Two Workshops at Newport Rising

I’m hosting two workshops at the Newport Rising event next week (Fersiwn Gymraeg yma). It’s being put on by the lovely folk of the Anarchist Action Network, just over the Bridge. It is part of a wider run of events under the banner of the Anarchist Traveling Circus. It looks quite like the Co-Mutiny week we did here in Bristol a few years back after the 2009 Anarchist Bookfair. It doesn’t feel like that was almost five years ago!

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On Tuesday 27th May I’m doing a crash course in first aid from 4pm-6pm. It’s only two hours so I can’t do much but I can do enough of the basics so you can keep someone alive that otherwise may have not made it before an ambulance arrives plus some other useful bits to keep your comrades in the land of the living. That’s got to be worth 2hrs of your time, right?

Next one is another Why Men against Patriarchy? workshop, similar to the one I did at the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair as that got really positive feedback. That one is on Thurday 29th from 3pm-4.30pm.

Of course there are loads of workshops and events throughout the whole week so check out the program and get over the Newport, the event is aimed at everyone, not just activist types. However with NATO heading there for their big shindig this September it seems wise to meet friendly faces and have a mosey around…

Right-o, I’m off to have a barbecue in the rain!

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Is Bart Simpson an Anarchist? – Audio

This years Bristol Anarchist Bookfair was another great day. I facilitated the first panel discussion of the day titled “Is Bart Simpson an Anarchist?”. People were not up for talking much, nor was I, hence all the ums.

Though only a few people spoke, seven in total from a room of 22 people, there were some interesting points and hopefully it will lead to more debate. A visual count suggested around 20 men and 2 women so that wasn’t great. But some good and interesting points were made by those who spoke. It’s definitely a start of having this discussion and progressing it in the future.

Please have a listen and add your comments and thoughts on the role of Work and Money within anarchism at the bottom. I’d like to get more points of view.

Contributions without the microphone were cut and they couldn’t be heard on the recording. Sorry of the buzz and echo its a really bad room for sound.

Listen to the Audio of the discussion here – https://soundcloud.com/bod-andrage/bookfairtalk2014-simpsonBristolAnarchistBookfair-Bart

My Workshops at Bristol Anarchist Bookfair 2014

After my workshop last year was an all around stressful experience I thought it seemed sensible this year to do two!

The Bristol Anarchist Bookfair details can be found here. It also has Facebook and Twitter pages.

My first one kicks off the Bookfair at 12.20 in the main assembly room upstairs. I don’t like that room, its big and echoes and the seats get set out in rows with a table at the front so we face everyone like teachers. I think I may take the mic and go stand next to the seats… or maybe that will be worse?

Here’s the blurb from the program. Is Bart Simpson an Anarchist? – We felt some of Bart Simpson’s calculations on this year’s bookfair poster were at best debatable and at worst problematic. Does Work minus Bosses, or Money minus Bankers really equal anarchy? What do we mean by the term “Work” anyway? And can money really have a role in an Anarchist society?”

This one came out of some people not being too happy with the Bart Simpson poster for the bookfair and it sparked a bit of a debate so I decided to continue it at the bookfair. I’m completely winging this one and relying totally on other people speaking so I can just introduce the debate and take stack. We have been given an hour and a half but I hope to keep it to one hour as I’ve got a million other things to do on the day.

The second workshop is in “The Room with a View”. I assume the name is ironic as from what I remember the were not even any windows in it. Here’s the blurb: Why Men Against Patriarchy? An Introduction and Q&A with one of Bristol’s newest groups. What is patriarchy and why should men challenge it? What do we talk about? Do men have a role in feminism? Why have meetings for men only? How can we confront patriarchy? What are our future plans? All genders welcome.” 

I had this room last year for the workshop I did. It’s designed to hold 12-15 and I had over 25 in there. I had to turn people away. I’ve already spoken to a number of people who want to come, so it may well be another full one. I would have liked a bigger room but the organisers have to judge what would be popular and give spaces accordingly. The Trinity is a great venue in some ways but suffers with having small spaces for meetings.

Calling it a Q&A gives the wrong impression. I’m hoping people will pose questions about men’s role in challenging patriarchy, but I’m hoping where possible all attendees will be able to answer the questions as a group. I’m also bringing paper and pens along so people can suggest ideas for our meeting and events and if we have time maybe explore some of them. In the last couple of days I’ve met some men who have had conflicting views about men’s role in feminism. It gave me a chance to see how my answers to those concerns go down. Someone else kindly informed me they were planning on coming to the meeting to shout stuff out and tell us what we are “doing it wrong and what you should be doing instead”. Well, I think she was probably just joking and I just took it seriously, hopefully people will put their hand up instead, rather than disturbing the meeting, or write their ideas down on the paper provided. I’m more than up for listening to all concerns (that’s why we hare having the workshop) and working on addressing them or incorporating the ideas into how the group functions.

One of the purposes of this workshop is to increase transparency and give an incite into how our meetings functions. Also we want to use the opportunity to get ideas for more public events and actions, as this is a direction we want to start to move the group more, along side our current meetings.  I’d encourage people to come along. We don’t have all the answers but we can try, and where we can’t answer we can explore the themes and issues around them. I hopefully will have a handout ready by then. If I do I will put one up here too. I like handouts!

Hope to see you all there.

Take Care.

X

 

I’m Doing a Workshop at Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

I’m going to be hosting a workshop on consent at Bristol Anarchist Bookfair this Saturday April 20th. The event starts at 11am and my workshop it the last of the day at 5pm in the “Room with a view” on the first floor of the building (there’s a lift and stairs). Apparently there’s enough space for about 20 or so people.

I’m working on a Zine to hand out to everyone who goes plus make it available before and after. It’s not quite finished yet but here’s the Introduction, which may be useful to you if you are thinking coming along.

UPDATE: The complete zine is now done and online. It’s not pretty, maybe I will make it look better in the future, maybe I wont. Readable format. Printable Format.

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Facilitation and Accessibility at Meetings – St Imier Anarchist Gathering 2012

While at the International Anarchist Gathering in St Imier in Switzerland, a group formed to deal with the issues around accessibility, privilege and creation of safer spaces. Unfortunately such a major area seemed to have been completely overlooked buy the organisers of the event and the groups that formed spontaneously did a great job of trying their best to rectify the problems where they could.

I was kindly asked to give a brief summary of how a facilitator can help with accessibility and dealing with privilege in a meeting environment, at an open emergency meeting that the group called. About 150 or so people attended. This is not a how to on facilitation, if you want that I recommend looking on the seeds for change website as those guys are great and have some top resources available.
This was simply a brief overview and is transcribed below.

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