Tuesday, April 2, 2013

“Squatting in Europe: Radical Spaces, Urban Struggles” book, and Across the USA


Back from a vacation in Athens -- calm, sunny, perfect weather, and absolutely nothing happening. The bomb went off before we came, and it was all cleaned up... Overloaded with info, natch, but I wanna get this book news out now. The SqEK book was celebrated in Paris last month.
You can get “Squatting in Europe: Radical Spaces, Urban Struggles,” edited by the Squatting Europe Kollective online as a download at – http://www.minorcompositions.info/?p=504, the website of the UK publisher. A bunch of the books have been sent to the USA, but it will take a while to get there. Also Hannah Dobbz' book on U.S. squatting is out, and she's touring...
The blurb follows:
“Squatting offers a radical but simple solution to the crises of housing, homelessness, and the lack of social space that mark contemporary society: occupying empty buildings and rebuilding lives and communities in the process. Squatting has a long and complex history, interwoven with the changing and contested nature of urban politics over the last forty years.
“Squatting can be an individual strategy for shelter or a collective experiment in communal living. Squatted and self-managed social centres have contributed to the renewal of urban struggles across Europe and intersect with larger political projects. However, not all squatters share the same goals, resources, backgrounds or desire for visibility.
“Squatting in Europe aims to move beyond the conventional understandings of squatting, investigating its history in Europe over the past four decades. Historical comparisons and analysis blend together in these inquiries into squatting in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and England. In it members of SqEK (Squatting Europe Kollective) explore the diverse, radical, and often controversial nature of squatting as a form of militant research and self-managed knowledge production.
Essays by Miguel Martínez, Gianni Piazza, Hans Pruijt, Pierpaolo Mudu, Claudio Cattaneo, Andre Holm, Armin Kuhn, Linus Owens, Florence Bouillon, Thomas Aguilera, and ETC Dee.
“Amidst the proliferation of post-political banter, it is refreshing to see the time-tested politics of pre-figurative direct action being taking so seriously. This is a must-read for anybody who wants to better understand how the politics of squatting offer a set of transformative strategies for a creating a more egalitarian world. Furthermore, this collection illustrates how such transformative politics so often start in the world’s cities through deliberate organizing and thoughtful reflection by committed groups of activists, scholars and everyday citizens.” – Nik Heynen, University of Georgia
“In an era of austerity, capitalist accumulation by dispossession, and the criminalization of protest this excellent book serves as an inspiring and timely reminder of people’s re-appropriation of urban spaces in order to fashion alternatives to the status quo. Structured around a typology of squatting configurations – as anti-deprivation; entrepreneurial; conservational; political; and alternative housing strategies – this empirically-rich collection of essays by scholars and activists provides persuasive evidence of the creativity and politically transformative potential involved in such practices.” – Paul Routledge, University of Glasgow
Bio: Squatting Europe is a research network focusing on the squatters’ movement. Our aim is to produce reliable and fine-grained knowledge about this movement not only as an end in itself, but also as a public resource, especially for squatters and activists. Critical engagement and comparative approaches are the bases of our project. The group is an open transnational collective (SQEK) whose members represent a diversity of disciplines and fields seeking to understand the issues associated with squats and social centres across Europe.
In other news,
Hannah Dobbz is touring her book "Nine-Tenths of the Law Property and Resistance in the United States" from AK Press. (See http://www.akpress.org/ninetenthsofthelaw.html for description and order info.)
She is roaming the country of the Settler State this spring -- April 6, 2013:
3 – 5 p.m. The People’s University lecture series
@ Carnegie Public Library (Main Branch) Pittsburgh, PA
April 9, 2013
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. MPR (Multi-Purpose Room) @ Tulane University NLG
New Orleans, LA
April 11, 2013
7 – 9 p.m. @ Treasure City Thrift 2142 E. 7th St.
Austin, TX
April 16, 2013
6 – 9 p.m. with Steve DeCaprio of Land Action and Becky Dennison of the LA Community Action Network @ Blood Money 1725 E. 7th Street, Unit C
Los Angeles, CA
April 19, 2013
6 – 10 p.m. with Steve DeCaprio of Land Action @ The Looking Glass (address available upon RSVP) Fundraiser for Land Action – $20
Oakland, CA
Buy tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/349165
April 20, 2013
7:30 – 10 p.m. + dance party afterward @ Hotmess/RCA Compound 656 West MacArthur Blvd. (@ MLK Jr. Way) Oakland, CA
May 3, 2013
(details TBA) @ Loyola University Chicago, IL
May 5, 2013
(details TBA) @ Indiana University
Bloomington, IN
Photo: TimesUp Bill relaxes in the basement of the MoRUS museum.

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