After the reading group sessions ended as the tent of Artists In Occupy Amsterdam was taken down, the group is now focusing on writing an Anthology of ideas, tactics, concepts to be used in future activist projects.
Right now, the group is writing. However, we are still interested to expand our range of contributors and subjects. In the Occupy-style, we are working in a way that is structured to be as open as possible. So if you should have an idea that you think might fit the project, or if you know anybody who you think should contribute, please send us a note at email@example.com.
The text below is from the original call for contributions. It offers some ideas, that were meant as a starting point. The actual lemmas that are being written and that are still to come may differ wildly from the original suggestions.
1. The Occupy movement is usually criticized for not having a vision. In truth, Occupy was a name under which a grand panoply of visions could operate. Instead of a lack of vision, then, Occupy rather offers an excess of visions. One goal of the Anthology is to counter this criticism by offering as many proposals and visions as possible.
2. The present phase of Occupy Amsterdam, and of the project of the artistsʼ tent, is evolving into a next stage. We need to investigate the elements of the political vision, in terms of goals, strategies, analyses as well as tactics, that made the Occupy formula work, so that the Occupy experience can help guide future forms of activism. How can Occupy be extended – outside of the Beursplein camp, into the future, into the rest of the city, the country, the world? Another use of the Anthology would be to function as a guide, or a manual, for future actions.
3. The Anthology should have a very open form that can include texts of many different kinds and authors: texts written especially for it, by people from the tent, from the camp, or even from outside. It should address a great variety of subjects.
4. As a form that can accomodate this, the Anthology will be organized into lemmaʼs, like an encyclopedia.
5. A lemma entry could be any kind of text, from short definitions to full essays or stories, or even works of art (drawings).
6. There may be multiple entries for the same lemma. These may even contradict one another (thus, we might have 5 different and mutually exclusive definitions of “utopia” or whatever).
7. The texts should be clearly written, readable for an interested general (non-specialist) audience, while not eschewing complexity where necessary and offering completely uncompromising visions. The text as a whole should be attractive to browse.
8. The texts should contain something that is useful for the future, develop concepts or ideas or visions that could possibly be applied, or be relevant for future action somehow. Itʼs great to criticize the world as it is and to reflect on past experience, but even better to describe the world as it should be, or to propose ways that might transform the world. The visions may however be outlandish, impractical, [seemingly] impossible or even outright crazy.
A core group of editors will collect texts, by approaching people who might have ideas, solliciting texts, or perhaps finding existing texts that might fit into the anthology.
The group will establish lists of lemmas, to which anybody may add their suggestions.
The group will assume responsibility for final edits (in collaboration, of course, with the authors).
As of yet, we still need to decide on the final form of the project (kind of publication, language tactic) and the way it will be distributed.
Hereʼs a (very incomplete!) list of possible lemmaʼs that might serve as a point of departure for structuring the project. This list was compiled just off the top of my head and is very open to extension and revision.
Consensus - Dissensus
Utopia - Futures - Paradise
Space: Public, Private, Common, Conflictual (War Zones, etc.)
Communism, Capitalism, Anarchism, etc.
Economy, Markets, Credit, etc.
Questioning, Truth, Hearings, etc.