The Transnational Institute (TNI) in the Netherlands is issuing an open call for essays, short papers, infographics and artistic collaborations for its forthcoming State of Power report launched in late January 2019 to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos. In 2019, we are particularly looking for accessible, engaging essays and artistic explorations that explore the issue of finance and power.
The radical citizens' movement and party, Barcelona en Comú, has a goal of democratizing the relationship between civil society and city institutions by transforming the traditional structures of political parties and creating new formsof democratic political participation. Through the study of one of the city's many neighbourhood assemblies, Zelinka examines whether it is possible for a political organization to be movement and institution at the same time and what kind of challenges, conflicts and opportunities emerge through this undertaking.
The rural communities in the Västernorrland county of Northern Sweden are not used to being in the national spotlight, but in 2017 their struggle to stop cutbacks in maternity and emergency care made national news. What are the lessons for all those involved in building counter-power in rural areas of the Global North?
Popular movements everywhere are on the rise at the same time as we face ever-greater corporate impunity and increasing state violence. In TNI's seventh flagship State of Power report, we examine today's social movements, their potential to build counter-power, and how we can best resist injustice as well as lay grounds for long-term transformation.
Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres talks about how her mother's example and a belief that ancestors continue to accompany our struggles helps her and the indigenous movement in Honduras to continue to mobilise against injustice, state violence and corporate abuses.
Medha Patkar of the National Peoples' Alliance shares her thoughts on how to build powerful movements based on three decades of campaigning in India against mega-dams and other forms of unsustainable and exploitative development.
To introduce TNI’s State of Power 2018 report on counter-power, we interviewed three women activists who have displayed incredible courage, determination and creativity to confront corporate power and state violence.
In this essay, I take a critical account of these ambiguities and their implications for different directions for a contested transition beyond the post-war settlement, while focusing on the specific possible legacies for a democratic, egalitarian dynamic of change. This must build on but go beyond social-democratic capitalism.
It is feminism that teaches us best how to analyse this, because historically it is women who have been taught to play this mediating role, to smooth over disagreement, to flatter and to acquiesce. There are many women who do not follow the script, and they are often punished for it. How best can we think about this most secret and insidious form of education?
José Luis Fernández Casadevante Kois, Nerea Morán, Nuria del Viso - Fuhem Ecosocial
04 ဇန်နဝါရီလ 2018
The main feature of power is that it inevitably creates resistance, a process Foucault studied in detail. There are no harmonious societies. Conflicts of interest between different social groups have been a constant throughout history, and are probably the main driver of social change. Counter-power emerged as a means of collective action whereby the injustices suffered by subordinate or oppressed social groups become politicized, either in the form of silent rebellions that remain latent in everyday life or through challenges that are publicly and openly declared.
On 4 April 1967, Dr Martin Luther King Jr took to the pulpit at New York’s Riverside Church, and warned that ‘a nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death’. Fifty years on, the US is arguably closer to a ‘revolution in values’ today than at any time since King’s assassination. At the very least, the scale of the problem is widely grasped. What we face is not a glitch in the system of US politics and economics, but a systemic problem – a madness. And not just because of who’s in the White House.
Working on the State of Power 2018 was incredibly interesting and a rare privilege to create art work for such a wide variety of important causes across the world. In these times, the question of popular power or counter-power is riddled with uncertainty. This uncertainty sometimes comes from the lack of new ideas suitable for shaping these times, but more importantly, it derives from the unpredictable nature of the current crisis and tragedy.