Time to book your place at Breaking the Frame
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat Apr 5 01:49:16 BST 2014
The Breaking the Frame gathering is just under a
month away and it's time to book your place at
one of the most exciting events of this year.
Dont delay, places are going fast! We need your
participation and input to help us take a leap forward in radical politics.
Databases and data-mining: a favoured method for
security and law enforcement agencies Chris Jones
Statewatch Image from The Guardian The documents
released by whistleblower Edward Snowden on the
US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UKs
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
have revealed the vast extent of state
surveillance undertaken in secret in the name of
http://breakingtheframe.org.uk/ see dates and full programme below
Whether youre interested in the politics of
food, energy, work, environment, gender, peace,
economics, health, etc., all these issues are
shaped by choices about technology made by
military, corporate and technocratic
elites. The aim of the gathering is to change
the debate about technology, environment and
society, and to put the politics of technology
where it belongs, at the heart of radical
politics. It's about a broad social and
political vision, not just a long list of issues
raised by technology. And we will do more than
just talk about the issues: we aim to found a new
network on the politics of technology, a new
critical mass that will change the whole debate.
If youre part of a campaigning group focusing on
a single issue and youre not sure how this event
will help the work of your group, please consider
these points: single issue campaigning can only
be really effective if its based on a broad
understanding of the forces creating the problem.
In addition to being shaped by military and
corporate interests, technology has its own
ideology and dynamic that is a major source of
the problems caused by technologies. If we ignore
this, we are constantly left reacting to problems
created by technology, rather than proactively
addressing the source of the problem. The
gathering is about breaking the frames that keep
each campaign separate and making the links between our different issues.
The gathering won't just be talking and thinking
- there will be hands on workshops, music, poetry
and time to explore the beautiful grounds of
Unstone Grange and the surrounding Derbyshire
countryside. There will be childcare available
during the daytime so parents can fully participate in the gathering.
We are still looking for speakers in some
workshops, so we are open to your suggestions for
speakers or organisations that we should invite.
For more on the ideas behind the gathering and to
check out the growing list of organisations
supporting it and taking part, visit the
information page. You can book online, or print
and post the registration form. We aim to ensure
that no-one is excluded for financial reasons, so
we are subsiding places to make sure the gathering is as cheap as possible.
Please help us publicise the gathering by
tweeting (follow at framebreaking) and forwarding
this message to relevant email lists, facebook groups, etc.
We look forward to seeing you at Unstone Grange on May 2nd to 5th.
May 2nd-5th 2014 Unstone Grange, Unstone
Derbyshire (near Sheffield). Click here for travel info.
Organisations supporting BTF: Luddites200,
Corporate Watch, Scientists for Global
Responsibility, Gaia Foundation, Biofuelwatch,
Boycott EDF, Rising Tide, Japanese Against
Nuclear UK, The Land magazine, Occupy London
environment working group, Action AWE, Knickers
to Nuclear, visionon.tv, Genetic Engineering
Network, Low Impact Living Initiative, Campaign
Against Climate Change, The Green House Think
Tank, Occupy London General Asembly, Veggies
Catering Campaign, Mast Sanity, Stop Smart Meters.
Our system of industrial capitalism is in both
economic and environmental crisis.
Part of the cause of these crises is the
technologies that we use although they do of
course bring benefits, technologies are largely
designed and controlled by corporate, military
and technocratic elites to serve their interests
and exert their power. So, in order to really
face up to those crises we need a new politics of
technology, a politics that goes beyond the myths
that technology is just a neutral tool, or that
technological advances necessarily bring progress.
We want to overcome the fragmented single-issue,
reactive approach that dominates the way we deal
with technology. Technology is a major force
shaping the whole development of our society,
including the issues you work on, yet we never
have a debate about it until its nearly too
late, e.g. when Monsanto starts putting GM soya
in our food. We think its time for a much more
systematic and joined-up approach to technology
that overcomes the democratic deficit in this
area. We need to develop a new approach, based on
bringing together the insights of different
campaigns and movements, sharing skills, and learning from each other.
The need for a systematic approach to technology
is more urgent than ever as we face environmental
crisis caused by 200 years of industrial
capitalism. Moreover, a range of new technologies
looks set to make radical changes to our economy
and society. Developments in artificial
intelligence/robotics, combined with
nanotechnology, genomics/synthetic biology and
neurosciences are posing what are now being
described, even amongst technocratic elites, as
existential threats to society and the
biosphere over the coming decades. Here is a
brief summary of the Ideas behind the gathering.
Watch this space for more on the politics of technology.
The Breaking the Frame gathering is a step
towards creating the new politics of technology.
We will be bringing together campaigns on the
technology politics of food, energy/climate/
environment, work/economics/austerity, the
military, the internet, surveillance health and
gender, as well as trade unionists, radical
scientists, artists and developers of alternative
technologies. The aim is to learn from each other
and to build a new network, to strengthen
campaigns and make issues about technology more
central in radical movements. Amongst the
principles of a new critical discourse on technology are:
Opposition to technologies that are hurtful to
Commonality (i.e. to the common good, including
the environment) and to technofixes for social problems
Support for technologies that help to satisfy
real human needs and empower the powerless e.g.
some renewable energy technologies
Technology should be developed under democratic
control, rather than under the control of private interests and the military
Some of the issues well discuss include:
What does a critical politics of technology mean
in the 21st century: democratic control or low technology?
History of industrial society and environmental
crisis; challenging the concept of progress through technology
Experiences in different campaigns and struggles
Alternative visions of social and technological
development, and the transition to a sustainable and socially just society.
Confirmed speakers include Simon Fairlie (editor
of The Land magazine), Jerry Mander
(International Forum on Globalisation), Hilary
Wainwright (editor, Red Pepper), Theo Simon (Stop
Hinkley), Danny Chivers (No Dash for Gas).
There will be demonstrations and workshops on
craft-based production, poetry, music, walking etc.
If you are interested in the gathering please
email us at luddites200 at yahoo.co.uk. There will
shortly be an online booking system for the gathering.
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