism & academia: producing effective knowledge?

At the weekend XX to YY of ZZ 200x the 23. Knowledge Lab+ will be hosted by the (Karl-Franzens University) and take place in its Meerscheinschlössl.
23klab1.gif

What is the Knowledge Lab+?

The Knowledge Lab is an attempt to provide a collective space for anti-capitalist reflection. It is located at the margin of the university, an institution essentially geared towards the production of knowledge as a resource for corporate interest and as justification for particular constellations of power relations. The Knowledge Lab is hence also an attempt to claim back some of the university's space, resources and know-how from the military-industrial complex and make them available for people concerned about and working against the status quo of unceasing commodification, exploitation, war, and biospherical destruction.
We call this knowledge lab KLab+. The "+" refers to an invitation to you. We invited you take action (thus, + action) additionally to the discussions of the weekend. Let's experiment with direct action based on the thoughts and discussions of the weekend.

The question of this KLab+ is: What kind of knowledge do we need in order to organise and enact social struggles effectively? Is the role of academia one of helping? Which knowledge to we need and habe? Which do we to expand, and how? What is the relationship between knowing, creating and enacting alternatives?


To Illustrate

In order to start a freeshop we need ideas, practical knowledge (e.g. about possible locations, local resistances) and possibilities to share these ideas and knowledge with others (as in meetings and wikis, ...). Within such a process we can find quite a number of knowledge production going on as well as knowledge(products). We give something a go based on what we figure to know. this makes us learn (try and error) and allows us to improve our basis for action. While going forward we learn - akin to 'preguntando caminamos'... the 23. KLab+ provides a space to reflect about such processes of learning. It allows to learn together about how to foster these processes.

How will the KLab+ look like?

The 23. KLab+ will take at a weekend, starting Friday afternoon till Sunday afternoon. This time provides a space to address the questions and learn collectively and communally. The KLab+ will be bilingual (English/German). We are interested in discussions and practical workshops - related to our theme - on those questions, challenges and problems which you deal with.

We will be able to use two, sometimes three rooms and a huge garden as well as a nice corridor :) Bring some blankets and cushions! This should help to create a cosy and productive atmosphere.

Our aim is to engage in learning processes and discussions which are as free of hierarchy as possible.

Food will be vegan.

Following the KLab part, you are invited to stay in Graz for some days. The gathering should be a good opportunity to engage in experimental self-organised direct action and interventions within Graz. Ideas can be developed during the weekend. Sunday afternoon should be of help to form affinity groups.


Meerscheinschloessl s.jpg
Claim back public spaces!

Your contributions

It would be great to enagage with contributions which address the production, usage and effects/consequences of knowledge. We figure it would be useful to gatherand join both, theoretical reflection and practical workshops on the "meta perspective"of this KLab: How can we claim back power to define reality and to act on what is important to us? Which role does knowledge have in this? Social movements constantly create knowledge. We wish to make the creation the focus of reflection and hope to back resistance by this.

This is a list of topics which we deem relevant in this respect (check the klab wiki for further information, https://knowledgelab.org.uk/23/. Sorry, mostly still in German) ):

The list above is not prescriptive, it simply outlines some of the issues we envisage arising given the questions raised above. Please also send papers on other themes, these will be gratefully considered.

Proposals

Submit an abstract of no more than 500 words. In addition please enclose a brief biography. Try to make this, along with your paper, as accessible as possible. Please send your proposal until 15th of July, including a description of what kind of format are you envisaging? (i.e. which languages can the session be held in, restrictions of number of participants, do you need any specific infrastructure?) If possible, let us know: What do you hope will be born out of this? How do you propose to arrive at this end?


We look forward to an exciting weekend and discussions with you. Deadline for proposed contributions: 15. July 2008. Send emails to Laila und Ingmar.

Forms

We would appreciate a huge diversity of forms of the workshops and discussions. Ideally, we would experience as many different forms as contributions :)

Some ideas for forms:

  • writing workshop
  • group discussios
  • practical learning/knowing/doing
  • experiments on communicating knowledge (all kinds of media)
  • knowledge of our bodies
  • theory workshops
  • performances
  • workshops with a number of contrasting inputs


Organisational Issues

  • Max. 100 participants. Registration is necessary.
  • Space: The Meerscheinschlössl is part of Karl-Franzens University in Graz. Available are two to three rooms, a garden and a corrido. The university is located in the vicinity of the inner city - you can reach it by foot. Theoretically we could also use space at Spektral (handcraft and arts workshop place), Combinesch (bicycle repair workshop), Radio Helsink (indepedent radio). get in touch with us if you are interested in this - maybe we can work something out for you.
  • Accommodation: Shared accommodation is available at the Spektral. It is free, but please bring sleeping bag and mat. Get in touch if you have any special requirements, and again, please let us know in advance if you're bringing a child.
  • Costs: We will use donations to pay for some food. the suggested donations are:
    • Unwaged persons: free
    • Unfunded students/low-paid persons: 15 Eur
    • Funded students/university staff/people with medium income: 40 Eur
    • Academics/waged persons: 100 Eur
  • Food: additionally to what we buy we will have Vegan Soupkitchen.

If you'd like to take a more pro-active role during the conference, you might want to ADOPT a session - that is, prepare it in advance (suggest questions, main issues, reading material etc and propose the length of the session), arrive prepared for discussion themselves, attend it, and participate passionately in the debates and in the drafting of the "output".

We also still need people to FACILITATE sessions - ideally a session should NOT be adopted and facilitated by the same person(s). Facilitators are usually best if experienced in their task, and will be called upon to facilitate not only discussion, but also the drafting of the "output". Any which way, please get in touch.


The KLab+ is supported by the Spektral and the Student Union (ÖH, AlternativReferat) of Karl-Franzens-Universität.


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