Sunday, January 07, 2007

Two New Resources from Argentina

A Video Workshop and Book from Argentina's Autonomous Left

Banner of the Coordinator of Autonomous Organizations in Argentina

Damn, there's alot of things to write about this week...not the least of which is the continued perseverence of the Oaxacan people in building their autonomy even as the state and federal governments continue trying to disrupt, defuse, and crush them.

Reportbacks from the 4-day Zapatista Encuentro are still coming in, though, and in that Intergalactic spirit, I'm highlighting here two useful resources that have come out of meetings between movements in Argentina and organizers from the US' Northeast:

1) Work, Dignity, & Social Change

A FREE "video workshop" created by organizers from Worcester, Massachusetts with members of several of Argentina's unemployed worker's movements (MTDs). This is a video, facilitator's guide, and suggested questions all bundled into one...and the video workshop's creators even say that they'll send you a trained facilitator if possible :-)

Although developing out of their own process and in their own way, there has been a great deal of mutual identification and affinity between Mexico's Zapatistas and these autonomous MTDs that achieved major international visibility following Argentina's popular rebellion in December 2001.

"Work, Dignity & Social Change" is not another video exposé on an inspiring international movement. This video workshop is one more way for these MTDs, who have convened international encuentros of their own, to continue building a dialogue across borders. This is especially crucial with respect to building connections between the MTDs in Argentina and poor people's movements here in the US with whom they may not be able to have much face-to-face contact.

Divided into eight chapters, the video interviews MTD members discussing their work building autonomous educational and health systems, resisting repression, coordinating struggles, creating new social relations, and struggling with gender and racial oppression in the larger society and within the movement. This is all done with an eye towards its relevance for organizers in the US and elsewhere. And if you don't know what has been going on in Argentina for the past five years (and more!) don't worry, it covers this too in a concise and accessible manner.

What else is their to say?! In and of itself, it is an exemplary piece of horizontal solidarity and a MUST USE educational tool...get it and use it TODAY.


2) Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina

Finally translated into English, this is an oral history of the autonomous social movements in Argentina since the popular rebellion in 2001. Rather than re-hash what's already been well reported on, here is an interview with the collection's editor (and my neighbor), Marina Sitrin.

Just as with the video workshop above, this collection intends to let the "protagonists" (to use their words) speak for themselves; in this case the variety of voices is much greater and includes not only people from Argentina's unemployed worker's movements but also from occupied and recuperated factories, arts and independent media collectives, indigenous communities, neighborhood assemblies, and feminist and queer groups.

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