The idea of the commons has become very popular as both an alternative to our current capitalist and neoliberal economic system and as a way to transform our current value system right now. Researchers from (Un)usual Business, a project by Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory in collaboration with Kritische Studenten Utrecht, have looked into various commoning practices in and around Utrecht. They are trying to find out how different groups are organising themselves and what their practice could mean for a way of organising our resources in common, independent from the market or the state.
It seems, however, that although many people are actively taking back control of their lives in common, they are not always doing this within a larger political strategy. During this workshop, we would like to review different commoning practices in terms of organisation here in the Netherlands. But we would also like to think about strategies to politicise these practices, so that they may be involved in a larger political struggle instead of staying in the invisible margins of our economy.
by Ying Que an Anthropologist, coordinator of the Commons Working Group with Casco & active with the Kritische Studenten Utrecht