Antipode - Autonomy: The Struggle for Survival, Self-Management and the Common

Darren Hill mail at
Fri Sep 17 14:09:21 BST 2010

Antipode, Geography’s long standing radical journal of Geography, is 
pleased to announce a special symposium of papers called: ‘Autonomy: The 
struggle for survival, self-management and the common’ (Vol 42:4). This 
symposium has been pulled together by Paul Chatterton, from the 
University of Leeds, cofounder of the MA in Activism and Social Change 
<>) and the ‘Cities and Social 
Justice’ research group in the School of Geography.

The articles in this paper symposium aim to reflect the rich and 
creative desire of autonomous political activism that has flourished 
over the last decade through the anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist 
movement leading to new tactics and ideas for resistance and 
alternatives to capitalism such as climate camps, anti-roads protests, 
social centres, squats, free schools, teach-ins and hacklabs.

These articles are all concerned with the urgent political tasks of 
promoting self management and building practices and spaces embedded in 
commoning as survival routes out of the capitalist present. They are 
framed by a backdrop of the need for urgent change. Their concepts, case 
studies and provocations invite us to dwell further on this 
preoccupation and to force solutions into existence. The hope is that 
the papers presented here will stimulate much needed further writing, 
research and action from academics, campaigners and activists on the 
desire for autonomy – a desire that points to survival routes out of 
this capitalist present through building capacity for self management 
and the development of the common.

Contributors to the Special Symposium are leading academics and 
activists from across the world directly involved in the practice and 
theory of autonomous politics. They include:

*John Holloway* who lives in Mexico and is author of several landmark 
books on autonomous Marxism including most recently ‘Crack Capitalism’ 
(Pluto, 2009) and is one of the leading commentators on the Zapatista 

*Gustavo Esteva *is writer and activist and author of numerous books 
including the classic text ‘Grassroots Postmodernism’ (Zed Books). He is 
currently involved in many grassroots struggles in Oaxaca, Mexico, 
including the Oaxacan Popular Peoples Assembly (APPO) and “La 
Universidad de La Tierra” (“The University of the Land”)**

* *

*Chris Carlsson and Francesca Manning*. Chris Carlsson has been an 
activist and writer in San Francisco for a number of decades and was 
involved in setting up the magazine /Processed World/ in the 1980s. He 
is a dedicated nowtopian, developing this idea in a recent book 
(Carlsson, 2008). Francesca Manning is pursuing these ideas at the CUNY 
Graduate Centre.

*Massimo de Angelis* is Professor of Political Economy at the University 
of East London and is author of one of the key books on commoning and 
value struggles (De Angelis, 2007). he is also editor of the website and 
online publication ‘The Commoner: a web journal of other values’ 
( <>

*Jai Sen*, writer and activist from India who has been involved in the 
World Social forum Movement since its inception, continues this theme 
with an article on open space. Sen is Director of ‘India Institute for 
Critical Action: Centre In Movement’.

*The Free Association* who are a writing collective based in several 
locations some of whom are involved in publishing the magazine 
‘Turbulence: Ideas for Movement’ and write at 

All the papers are *FREE to download* in Volume 42:4 and include:

- Paul Chatterton. Autonomy. The struggle for survival, self-management 
and the common

- Gustavo Esteva. The Oaxaca Commune and Mexico’s coming insurrection

- Chris Carlsson and Francesca Manning Nowtopia: Strategic Exodus?

- John Holloway Crack capitalism. The Crisis of Abstract Labour

- The Free Association. Antagonism, neo-liberalism and movements. Six 
Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

- Jai Sen. On open space Explorations towards a vocabulary of a more 
open politics

- Massimo De Angelis The Production of Commons and the “Explosion” of 
the Middle Class

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