Gendered Landscapes: Imagining feminist cities

When?     6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wednesday 13th July, 2016

Where?    People’s Park, 157 Boundary Street, West End

What?

This is the second workshop in our winter program, looking at the critical context of global “right to the city” movements. In this session, we began by posing ourselves the question “what would a feminist city look like, and how might we bring it into being?”

Who?
Naomi Stead is an architectural academic, scholar and critic, based in Queensland, Australia. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia.

Natalie Osbourne is a planning academic, lecturer and all-round fantastic human. Her research interests include social justice and feminism in environmental planning and geography, radical and insurgent planning practice, resilience and community development and community-based adaptation to the impacts of climate change and peak resource.

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Becoming Beautiful: Anarchist Geography and Hope Beyond Hope

When?       6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wednesday 6th July, 2016

Where?      People’s Park, 157 Boundary Street, West End

Speakers?

Cathy Howlett: Cathy is a Senior Lecturer in the Griffith School of Environment and currently inhabits a space at the Gold Coast Campus. Her research focuses on the political economy of mineral and energy development on Indigenous lands. Her passion is understanding how dominant political and economic ideologies (aka neoliberalism) can constrain our abilities to both think, and act, empathetically and altruistically. She is particularly interested in how dominant ideologies such as neoliberalism impact upon Indigenous peoples. She is currently contributing to a Norwegian research project that addresses these questions in the Artic geographical context. She is committed to engaged and ethical research with Indigenous peoples and is the Indigenous research specialist on the Commonwealth Scientific International Research Organization (CSIRO) Social Science Research Ethics Committee.

Simon Springer:  Simon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria, Canada. His research agenda explores the political, social, and geographical exclusions that neoliberalization has engendered, particularly in post-transitional Cambodia, where he emphasizes the spatialities of violence and power. He cultivates a cutting edge theoretical approach to his scholarship by foregrounding both poststructuralist critique and a radical revival of anarchist philosophy. Simon’s authored books include The Anarchist Roots of Geography: Toward Spatial Emancipation (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), The Discourse of Neoliberalism: An Anatomy of a Powerful Idea (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), Violent Neoliberalism: Development, Discourse and Dispossession in Cambodia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), and Cambodia’s Neoliberal Order: Violence, Authoritarianism, and the Contestation of Public Space (Routledge, 2010). He is co-editor of the ‘Anarchism, Geography and the Spirit of Revolt’ trilogy, which includes The Radicalization of Pedagogy, Theories of Resistance, and The Practice of Freedom (all Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). Simon also serves as Managing Editor of ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies and is a co-editor for the Transforming Capitalism book series published by Rowman & Littlefield.

Topic?

 

Let us become beautiful ourselves, and let our life be beautiful!
– Élisée Reclus

Anarchism is a beautiful enabler. As a political praxis it allows us to embrace our capacity for living now and doing for ourselves in this moment what we would otherwise leave to authority. Strength is to be found not in what is dreamed possible but as an illumination of the powerful beauty we collectively represent. Anarchism insists upon the development of new relationships with our world and, crucially, with each other. Recognizing such connection implies a relational geography as an aesthetic realization that we all matter, that we are all part of the beauty of immanence. Within this recognition of our capacity for the beautiful comes the seed of something new, nourished by the possibilities of our desire for a better world. A relational geography is consequently a way to try to make sense of a world that is infinitely complex and in an ever-changing process of becoming. Geography’s recent reengagement with anarchism brings us closer to the possibility of shaking off the chains that fetter us to statist, capitalist, racist, sexist, and imperialist ideas by maintaining that our greatest resource is our bonds to one another. In anarchist geographer Élisée Reclus’s notion of ‘universal geography’ we see an early iteration of such a politics of possibility, which looks to connection, or relationality, as its impetus. For Reclus, all people should share the Earth as siblings by expanding our circle of empathy and reorganizing the landscapes of power though strengthened bonds of solidarity. So rather than simply always becoming, for anarchists, geography is about becoming beautiful.


As usual – ALL WELCOME! Completely free!

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POSTPONED!! “Decolonising the City”

Hey folks,

Please note that tonight’s scheduled talk “Dispersed: Decolonising the City” has been POSTPONED until further notice.

Next week’s talk by Simon Springer and Catherine Howlett will go ahead as planned.

Please spread the word!

Warm wishes,

BFU crew

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WINTER PROGRAM ANNOUNCED!

Hey BFUers!

It’s time to get your blankets packed, a thermos of tea brewed and your thoughtful frowns at the ready…the BFU winter program is here!

Join us every Wednesday evening for the next six weeks of winter for thoughtful discussions, heated conversations and critical thought.  We’ll be meeting each Wednesday at People’s Park in West End (157 Boundary Street) from 6.30pm – 8.30pm.  No better way to warm up your winter than with critical theory and cups of tea in an inner-city park.  Blankets and provocative ideas free.

WINTER PROGRAM:
THE RIGHT TO THE CITY

!!!POSTPONED!!!! 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wednesday 29th June – “Dispersed: Decolonising the City”

6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wednesday 6th July – “Becoming Beautiful: Anarchist Geographies and a politics of beauty”

6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wednesday 13th July – “Gendered landscapes: Feminism in the City”

6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wednesday 20th July – “The right to whose cities? Unpacking the global context of the Right to the City movements”

6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wednesday 27th July – “Food Sovereignty: Urban agriculture and inner-city landscapes”

***TBC: Saturday 30th July, late afternoon – Cloudland Collective present “Collaborative meeting on “Green Bans” + Film “Rocking the Foundations” & [exciting] speakers panel – Boundary Hotel.

6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wednesday 3rd August – “Understanding the Commons: possibilities, opportunities and limits”

*******

For more details on the speakers and topics, check this page one week prior to each lecture.  You can also follow us  on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/BrisbaneFreeUniversity/

Or you can join our mailing list by emailing brisbanefreeuniversity at gmail dot com.

 

 

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DISPERSED: Decolonising the City

When?   6.30pm – 8pm, Thursday 21st July, 2016

Where?   People’s Park, Boundary Street, West End

What?     Presentations and panel discussion

Join us on Thursday evening for the second of our Winter Program series on the critical socio-political context of the Right to the City and urban activism.

This session will explore questions of colonisation and the right to the city, asking what a “decolonised” city might look like, and what “decolonising” the city entails.

We are honoured to be joined by the following incredible thinkers:

Gordon Chalmers

Gordon Chalmers (BA, JD) is an academic currently based at QUT. His PhD thesis attempts to deconstruct the legal identity of the “Aboriginal Race of Australia” in Australian law, allowing for the possibility of both re-conceptualising and -addressing Indigenous efforts to once again normalize Aboriginal ontologies in Australia.

Melissa Lukashenko
Melissa Lucashenko is an acclaimed Australian writer of Goorie (Aboriginal) and European heritage. She was born in Brisbane, and has been widely published as a novelist, essayist and short story writer. Her books have won or been shortlisted for many major awards. She has also written about the experiences of criminalised women alongside the ground-breaking organisation she helped establish in Brisbane, Sisters Inside.

All welcome! Free!

We acknowledge the rightful owners of the lands on which we meet. Sovereignty never ceded.

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BFU presents: More than Concrete and Steel

When?  6.30pm, Tuesday 31st May, 2016

Where? The Bearded Lady, Boundary Street, West End

A historian, an indigenous activist and an urban designer walk into a bar, to talk about community organising in South Brisbane….

“More than Concrete and Steel” is the first in a series of talks organised by Brisbane Free University for the Right to the City Campaign. The series will aim to explore the meaning of the “right to the city” by contextualising it within anti-colonial, feminist, anti-capitalist and anarchist movements. This set of 6 talks will span a diverse range of topics that intersect with and give meaning to the idea of the right to the city, exploring everything from decolonisation and the urban environment to feminist theories of the public realm; anarchist spatial politics and the aesthetics of urban resistance.

This first session will set the scene for our critical examinations of the “right to the city” by looking at some histories of urban activism in South Brisbane.  The idea that as inhabitants of Brisbane we deserve the right to have a say in how the city evolves has long been part of political organising on the West End peninsular.  Tonight we meet to ask, “who has the right to the city? Who is excluded from our city? How can we resist and change this?”  

Join us in the heart of West End to learn about, remember and discuss 4101’s history of creative resistance and spirited dissent.

ALL WELCOME! ALL AGES!

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BFU presents: Working Hard or Hardly Working? Theories and practices of work

 

Working hard, or hardly working?

When? 2pm on Saturday 14th May

Where? Carpark under Westpac Bank, 89-91 Boundary Street

What? Discussion and workshop

Our lives are dominated by working – whether there is too much of it or too little. Yet despite this there is little space in society to talk about work beyond politicians telling us that this or that policy, mine or property development will create ‘jobs’ and thus is excellent and how working is good for us (even if most of us want a holiday).

BFU therefore presents the first in a series of talks investigating theories and practices of work; our experiences and expectations, our hopes for the future, and the identities and ideologies that emerge around our workplaces.

Why?

More people in Australia are working more than ever before. Yet wages are growing at historically low rates and large sections of the population are employed in precarious conditions. The jobs we are doing are changing too – with more of us working in services, health and education. The news has been full of stories of large and substantial corporate chains systematically paying workers without citizenship far below minimal awards and the Federal government has been carrying out an on going campaign to break the construction unions. However union membership and industrial action are at an all time low.

And does work just mean wage-labour? What about the unpaid work in the home, the labour of studying, the expansion of internships or beta-testing computer games? How does the work we get paid for and the work we do for free all fit together?

Historically work has also been central to struggles to improve our conditions and transform our lives, a site of social confrontation and change – does it still play that role?

Join us for a discussion on where work is at, how we are experiencing it and what kinds of strategies we can develop to advance our collective interests.

Some framing questions to chew over before Saturday (if you have time…):

1)      What is your work-day like?

2)      How does paid work impact on other area of your life – housework, time and            relations with family, ability to participate in a community etc/

3)      What kinds of conflicts exist in your work-place?

4)      How does management work to ensure discipline in your work-place

5)      What are you relations with other work-mates like? How do you help each                 other?

6)      Is there a union presence in your work-place? What is the nature of this                    presence?

7)      Do you work unpaid overtime never/occasionally/sometimes/frequently?                  What range of times?  Do you have to/feel you have to/want to?

ALL WELCOME!

PS: From 10am on Saturday in West End there’s a community rally for housing affordability that many of us will be attending.  

The details are here: https://www.facebook.com/events/983199391758523/

 

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