Friday, June 11, 2010

"Learning from each other's struggles" provisional programme

Learning from each other's struggles:

Social movements / activist / militant research workshop

Dublin / Maynooth, June 18th - 20th

Social movements like community development, anti-capitalism, the women's movement, union organising, majority world solidarity, GLBT activism, anarchism and socialism, community education and community arts, migrant rights and anti-racism all produce knowledge for change.

Sometimes this knowledge is a radical understanding of how the status quo works and how it can be changed; sometimes it is expert knowledge of a particular issue that can be used in media and legal battles; sometimes it is research on movements themselves that can be used to get better at what we do; sometimes it is popular education work and radical teaching.

This weekend workshop is for people researching social movements, activist researchers, adult and community educators and movement organisers thinking about the next step in a period of crisis. It is not a place for delivering conventional academic papers, but rather a workshop space for sharing skills, learning from each other's struggles and developing our practice. The workshop is a joint initiative of the participatory action research programme in social movements at NUIM Sociology and the Political Ethnography group at the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, Nottingham.

With apologies for the delay, here is a provisional programme for this event. Further details and updates will be posted here; you can find travel details etc. on the right-hand toolbar. You can book online or register on the day.


Friday 18th
Seomra Spraoi, Belvedere Court, off Gardiner Street, Dublin 1
(Map on

7.30 ­ - 10.00: Introduction to weekend and activist film night hosted by Barra Hamilton.

Provisional showings:
- One less car (2010, 15 mins)
- Mandate: waking up, taking action (2010, 5 mins)
- Torture is us (2008, 15 mins)
- Beyond the classroom: the communities - Tallaght (2010, 10 mins)
- 8 things to remember (2009, 12 mins)
- War on the poor: budget day in Ireland (2009, 5 mins)
- Choice Ireland protest at WRC (2009, 2 mins)
- Hundreds march to legalise cannabis (2010, 3 mins)
- Wallets full of blood: zombie banker blues (2009, 20 mins)
- Looking left: banshee (2010, 30 mins)
- Ifyoulikeitthenyoushouldbeabletoputaringonit (2010, 15 mins)
- End the siege of Gaza (2010, 16 mins)
- MUTO: a wall-painted animation (7 mins)
- COMBO: animated murals (8 mins)
- David Camerwrong: new vision for Britain (2010, 3 mins)

More details in a separate post.

Saturday 19th (morning and afternoon)
Auxilia Building, north campus, National University of Ireland Maynooth
(Travel details and maps at

9.30 - 10.00: Registration

10.00 - ­ 11.00: Energy, power and politics:

Amanda Slevin (Donegal MAOR / UCD Sociology), Hegemony and hydrocarbons

Hilary Darcy (Seomra Spraoi Better Questions / NUIM Sociology), Consent to coercion: policing protest in the Republic of Ireland


Theorising social movements:

Benoit Dutilleul (University of the West of England), Deploying actor-network theory to conceptualise movements' dynamics

Aisling Murtagh (UCC), Breaking cycles of movement dilution: the case of food

11.00 ­ 11.30: Break

11.30 ­ 1.00: Workplace organising as militant / action research

Ziggy (Kolinko collective), Organising call-centre workers as militant research

1.00 ­ - 2.00: Lunch

2.00 ­ - 3.30: Social movements and strategy: law as battleground

Jenny Boylan (NUI Galway), Grassroots activism and the development of abortion law in the Republic of Ireland

Deborah Magill (Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster), Social movements' use of litigation


Art and archaeology as action research

Thomas Kador (UCD Archaeology), Archaeology as action research

Martina Carroll (ARCAMosaic / UCD Psychology), Community art, action research and anti-racism

3.30 ­ - 4.00: Break

4.00 ­ - 6.00: Practicing political ethnography

Nottingham Political Ethnography Group, What role for subjectivities and "politica afectiva" in the theory and practice of social justice?
(Deirdre Duffy, Jennifer Martinez, Jon Mansell, Sara Motta, Maria Urbina, Heather Watkins)

Saturday night
Seomra Spraoi, Dublin

7.30 ­ - 10.00: Activist film night

Provisional showing:

A place in the city (Abahlali baseMjondolo poor people's movement in South Africa)

Exodus: movement of Jah people (radical squatting / youth movement in Luton)

Porto Marghera: the last firebrands (Italian autonomism)

More details in a separate post.

Sunday 20th (morning and afternoon)

Auxilia Building, north campus, National University of Ireland Maynooth

10.30 - 12.30: Social movements making media

Mimi Doran (UCD Social Justice), Media literacy and social activism: using mainstream and new media as a site for social movements

Yuvi Basanth (RootsReelFilms), Activist documentary making

Barra Hamilton (Dublin Community TV), Activists and the media

12.30 - 1.30: Lunch

1.30 - 3.00: Who owns social movements?

David Landy (Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Committee / TCD Sociology), Solidarity, splits and panic stations: reflections on an interesting year for the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Committee

Francisco Arqueros (NUIM Anthropology), The politics of migrant worker organising

- OR –

Personal, political, praxis: participatory action research and movements

Jean Bridgeman (Women of Insight / NUIM Sociology), Notes from a journal: methods and strengths in action research

Asia Rutkowska (NUIM Sociology), Ethics and politics in participatory action research

3.00 - 3.15: Break

3.15 - 5.00: Social movements and knowledge: who owns the intellectual means of production?

Andre Pusey and Elsa Noterman (Really Open University / Leeds Geography / Activism and Social Change MA), Developing the Really Open University: problems and experiences

Laurence Cox (NUIM Sociology), Why do movements want to know things, and how do they go about it?

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