Skip to content

Politics, invisibilities and mobilities

Autonomous Geographies

A two year action research project run jointly by geographers at the University of Leeds and the University of Leicester. We use the term autonomous geographies to define ‘…those spaces where there is a desire to constitute non-capitalist, collective forms of politics, identity and citizenship, which are created through a combination of resistance and creation, and the questioning and challenging of dominant laws and social norms.’ The Project looks at how activists make and remake these types of spaces in their everyday lives by exploring their core ideas, beliefs and visions, how they are translated into action, what kinds of spaces for participation and identity are created and what it means to live in-between the overlapping spaces.

See also:
Notes towards autonomous geographies: creation, resistance and self-management as survival tactics (pdf) by Jenny Pickerill and Paul Chatterton
The Surprising Sense of Hope (pdf) by Jenny Pickerill
Demand the Possible: Journeys in Changing our World as a Public Activist-Scholar (pdf) by Paul Chatterton

(via critical spatial practice)

Open Anthropology: Derek Gregory: The Cultural Turn in Late Modern War and the Rush to the Intimate

On the US military’s ‘cultural turn’ through the Human Terrain System program and related efforts: “This carefully staged space of constructed visibility is also always a space of constructed invisibility. And what has been made to disappear, strangely, is the conduct of the war.”

Pruned: Nomadic Hotels and Lighthouses

Extraordinary feats of mobility: transporting entire structures in order to save them from coastal erosion.

- Anne

4 Comments

  1. J.D.B wrote:

    As a student of Human Geography, I would like to have this explained more carefully:
    ‘…those spaces where there is a desire to constitute non-capitalist, collective forms of politics, identity and citizenship, which are created through a combination of resistance and creation, and the questioning and challenging of dominant laws and social norms.’

    How does the term “non-capitalist” go into this? One can not be capitalist and create collective forms of politics, identity, and citizenship through resistance and creation? The homepage refuses to put forward a definition of capitalism, more than capitalistic globalization which is something completely different, so one has to question how they have created their language.

    I find this work to be very questionable; should this really be put forward at a public university which is supposed to be honorable and legitimate? Suspect.

    Friday, October 24, 2008 at 13:08 | Permalink
  2. Anne wrote:

    I’m afraid I don’t understand what your actual objections are, but I suggest you contact the project researchers with any questions or concerns you might have.

    Friday, October 24, 2008 at 13:20 | Permalink
  3. J.D.B wrote:

    I did :)
    Thanks for the hint and general blogging tho, very enjoyable.

    Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 10:44 | Permalink
  4. robshields wrote:

    I would like to know how would you ‘be capitalist and create collective forms of politics, identity, and citizenship through resistance and creation’, J.D.B. Capitalism by definition sees itself as competitively iconoclastic, breaking with what has come before to profit from the new. But it is also by definition wedded to only one form of collectivity, which it privileges: the market. Mill obfuscated this as the ‘invisible hand’ but in more tangibly, this is Georg Simmel’s community of all who hold money, which is worthless without the bonds of trust tieing each actor together. As we know these days, there are both winners AND loosers. You have a point that ‘collective’ doesn’t necessarily mean egalitarian or equal, which is the unstated but key idea.

    As for public university, I must say that institutions are avowedly neutral, to allow individuals to present and debate a diversity of positions. That’s why universities exist and what they are funded to do.

    Friday, October 31, 2008 at 20:57 | Permalink