Potentials of Performance

‘…So if we do not stay in the same place, it is not to be lamented. If we are on the move, then we are, in collective forms, tracking the sites of injustice and in-equality, and our trail becomes the new map of radical change’ (Judith Butler, “Tidal: Occupy Theory, Occupy Strategy,” 2012)

This is a personal invitation to contribute to a project that seeks to construct collective research on the potentialities of disparate civic spaces, occupancies, performances and direct actions. We write to you from Athens, Greece. During the last four years we have seen an escalation of civic mobilizations vying for a ‘right to the city’. These include the riots of 2008, the occupation of Syntagma Square, mass general strikes, occupations of universities and schools, emerging neighborhood assemblies and support networks, squats, alternative forms of exchange and values, everyday artistic and political practices of re-imagining, reclaiming and re-constituting public spaces. In November of last year a group of us occupied a closed down theatre belonging to the Greek state. We have managed to keep this occupation running despite the recent systematic persecution of autonomous self-run spaces in Greece. Presently, different efforts continue to be practiced by those who aspire to queer, trans-civic co-existences and co-belongings as well as by forces bent on violently exterminating such relationalities.

This call seeks to create a collective situation so as to raise the age old question: what is to be done? We are interested in what militant research can potentially do, academic production as direct action. We seek to build “forms of investigation and social research that expand possibilities for political action, proliferating tactics of resistance through the constituent power of the imagination.”[i] With your help this project wishes to track radical change.

We invite you to contribute to the creation of a material map of past, present and potential spaces and actions to be used as a tool in materializing, through our differing and shared experiences and imaginations, theories and methods of other ways of being in the world. We hope to create an archive of sites of potentiality across the multiplicities of time and space, cities, countries and continents.

If you would like to contribute please answer all three or at least one of the following questions. Your answers may be as short or as long as you choose. Please send us your replies by the 23th October 2012:

  1. A short account of a practice/place/event from your living memory that personally functioned as an agent of change for you. Describe the place and what happened there that produces knowledge that can act as a tool in attempting to map a trail of radical change in the present. If possible please also send us a relevant image and the co-ordinates or location. All coordinates from all participants will be marked on an online world map.

2. Share a present practice/place that you feel currently acts for you as an agent of radical change. If possible, please include a relevant image or text, and co-ordinates/location.

3. Finally, share with us potential future practices/methods/specific locations that you imagine to occupy space for you on this trail towards radical change.

Please feel free to pass this invitation on.

This is an ongoing project, part of which will be presented at the Potentials of Performance symposium in October 26 – 27th in London. Any contribution sent to us according to the descriptions above will be credited and exist online on a blog, be part of the presentation’s discussion, and occupy space in future publications, civic zones, assemblies and direct actions.


Gigi Argyropoulou and Hypatia Vourloumis

www.civiczones.wordpress.com // Email: potentials2012@gmail.com

[i] Graeber & Shukaitis, (2007). Constituent Imaginations: Militant Investigations, Collective Theorization, p. 1

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged by Stephen Vilaseca. Bookmark the permalink.

About Stephen Vilaseca

Stephen Luis Vilaseca is an associate editor of the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies and Professor at Northern Illinois University (Illinois, USA). He is the author of Barcelonan Okupas: Squatter Power! (2013) and Anarchist Socialism in Early 20th-Century Spain: A Ricardo Mella Anthology (2020) as well as of articles in the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2006), Letras Hispanas: Revista de Literatura y Cultura (2009), the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies (2010), Transitions: Journal of Franco-Iberian Studies (2012), the Journal of Urban Cultural Studies (2014), and the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies (2015).

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