Thursday, October 23, 2008

Autonomous Geographies

Autonomous Geographies is a two year action research project run jointly by geographers at the University of Leeds and the University of Leicester, and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

We use the term autonomous geographies to define those spaces where there is a desire to constitute non-capitalist, collective forms of politics, identity and citizenship, which are created through a combination of resistance and creation, and the questioning and challenging of dominant laws and social norms.

The project looks at how activists make and remake these types of spaces in their everyday lives by exploring their core ideas, beliefs and visions, how they are translated into action, what kinds of spaces for participation and identity are created and what it means to live in-between the overlapping spaces. We are currently participating in three UK-based case studies and are guided by an advisory group. By engaging in such research, our aim is to critically explore and support autonomous spaces in the UK and the ideas, struggles and practices that bring them to life, as well as help to introduce them to new audiences.

Who Runs Leeds?

An Action Research Project run by the School of Geography and Corporate Watch with financial and research support from local trade unions.

The emergence of Leeds as an economic powerhouse in Britain in the past decade has been nothing short of spectacular. The second largest metropolitan district in England, Leeds is now the leading financial and law centre outside London. In the last 20 years, more jobs have been created in Leeds than in any other UK city outside London, and it is expected to provide 45% of employment growth in the region over the next 10 years. But beneath this comprehensive transformation of Leeds from industrial town to thriving metropolis, a dramatic restructuring of power, ownership and wealth is taking place prompting citizens to ask: who is really running Leeds?

The Common Place - Leeds' autonomous, radical social centre

DO IT YOURSELF: A Handbook for Changing Our World / Edited by The Trapese Collective

A Radical Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Living

Climate change, resource wars, privatisation, the growing gap between rich and poor, politicians that don't listen. Massive issues, but how can we make any difference?

This book shows how. It's not a book about what's wrong with the world, but a collection of dynamic ideas which explore how we can build radical and meaningful social change, ourselves, here and now. Covering nine themes, the book weaves together analysis, stories and experiences. It combines in-depth analytical chapters followed by easy to follow "How to Guides" with practical ideas for organising collectively for change.

Download a Sample Chapter (PDF)

Trapese Collective

Trapese is a Popular Education Collective who offers workshops and training aimed at inspiring and promoting action for changing our world.

TRAPESE stands for ‘Taking Radical Action through Popular Education and Sustainable Everything!’ Our work involves interactive workshops, games, films, trainings, and action/campaign planning sessions. We aim to provide opportunities for children, young people and adults to explore the big issues of our time. Our work focuses on practical steps to inspire, inform and enable action, and how to develop workable alternatives. We are a not for profit collective motivated by a passionate belief in the power of learning together.

The Rocky Road to Transition: The Transition Towns movement and what it means for social change / Download Book (PDF)

Misc. Essays

Paul Chatterton / Jenny Pickerill

Chatterton, P (2008) "Demand the Possible: Journeys in Changing ourWorld as a Public Activist-Scholar".

Chatterton, P (2006) "'Give up Activism' and Change the World in Unknown Ways: Or, Learning to Walk with Others on Uncommon Ground", Antipode. Vol.38, No.2.

Pickerill, J & Chatterton, P (2006) "Notes towards autonomous geographies: creation, resistance and self-management as survival tactics", Progress in Human Geography. Vol.30, No.6.

Pickerill, J (2008) "A surprising sense of hope", Antipode. Vol.40, No.3.