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"Speak with them": Spaces for Voices from the South in Heiligendamm

Planned by: John Holloway (Mexico), Dorothea Haerlin and Oliver Pye (attac Germany), and Jai Sen (CACIM, India)

Bringing voices from the South to Heiligendamm - not to speak as much about them but with them - is the aim of an intercontinental exchange of experiences on the occasion of the G8 Summit. The main focus of the project is on the direct encounter between people from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe in a full-day workshop with John Holloway (see aim 1) and appointments for possible media networking across continents for long-term co-operation (2). The meeting of theorists (Ana Esther Cecena, Chico Whitaker, John Holloway, Jai Sen, etc.) with activists from all continents enables a debate on "Open Space" as a new approach to enhance theory. (3). Furthermore, there is the idea of a Speakers Tour to include people in the discussion process who were not able to travel to Heiligendamm (4).

A. Planned Events (large public event, workshops, speakers tour, etc.)


30th May:

Large inaugural event in the Grips Theatre Berlin with Chico Whitaker (WSF), Wangui Mbatia (People's Parliament), etc.

31st May:

Discussion event in Berlin (Haus der Demokratie):

"You are 8 - We are everywhere" (preliminary title suggestion) John Holloway discusses with friends from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.


June 3rd:

Full-day workshop with John Holloway at the Camp:

"Another World Is Possible - yes - but it exists already despite- against-and beyond capitalism". A global exchange of experiences between people from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

June 4th:

Morning at the camp: Debate about "Open Space as an open theory approach"

June 6th:

Afternoon at the Alternative Summit: "Open Space - New Ways in Theory and Practice"

Before and after the Summit: Speakers' Tour through several cities

People interested can contact:

Dorothea Haerlin: dorotheahaerlin@gmx.de

Oliver Pye: oliver.pye@web.de


B. Aim:

1. Direct Exchange of Experiences:
At the big camp near Heiligendamm a space shall be created for a direct exchange of experiences between people from different continents that have already started to realise a life in dignity despite-against-and beyond capitalism.

During my visit in Kenya just after the WSF in Nairobi to women's groups, youth support projects in the slums and a water project in the rural area, I kept thinking: A direct contact with people from other continents that I have already met in the slums of Buenos Aires, in Chiapas/Mexico, the "Assembly of the poor" / Thailand or in Venezuela, to enable a space and look for travel funding for people from the South for a direct exchange of experiences could be an important task for people from the North. This is the aim of a full- day workshop on June 3rd at the G8 Camp, organised together with John Holloway.

2. Media Networking:
In all continents projects are being developed with a common aim of visualising people without a voice, "Sin Vox", in a through alternative media. Building a network of these projects is therefore another aim. We would like to invite several people who are active in alternative media. Shannon Walsh, a Canadian filmmaker working in South Africa, has offered to accompany this project and others during the G8, a valuable documentation for further work.

3. Open Space:
Looking for another world, we need another, new theory formation. The participation of people like John Holloway, Ana Esther Cecena, Chico Whitaker, Nicola Bullard and others that have been invited to the Alternative Summit provides a great chance for a debate between theorists and activists.
This exchange of ideas shall occur in two workshops about "Open Space". The debate started in Nairobi already on initiative of CACIM (Critical Action Centre in Movement, India) and CCS (Centre for Civil Society, South Africa) in several workshops. The approach "Open Space" is to be discussed at the camp and then at the Alternative Summit as a new theoretical approach, also in preparation for a planned conference on the same topic in New Delhi (India) next autumn, and also in preparation for the other form of next year's (2008) WSF as global action days.

4. Learning from the South:
Those that cannot travel to Heiligendamm should be enabled to participate in the discussion by a Speakers Tour and meet the guests from the South that have travelled so far. Their reports from every- day life are an important contribution to counter the negative images from these continents existing in the North. They are often portrayed as people without money, food, peace, education, etc. as if they were nothing. Still, they are living their lives, laugh at least as much as people in the North, mostly more and have maintained traditions of solidarity or built them from scratch, from necessity, yes, but can't we also find the beginnings of another world that we are looking for in the "cold North" ?

This project is far from finished - unfortunately, we also do not have the funds yet - and we welcome any kind of support (financing ideas, co-operation on contents for the individual events, looking after guests, help with translations also outside of events, etc.).

Please contact the current organisers:
Dorothea Haerlin, dorotheahaerlin@gmx.de
Oliver Pye, oliver.pye@wed.de

For the Speakers Tour:
Oliver Pye, oliver.pye@web.de

Jai Sen
CACIM, A-3 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110 024, India
Ph : +91-11-4155 1521, 2433 2451

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