Politics, Economics, and Ecology
Our first theme has everything to do with the distribution of materials and labor. This is political because of the decision making processes involved, and our slightly Marxist take that distribution of materials and labor stand at the center of our political life, a base on which the rest of our cultural, philosophical and ideological life is based. Economics and Ecology are put together because they are synonyms, both finding their root in ancient Greek, meaning something along the lines of household management, the household being our society or earth. In this sense they mean the same but have come to represent radically different parts of an ideological spectrum in relation to nature.
Another reason to combine politics with 'household management' is that we might run the risk of naturalizing the essentially political act of household management, taking agreement and disagreement out of the question and representing distribution as a scientific discipline about which you are either right or wrong, something both economy and ecology run a risk of doing.
We are not saying the material is all that matters, far from it, but we do believe the material reality does form the most immediate form of oppression for most people, species and biomes in the world. We want to honor that reality despite our own theorizing aloof from plain exploitation.
In 2022, The second edition of the OtherWise course 'Capitalist Realism' was adapted from Luuk Slegers, former intern and present coordinator, by Pike. Inspired by Mark Fisher's book of the same title, 'Capitalist Realism,' the course explores several key questions in the ideological winter we find ourselves in: Why is capitalism socially and environmentally unsustainable? Why can we no longer imagine an alternative? How are the future and the past imagined, and how does that affect the present? And what can be done about all of this?The aim of this course is to provide students with a framework through which the world's problems can be conceptualized, to question what has become taken-for-granted, and to encourage you to imagine an alternative to capitalism and turn it into reality.
Resistance, Power, and Movements
The second live edition of the Resistance, Power, and Movements (RPM) capita selecta course was organised in 2022 by coordinators Mesh and Cristina and board member Tejal in collaboration with Michiel Kohne and Elisabet Rasch of the SDC group at WUR. The previous edition of the course was an adapted online event called 'Activism in times of COVID'. The following questions are central to the RPM course: What do 'activism' and 'being an activist' mean in today's political context? What are the different options that citizen groups and (activist) social movements have to organise around the topics they consider urgent? How to organise a sound and constructive movement or action group? What can be learned from the past'How can theories on social movements, activism and resistance be useful for organising an impactful action? How to (be) come an agent of change? How to combine activism and academia and/or be an activist scholar?
The course has been developed in response to a wish (and a need!) that has been voiced repeatedly by students and university lecturers alike to not only explore how theory and practice of social movements could feed into each other, but to actually bring that into practice in university education and teaching. As such, this course seeks to create a space to explore and reflect on agency and power with a focus on combining theory and practice. In so doing, WUR lecturers and professional trainers bring theory and practice of resistance, protest and movements together in a mix of lectures and interactive workshops. On top of this, students were guided to design and realise a small protest/act of resistance.
Source: Crack Magazine
Source: Creativity for the Soul