By Berliner Gazette
On October 5, 6, and 7, the “Allied Grounds” conference, organized by Berliner Gazette, brought together scholars, activists, and cultural workers from more than 25 countries at the House of Democracy and Human Rights in Berlin. Here the Gazette shares summaries and audio of the three lead panels of the event, on Politicizing the end(s) of the world, Exploring common anti-capitalist interests, and Preparing the grounds for new alliances.
Politicizing the End(s) of the World
(Neo)colonial capitalism is bringing about the end of the world. Environmentalists in the Global North urge us to recognize that this dystopian scenario is already looming in the near future. For the oppressed peoples of the Global South, however, the apocalypse has been underway for more than five hundred years. And it is from these regions that the growing mass of migrant and refugee labor continues to emerge, challenging us all to imagine and facilitate multiracial workers’ struggles that challenge (neo)colonial capitalism.
The opening panel of the “Allied Grounds” conference, “Agents of System Change,” addressed these issues. Moderated by Claudia Núñez, Florin Poenaru, and Jennifer Kamau gave talks at the House of Democracy and Human Rights, which can be listened here.
Exploring Common Anti-Capitalist Interests
Labor movements have been continually absorbed by market forces and thus repeatedly declared dead. In recent years, however, they have re-emerged as a potentially anti-capitalist force. At the same time, the environmental and climate movements in the Global North, long motivated by moral concerns, are gradually discovering their anti-capitalist interest. In a number of recent struggles, the labor and environmental movements are coming together, building alliances, and expanding their capacities to shape eco-socialist futures.
The second panel of the “Allied Grounds” conference, “Resisting Green Jobs,” explored cases in the Balkans and Italy. Moderated by Rositsa Kratunkova, Svjetlana Nedimović, Paola Imperatore, and Francesca Gabbriellini gave talks at the House of Democracy and Human Rights, which can be listened to here.
Preparing the Ground for New Alliances
In contemporary capitalism, workers are increasingly fragmented and divided, along the lines, for example, of productive and reproductive labor, wage and unpaid labor. Yet they could realize their common interests not least by confronting the capitalist threat to their social and ecological environment and to their collective capacity to create a life worth living. This requires translation not only between different languages, but also between different cultural, social, economic, political and, not least, class contexts.
The final panel of the “Allied Grounds” conference, “Politics of Translation,” addressed these issues. Moderated by Anna Saave, Dario Azzelini, Lorenzo Feltrin, and Brett Neilson gave talks at the House of Democracy and Human Rights, which can be listened to here.
An overview of all of this material, as well as the documentary material we are still working on, will be available on the “Allied Grounds” project website by the end of the month.
As always, we also want to share some resources from friends, neighbors, co-workers, or partners of BG’s “Allied Grounds” project. This time: Luto Verde. This multimedia project commemorates some of the many Indigenous leaders and environmental defenders who were recently assassinated in the Peruvian Amazon while protecting their communities from extractivist activities and drug trafficking. To mourn their lives can be a way of both learning from and preserving the worlds they protected. Check out the Luto Verde website.
BG – Berliner Gazette is a nonprofit and nonpartisan team of journalists, researchers, artists, and coders. Since 1999 we have been publishing berlinergazette.de under a Creative Commons License with more than 1,500 contributors. In dialogue with our international network we create annual projects, exploring the issues at hand not only in the form of text series but also conferences and books. Our expanded journalism thrives on dialogue with academia, activism, and the arts, and combines online with on-site cooperation and knowledge production. This hybrid practice has gradually led us to seek new ways to shape our work in collaboration with the 1,500 contributors we have published to date, and to communicate it to the widest possible audience.
Allied Grounds: Connecting Climate and Labor Struggles
BG Project 2023 w/ Texts, Conference + more
After Extractivism: Challenging the Ecological-Economic Complex
BG Project 2022 w/ Video Talks, Projects, Texts + more
Featured image: Cover of the BG Allied Grounds project site. Artwork by Colnate Group, 2023 (cc by nc)