Everyday activism and transitions towards post-capitalist worlds


This article aims to broaden and deepen debates on the everyday practices of autonomous activists. To do this we present three main research findings from a recent research project that looked in detail at what we called ‘autonomous geographies’. First, in terms of political identity, we highlight how participants in political projects problematise and go beyond the simple idea of the militant subject, set apart from the everyday who opposes the present condition. Second, we highlight how everyday practices are used to build hoped-for futures in the present, but that this process is experimental, messy and contingent, and necessarily so. Finally, we illuminate the contested spatialities embedded within political activism that are neither locally bounded nor easily transferable to the transnational. This exploration of everyday activism has illuminated that the participants we engaged with express identities, practices and spatial forms that are simultaneously anti-, despiteand postcapitalist. We argue that it is through its everyday rhythms that meaning is given to post-capitalism and it is this reconceptualisation that makes post-capitalist practice mundane, but at the same time also accessible, exciting, feasible and powerful. This paper draws upon material collected during a 30-month empirical research project into the everyday lives of grassroots, non-party political activists in the UK between 2005 and 2008. Three case studies were explored in detail – autonomous social centres, Low Impact Developments, and tenants’ networks resisting gentrification.

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@inproceedings{Chatterton2010EverydayAA, title={Everyday activism and transitions towards post-capitalist worlds}, author={Paul Chatterton and Jenny Pickerill}, year={2010} }