Monday, February 07, 2005


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I'm trying to write down thoughts about the World Social Forum. One can't focus on outcomes, certainly not for feminists or queers -- there aren't any. So instead, one thinks of process, network, symbolism, motivation. The recreation of alternative political culture (though mostly with the same symbols that have been used for 3 decades). Social relationships....(indeed).

I might think about it in relation to Empire & Multitude, and also Analise Rile's critique of the use of Network.

The political scientists speak a lot about strategies -- strategic uses of concepts, of the WSF meeting. But a strategy by whom, toward what? There isn't a feminist party. What is the aim from an alternative, progressive social space? It didn't seem the feminists were clear, other than wanting to have a presence there, and meet each other (again, mostly -- people know each other from former meetings).

Also clear was the absence of concrete, palpable political visions. What are the feminist visions of global politics, of governance, of economics? Clearly we are critical of capitalism-- are we against capitalism? If so, with what sense of alternative? Sweden? We don't think through the specific conditions, possibilities, institutions.

The main agenda seems to be getting feminism & women represented at the WSF -- rather than what the content of that representation might be.

The other major focus for feminists is process: being inclusive, attending to voices, to diversity. There is much effort to the means of politics, where the means are not separated from the ends. Someone always asks about those who are not present -- were they excluded? What does their absence mean? Mauro's presence pointed to a new frontier of inclusion, the trans man, as did a m2f transgendered woman who spoke to an enthusiastic response from the younger members of the audience in particular, who find in the transgender community signs of new politics and of some social and political urgency.


Blogger Medea said...

you are right. a lot of talk about feminist ways, but without concretize it. what is a feminist vision of the world? i found it a bit confusing, everybody (on the feminist boad mainly) talking about feminist goals, without discussing, which feminism are we talking about?

7:45 PM  

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