Convergence 2016

Preliminary Program – People’s Movements: Violence and Solidarity in the Southeastern Peripheries of Europe: An Encounter in Istanbul, hosted by Bogazici University Sociology Department, July 15-20, 2016*
*scroll down for reading list

FOR FULL PROGRAM PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK

Ali_Turunz_Beograd

source: Ali Turunz, Belgrade 2016

15th July, Day 0: Welcome. Our opening conversation will tie together our key themes towards lines of common analysis and comparison, and moments of reflection and engagement. We will ask and elaborate together: What do we mean by periphery? What do we mean by violence? What do we mean by people’s movements? Who are we? What are our political horizons?

16th July, Day 1: Thinking at the Intersection of Periphery, Violence, and People’s Movements. We will collectively re-engage the notion of periphery defined in relation to the core within global relations of power, exploitation and inequality. We will seek to identify social-historical commonalities and differences within and between our respective regions and the implications of their self-understanding/self-positioning within the core-periphery power dynamic of the modern/colonial capitalist world-system. We will ask and elaborate together: What is the relation between the physical violence of war and the structural violence of neoliberalisation, including class domination and the “symbolic” violence of racism and xenophobia. In what ways do migratory conducts reflect and reinforce dominant core-periphery understandings and positionings? How is migration connected to labor regimes?

17th July, Day 2: War, Displacement, and Neoliberal Violence. We will explore the intersections of war and neoliberal capitalism in the context of forced migration. We will discuss: In what ways the on-going war in Syria and armed conflict in Turkey; as well as the strategic repositioning of the post-socialist countries as the external border of Europe affect geopolitical relations among Turkey, Eastern Europe, and the European Union (including increasing militarisation, surveillance and lethal reinforcement of borders) affect civilizational hierarchies? How do we address in our praxis the production of precariousness and the ‘super-exploitation’ of refugees and migrants across the peripheries and the rise of racist and nationalist movements? What is the role that activist groups and labor movements can play through solidarity with refugees and other migrants? Can we see activism along the Balkan route as a new form of internationalism and Balkan federation as a historical inspiration?

18th July, Day 3: Feminist Struggles at the Centre of War and Conservative-Neoliberalism. We will discuss the gendered and sexualised dimensions of violence of war and the reemergence across the peripheries of a conservative neoliberalism; as well as old and new feminist movements in Turkey, the Balkans and Eastern Europe.  We ask: how do we connect activism around the feminisation of the semi-legal rural and urban labour market(s), flexibilization of female labor, thriving sex trafficking, arranged marriage practices, as violence against women? What kinds of “counter-education” projects can work to supplant the kind of identity-formation and knowledge-construction taking place in schools? How do we engage education as an emancipatory collective social practice in the face of market-friendly social engineering and cultivation of neo-traditional, conservative, and nationalist sentiments? How does feminism relate to LGBT/Queer advocacy in traditionally conservative countries or in those experiencing a resurgence of machismo after the collapse of state socialism?

19th July, Day 4: Forming People’s Movements. We will draw our themes together to discuss existing and alternative forms of solidarities and popular mobilisations aiming to counter the rise of right-wing populism and nationalist movements in the neoliberal era, and to further tactical and strategic avenues for developing resistances in the periphery. We will discuss: How does the common narrative on the Western/regional Left influence our own struggle at home? What lessons are there from the Left in the South and East? How do the new geopolitical happenings influence our work in a day-to-day manner? What narratives and practices of solidarity and decoloniality do we deem effective and successful in our local context? How do we choose between humanitarian action and strategies of rupture and conflict? How can we counteract the liberal effort to use current events to strengthen Europe as a point of moral superiority and eternal return? How do we prevent return of phallocentric Germany-led Europe in a re-articulation of neoliberalism /re-masculinisation of societies? How do we approach populism as a strategy for conservative and nationalist mobilization, while also keeping in mind the various left-wing popular/populist movements and their emancipatory language and practice?

rolling-stone-italian-movement

source: The Rolling Stone

20st July, Day 5: What is to be done? Over breakfast together, we will focus on problems of organising, translation, alienation, and mobilisation. How can we continue to work to imagine and enact transnational tactics to disrupt liberal-capitalist spatial regulation and hierarchies and produce transformative action? What are the historical and political-economic barriers that hinder cooperation among activists across our countries, and how can forge routes of transnationalism and solidarity across them? How do we – often-isolated tiny movements – work to stop the new wars? How are internationalist leftists in peripheral countries to engage “anti-imperialist” arguments that function to justify nationalist and authoritarian systems? Who is our main antagonist in our national/international contexts? Are they other left or pseudo left groups, liberals, government, the west, empire, or capitalism? How is this decided – historically, strategically, and contingently?

Reading list
We ask that you do your best to read these all so that we have some common ground to refer to

General Background Readings Regarding the Convergence Themes
–Mezzadro and Neilson, Border as a Method or the Multiplication of Labor. .PDF
–Harsha Walia, Undoing Border Imperialism. Introduction (pp. 9-17) .PDF
–Apostolova, R. Of Refugees and Migrants: Stigma, Politics, and Boundary Work at the Borders of Europe  ASA Culture Section Blog
–Zuhal Yeşilyurt Gündüz: “The “New Turkey”: Fetishizing Growth with Fatal Results,” Monthly Review

On Thinking at the Intersection of Periphery, Violence, and People’s Movements
Peripheralizing Europe Statement (from last year’s summer convergence)
–R Grosfoguel “Transmodernity, Border Thinking, and Global coloniality” in Eurozine
–Chase-Dunn et al. “Understanding Waves of Globalization and Resistance in Capitalist World System…” .PDF

On War, Displacement, and Neoliberal Violence
– Cihan Tugal, “In Turkey, the regime slides from soft to hard totalitarianism” OpenDemocracy
–Nazan Ustundag, “New Wars and Autonomous Self-Defense” Jadaliyya
–Ishchenko, V. “Ukraine’s Fractures” New Left Review

On Feminist Struggles at the Centre of War and Conservative-Neoliberalism
–Ghodsee, K. and Zaharijevic, A. Fantasies of feminist history in eastern EuropeA response to S.Drakulic, Eurozine
–Eirini Avramopoulou Signing Dissent in the name of ‘woman’: reflections on female activist coalitions in Istanbul, Turkey Eπιθεώρηση Κοινωνικών Ερευνών

On Forming People’s Movements, and What is to be done?
–Veda Popovici and Ovidiu Pop. ‘From over here, in the periphery: a decolonial method for Romanian cultural and political discourses‘. Gazeta De Artă Politică / LeftEast
–Samir Amin “The Return of Fascism in Contemporary Capitalism” Monthly Review
–Haydar Darici, “The Kurdish Self-Governance Movement in Turkey’s South East: an Interview with Haydar Darici” LeftEast

Further related resources which we recommend
We had a hard time keeping the reading list reasonably short, and these are the other readings that we think are useful. It will be great if you read these too!

On the general topics of the convergence
–Agamben, “We Refugees” .PDF
–Wendy Brown, “’Desiring Walls’ in Walled States and Walled Sovereignty
–Cihan Tugal’s NLR: “NATO’s Islamists: Hegemony and Americanization in Turkey” New Left Review
–Zivkovic A. “The future lasts a long time: a short history of European integration in the ex-Yugoslavia” LeftEast

On Thinking at the Intersection of Periphery, Violence, and People’s Movements.
–Helyzet public sociology group (Gagyi, Gerocs, Szabo, Szarvas) Beyond Moral Interpretations of the EU ‘Migration Crisis’: Hungary and the Global Economic Division of Labor, LeftEast
–Balibar E Borderland Europe and the challenge of migration Open Democracy
– Reconfiguring Periphery: Localizing Spatial Dependencies of Capitalism in West Asia and North Africa, Introduction

On War, Displacement, and Neoliberal Violence.
–Sandro Mezzadra  MLC 2015 Keynote: What’s at stake in the Mobility of Labour? Borders, Migration, Contemporary Capitalism .PDF
–Yildiz E “On Erdogan’s ‘Ordinary Things’: The Soma Massacre, the Spine Tower, and the Corporate-State’s Fitrat in Turkey” Jadaliyya
–Balibar E “Europe and the Refugees” Open Democracy
Kurds, Labor and the Left: an interview with Erdem Yoruk , LeftEast
–Rastko Mocnik, On the margins of Europe an interview with Rastko Mocnik (starts p 39)
–Bojcun Marko, Origins of the ukrainian crisis , Commons

On Feminist Struggles at the Centre of War and Conservative-Neoliberalism.
 Drakulic, S. How women survived post-communism (and didn’t laugh) Eurozine
–Kapur R Human Rights in the 21st Century: Take a Walk on the Dark Side Sydney Law Review
– Rexhepi P “From Orientalism to Homonationalism: Queer Politics, Islamophobia and Europeanization in Kosovo” Southeastern Europe .PDF

On Forming People’s Movements, and What is to be done?
– Gagyi A ““Coloniality of power” in East Central Europe: external penetration as internal force in post-socialist Hungarian politics” Journal of World-Systems Research (forthcoming) .PDF
– Zivkovic A. & Medenica M.  Balkans for the people of the Balkans LeftEast
– Cirjan, D. Did it Ever Happen? Social Movements and the Politics of Spontaneous Consensus in Post-Socialist Romania LeftEast
– Pavlasek M Refugees and voluntering; beyond a culture of giving,  LeftEast
– Amin S Audacity, more audacity , PamBazouka
– Interview with Boris Buden  Antifascism as Platitude LeftEast

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