Thursday, July 2, 2009

Anarchist Summer Camp in Austria

The Website:

The Message:
Dear friends from Europe and around the world!
We would like to announce the 3rd Anarkiisma Somera Tendaro, an international A-camp taking place from July 18th to 27th 2008 in the northern part of Austria. An anarchist summer camp, where we have 10 days to try a life free from pressure and the habitual constraints present in our every day lifes; a place where we can mutually encourage us in transforming our struggles into lived experiences.

The Description:
Resistance - we hold this to be a synonym of vitality. In this spirit, the third anarchist summer camp in Austria should be a week spent
living together, loving, laughing, debating, making plans, dancing, gathering ideas, cuddling and doing whatever else comes to our minds.

The camp should not be seen as a "holiday", for this expression implies the separation of work and leisure time. Rather, we wish it to be an opportunity to freely mould our shared life during the camp, get to know each other and to live our dreams of a liberated life, during debates and workshops as much as in everyday life.

We are aware that such a freedom can only ever be relative, firstly because we carry the legacy of authority around with us in our heads and bodies, and then because the anarchist camp is an island, which is limited in time and place, surrounded by an oppressive society. But maybe we can still manage to create a free space outside of dreary social normality, where we can experience what it is that we are fighting for and aiming at.

In order to make this possible, it is crucial that no forms of discrimination or oppression are tolerated at the camp, and that everyone considers it as her or his responsibility to ensure this to be the case. This means: be aware, get involved, and if you observe any such behaviour (in others or in yourself) then make sure you bring it up. Sexualized violence will not be tolerated on the camp. How these are defined and what consequences ensue is solely decided by the survivor of the assault. Her power to define will not be doubted! But the reflektion about sexism should not stop here - it's also necessary to think about sexism beyond it. Solidarity and freedom from authority, when genuinely experienced, gives us energy and encouragement for our daily struggle. You neither need to know any theories nor be active in any political groups to participate at the a-camp. Everybody is welcome who can identiy with emancipatory and anti-hierarchic ideas.

The campsite has various fields with trees, wilderness, a small river and campfires. As well as enough places for tents, the camp offers a varied infrastructure. There are dry rooms, a kitchen and sanitary facilities, as well as a limited number of beds for those who may need them. There will be computer facilities, which could for example be used for producing a camp newspaper, workshops and internet access. Nearby there is also a pond where you can swim.

Shared cooking will follow the principle that all should be able to eat (including vegans, persons with allergies, breastfeeding women…). If we cooperate and share the daily chores fairly (food shopping, cooking, cleaning, tidying up), they will take up very little of everyone's time. Solidarity and voluntary mutual help will however remain nothing but empty words, if in practice the same few people will end up doing all the work.

What will actually happen at the camp will depend on what the participants will want to make out of it. Don't expect to find a ready schedule of lectures and workshops: rather expect to get involved, create the workshops and debates yourself and together with others. The experience of previous anarchist camps has shown that many varied and interesting topics and activities will arise spontaneously on site. The following and much more took place at the camp in 2007: workshops and debates on subjects as diverse as sex/gender/queer, migration, legal advise, anarchosyndicalism, a clowns' army training,…

The scope of subjects and possibilities should go beyond traditional anarchism. We would like to discuss the most diverse topics from a critical perspective: from (anarchist) utopias and theories, gender relationships and the critique of romantic two-person relationships to action forms, practical examples of political activism or alternative forms of living together. The camp's size and nature should allow it to be multifaceted: filled with theory and praxis, workshops, games, music, presentations and debates, cooking, movies, dancing etc.

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