How do I feel Globalisation on my skin?
How does Gender shape my identity?
Why should I believe in Genetech?
We would like to open a discussion which puts the three topics in relation to each other, focusing on the situation and struggles in Eastern Europe and the relation between Eastern and Western Europe.
We would like to explore the topics on various levels: personal experience, political and economic analysis, struggles against the loss of autonomy of people, etc.
We want to close the gap between discussions and action.
We want to delegitimise the status of experts talking about other people's lives. We are all experts of our own experience and this is the expertise on which we want to build.
We want to disrupt the fatalism of the 'transition' from real-socialism to capitalism and from a 'soviet' union to a european 'union'. We do not want a 'transition' from A to B where B is defined by Western and global interests, but a collective search for new ways to shape our lives.
The seminar is part of a wider initiative to link up existing political and environmental projects within Eastern Europe. We do not say that either Eastern or Western Europe is one block, nor do we want to build up new barriers between east and west. On the contrary, we aim to work out the inner structure and diversity and raise awareness about existing differences and "borders".
The aim is to facilitate autonomous strategies of resistance. These strategies should be adapted to the specific political and social situation of Eastern Europe. We hope in this way to counterbalance the often biased power relations between Eastern and Western activist groups. It is closely related to our efforts of overlapping and confronting political discussions in Eastern and Western Europe through our Russian-English newsletter Tusovka.
In the long run, the aim is to contribute to a culture of resistance - resistance against mechanisms which take away people's autonomy and prevent them from shaping their lives in interaction with their surrounding. There are various groups and individuals active in resistance in various fields of life: environmentalists, feminists, lesbian and gay movements, human rights activists, anti-racist groups, art-and-politics or media activists, and more. If people from these various backgrounds come together, they may find out that they want to join their efforts and see their struggles as a common struggle towards more autonomy.
We hope this seminar will provide the opportunity for finding ways of collaborating -- collaborate and still keep the diversity of struggles.
Struggle can also be subversive behaviour in your immediate surrounding
think that mechanisms of oppression have something in common. We
We would now like to explore how they relate to each other.
What is the relationship between GGG?
Here are some thoughts and questions that have emerged in our discussions so far:
Globalisation, Gender and Genetech are three mediums of attack on personal autonomy.
has had a central and constant role in histories of personal autonomy.
Globalisation and Genetech have made a more recent entrance. Are we experiencing
the Globalisation and Genetech Revolutions? Or, by granting them
this title of 'revolution', are we giving credibility to their own
We are the experts of our own experience
propose that Globalisation can be seen as a manifestation of the interplay
Genetech can be seen as · imposing the ideology of science and a patriarchal myth of progress globally; · imposing the legal concept of intellectual property rights through biopiracy (a phenomenon which nicely shows how property is theft).
few questions on Gender we ask ourselves:
we find the struggle against patriarchy in the struggle against Globalisation
(Note: this is a flexible working document. The aim is to give an impression of the seminar as we see it. No doubt changes will be made as we discuss the specific contents with the invited speakers. Please give us feedback on the program, so that we know your priorities when making changes.)
Summary followed by descriptions of individual workshops.............
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF WORKSHOPS:
WHY GGG? WHY IN THIS WAY?
What is our motivation to organise this seminar? What is our personal experience with Globalisation, Gender and Genetech? Why a personal approach? Discuss concepts that we have used in describing our approach to GGG: Autonomy, Dependency, Struggle, Subversion, (De-)Legitimising, Personal and Group Identity, Categorisation.
When did you first find out that there were men and women in your society? How did you perceive the difference? Did you perceive it as unjust? How did this perception and your analysis of it change along your life? Starting from the personal experiences of women and men from Eastern and Western Europe with gender relations, we would like to develop and discuss various possible analyses. What are the stereotypes involved (in the East; in the West) in describing men's and women's roles in society, and how did they evolve? How do these stereotypes give rise to gendered power relations?
Women and the Women's movement and state-imposed "equality". The taboo imposed by the Communist party on discussions of gender relations and sexuality. The state's reintroduction of the traditional family as the cell of the society. Role of the family in perpetuating gender stereotypes, in contradiction to the "equality" doctrine.
The basic assumptions of neoliberalism. Globalisation does not just happen, but is made. Headquarter economy and the new role of cities. The trap of nationalism in the struggle against globalisation and against EU enlargement. Transition economies in a global context.
WOMEN'S MIGRATION: PERSONAL STORIES II
Forced and planned migration. Different possibilities and perspectives for staying in a target country: bars, sex work, marriage, house work. Dependencies involved, and space for shaping one's life against these dependencies.
Army. Police. State administration and bureaucracies in general. Higher education. Court system and treatment of sexual abuse. Asylum and reasons for fleeing specific to women. Development aid and population control.
Identities in transition. Western interest for Eastern contemporary art. Explicit and hidden relations of power - Western curators on eastward trips.
The ICC -- The Inter-Continental Caravan (ICC99) is a project originally proposed by the KRRS, the Indian Karnataka State's peasants' organisation, in which 600 peasants and other activists from India and all over the world will come to Europe, in May/June 1999, and protest against the neoliberal policies, and make contact with local peasant and activist groups.
OF THE PERCEPTION OF GENDER ROLES
>From Virginia Woolf and Mary Woolstonecraft to Simone de Beauvoir. The French critics -- Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva (what influence did the latter's Bulgarian background have?).
Using recent examples from Zurich as a starting point, look at the attempts of men to come to grips with gender concepts and with sexisms and sexual violence within their political groups. How do political groups deal with, or avoid dealing with, blatant cases of sexual violence, and how do they deal with everyday sexisms? What strategies could we develop to create greater awareness of, and an effective struggle against, stereotypes, sexisms and sexual violence?
The invention of advertising and its effect on the media landscape. The scissors in the head - self-censorship. Writing between the lines - state censorship and strategies to counter it. Monopolies and transnational media corporations. Alternative media and other attempts at reaching out. Sympathetic journalists in the mainstream media. Selling a product, not information.
Telling "the truth" is not enough -- taking cultural grammar into account. Subverting discourses -- tactics of communication guerilla. The internet -- real chances and delusions.
PERESTROIKA AND FORCED TRANSITION
The actors and motives of perestroika.
Discussion among people from different backgrounds on origins of conflict and on interests and strategies of the various parties involved, including international interests. What strategies did progressive, anti-war movements develop? How did the ethnicising make solidarity difficult, and how did people try to counter this? Nationalist tendencies within activist groups.
Build upon Personal Stories I, the two historical presentations on the development of gender relations in East and West, and other related workshops. Discuss in more detail strategies of power, or of solidarity and cooperation, of men and of women using or subverting gender stereotypes. How are dependencies created, and what strategies do we use to preserve or win back our autonomy?
For the various events planned, and also in the long run, it would be useful to build up a network of sympathetic journalists in the various countries of Eastern Europe, and activists who can contact them and spread information.
INTERLINKED: THE MODERNISATION OF AGRICULTURE
The story of the Great Plains, the "Green Revolution" and the "Monsanto Revolution" as attacks on the autonomy of subsistence agriculture. The price of higher yields -- greater dependency on industrial input. The myth of "feeding the world".
Monsanto's problem -- continuing to reap profits even after the Roundup patent expires.
How do people speak about genetic engineering? What is left out of the picture?
How do networks like EYFA, A SEED, CEE Bankwatch, Social-Ecological Union, PGA work? What lessons can be learned? Critical discussion of the concepts used (sustainability, civil society, public participation, etc.).
EU AND NATO ENLARGEMENT
Myths and expectations. Real prospects.
New borders. Historical humiliation and lack of perspectives -- a whole generation on the lookout for opportunities to "get out of here". Why do people from Eastern Europe want to migrate? Perceptions of "the West" in Eastern Europe. Would asylum still exist without the "human traders"? Who has the possibility to migrate "legally"? Who has the power to define what is "legal" migration? Solidarity movement with migrants in Western Europe. Specific conditions of migration for women. Fortress Europe, Schengen and reasons for the changes in migration policies of Western European countries.
How do the difficulties of everyday life influence activism? "How do you expect people to be active if they are worried about remaining hungry?" How can we overcome lethargy and fatalism? "It's easy for people in Western Europe: they can just be on social welfare and do political work." Political activism at a zero budget. Strategies of survival of an Eastern activist at a meeting in Western Europe at which the organizers have no idea what it means to have no money to buy even a sandwich in an expensive country. Condition of dependence on Western activists' goodwill.
In June, two major summits will take place in Cologne: the EU summit and the G8 summit. There will be actions in Cologne on both occasions, and worldwide actions on 18 June against financial centers on the occasion of the G8 summit. Discuss possibilities of doing actions in Eastern Europe.
THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CASINO AND THE RUSSIAN CRISIS
What are the direct effects of the "Russian crisis" on people's lives in Russia and neighboring countries? What local conditions made the crisis possible? How are international institutions, governments, transnational corporations, speculators involved? How is the "Russian crisis" linked to those in South-East Asia, Japan, Brazil? Conflicts between the World Bank and the IMF. Foreign investment -- short-term benefits and long-term dependencies. How can these dependencies be decreased? Byelorussia -- where does the isolationist variant lead?
What is patriarchal about capitalism, and about its 'Soviet' state-capitalist variant? Is capitalism more patriarchal than a feudal system? How can a struggle against capitalism be combined with a struggle against patriarchy? What alternatives to capitalism can we think of, and in what way would they be patriarchal? Look at LETS, different systems of barter propagated as alternatives, or developed as strategies of survival.
Early expeditions of Linne at the service of commercial use. Globalising the plunder: Vavilov and his global view on exploiting biodiversity. Current biopiracy expeditions and struggles against them. Expeditions into the body: the human genome project and the interests behind it.
Plan and coordinate a continuous working group on genetic engineering in Eastern Europe, with the aim of setting up a database of information about genetic engineering in the various countries (policies of TNCs and governments, legislation, field tests, media, awareness, struggles, etc.), which can serve to develop analysis and further campaigns.
we have a limited amount of money for travel reimbursement PLEASE FILL
OUT THE FOLLOWING APPLICATION AS COMPLETELY AS POSSIBLE, this will greatly
increase your chances of being selected for reimbursement.
Motivation and expectations
Send the form as quickly as possible -- BY THE DEADLINE. We'll let you know by April 3rd if you are selected for travel reimbursement, and we'll send travel directions, and in case you need it (depends on the country), an invitation. Don't forget that invitations have to be sent by postal mail, which can take several weeks from the Czech Republic depending on the country of destination.
us at Tusovka <email@example.com>
or A. Kessi <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
or by telephone or fax at ++359-2-980 96 52. Applications by postal mail
can be sent to GGG Seminar, PO Box 122, 252187 Kiev-187, Ukraine (note
that postal mail may take several weeks -- e-mail or fax are preferable
if you have this possibility). Updated information on the seminar is available
Copyright © 1998 & 1999, Cesta, Czech Republic