MADRID – IRI 2nd Meeting

The second gathering of the Institute of Radical Imagination takes place from 28th of May to 2nd of June 2018 at the Ingobernable, Madrid.

The five-days event in Madrid will consist in two parallel sets of events: a MASTER in Urban Commons, organized by La Ingobernable in collaboration with IRI and involving various Spanish urban commons and social centres and a three-day workshop about the Institute of Radical Imagination’s forms of governance, sustainability, future projects and potential collaborations with social centres and urban commons across Europe’s south, the Mediterranean and the global South.

· · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·


all sessions will take place at La Ingobernable, C/ Gobernador 39  


1) Thursday 31st 20:00 – 21:30: Summer School of Slow Orientation in Zapatism [Escuela de verano de orientación en el Zapatismo], 2017.
Artists talk by Olga Egorova and Smitry Vilensky (collective Chto Delat).
Filmoteca popular de la Ingobernable, 3rd floor.

2) Friday 1st of June 18:00-21:00: Round-table discussion after the “Master on Urban Commons” Strategic lines for the self-government of the urban commons.
Participants (to be confirmed) : La Casa Invisible (Málaga), El Asilo (Nápoles), CSC Luis Buñuel (Zaragoza), Casa del Pumarejo (Sevilla), y Astra (Gernika), Mao Mollona (IRI).

This round table discussion with different Social Centers will discuss key strategic lines for the vindication of the right to space and city. The main aim is to try to come to some productive middle- and long-term conclusions and a networking work plan to continue making progress in the effective defense of our spaces.

Details about Summer School of Slow Orientation in Zapatism
Summer School of Slow Orientation in Zapatism: In the Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona by Zapatistas in Chiapas and some other documents were introduced the idea of Zapatistas’s embassy – which should go in Mexico and into the world and deliver the message of Zapatista. The idea of encuentros (horizontal meetings) with local people would help to share information on zapatistas movement and to collect reports on the struggle against neoliberalism world wide. We do not know for sure if this plan was realized but we met in Mexico some people who definitely were part of this process. The film is based on the idea of anticipation of this embassy which actually has not yet arrived to Russia. And we have organized a long process of getting deep inside in the ideas of Zapatistas – the reading group, course of Zapatista’s spanish and practices of community building culminated in the 2 weeks summer school where 17 young people share a house at the countryside and live in temporary commune.

The film reflects this process of being together and how the Zapatistas way of life could be practice and question outside of genuine indigenous experience – how we as Europeans/Russian with all burdens of our political and cultural histories would imagine to change our lives and society. Realized in the Zapatistas tradition of anti-culmination and with a great deal of famous Zapatistas’ irony well-known from the texts of subcomandante Markos, the participants of the film immersed and investigate what is the meaning progress and how to live in harmony with the earth and land, what could mean “For everyone, everything. For us, nothing” (Para todos todo, para nosotros nada), what could be theology of emancipation in Russian situation, what is the role of culture in a process of liberation and how we are able to build an autonomy of “good people” in a hostile world.

The film can be considered as an upgrade of European pastoral tradition and reflects the frustration of young urban generation living under the pressure of society and capital and trying to find a way to get out of deadlines of new political reaction and to overcome its unhappy mindset and establish possible new forms of life inspired by Zapatistas ideas.

The film is constructed in attempt to grasp another form of temporality – the time of slow process which is a result in itself. That’s why the film’s edit is realized in a several versions which includes different numbers of points (chapters). This points creates a mental map reflecting the real space of the film making.



From Monday 28th May to Wednesday 30th 18:00 – 21:00 May. ROOM 2.1

The Ingobernable and various social centers in Madrid and across Spain will collectively discuss and re-define the vocabularies, practices and strategies of urban commoning starting by sharing the experience of I beni comuni emergenti developed by l’Ex-Asilo in Naples. The main aim is to define the possible future strategies and actions for the re-appropriation of urban commons and draft a common plan of action in the medium and long term.


SESSION 1. Introduction to urban commons

From Monday 28th

In what sense can the autonomy of our spaces be strengthened when we provide ourselves with a “right?” In this introductory session we will share the reasons that bring us to the Master, analyze the “state of discussion,” and situate the powers and limits that, on the surface, we perceive as a process of struggle oriented at vindicating the “norms” we provide ourselves. We will begin to propose in what ways we can expand powers and reduce or overcome limitations. Also, we will analyze the Madrid and Spanish context, touching our critiques upon the currently existing paternalistic and state-centric frameworks.


SESSION 2. Self-government, common goods, private institutions: basic ideas to organize discussion.

Tuesday 29th of May. 18h-21h

Not all institutions are state-funded. Not all institutions belong to the private sector. Since before the dominant historic capitalism in Europe and throughout the world, commons were central institutions for production and reproduction in life. Today the idea of commons reappears linked to the struggles and resistance against the total colonization of the planet by the logic of merchandise.  But now it not only has to do with reconstructing institutions linked to agriculture, livestock, and the management of finite natural resources, but also with inventing common institutions for the “second nature:” the city common, as a second nature for production and reproduction of life; the common of products of collective intelligence, and also of the media of collective intelligence production (Internet, network infrastructures, bulk data and algorithms, etc.) A social center in the midst of the city is configured as a common institution in which all these dimensions intersect: the urban common against the destruction of the public sphere and communal living, that represent the dynamics of extraction of income on urban land, assessing value by our lives; the common of heterogeneous cooperative lives that are found in a social center, to produce, to fight, to invent ways of life. We still don’t know how these institutions can be reconstructed, nor do we know how they can be recognized by current legislation. This is why in this second session we will work with the basic ideas to organize discussion in terms of urban commons, that permit us to later address an adequate legal strategy and construct a copyleft political project for urban commons.


SESSION 3. Vocabulary, networking, and common challenges in Madrid Social Centers

Wednesday 30th of May. 18h-21h

Collective intelligence in Madrid, beyond value judgments, has put into practice and developed  an index for works of public action. The largest part of this area has its beginnings in processes of communal self-construction outside of the public administration management in different demographic growths and on different scales. This is where the permanent fight to win back rights comes from, principally expressed in the axis of complaints to the public administration. (Public education and health in the form of primary schools, high schools, health centers, hospitals; urban mobility in the form of subways, etc.) Always combined with the axis of direct action and mutual support (All types of strikes, construction in social centers, independent processes, the feminist movement, the ecologist movement). Nowadays in Madrid there is a great wealth of communal experiences and networks of affection, care, and thought of all stripes that interweave and relate these experiences. Among them, social centers continue to be the vortex for these networks in this field to meet, and at the same time they find obstacles in the full legitimization of their work and of the urban value that they mean as part of en eco-feminist vision of the city against the dominant and decadent neo-liberal model. That legitimization depends, probably, on many factors. In this session we will talk about networks of affection and mutual support that are found in and among social centers. In a vision of these spaces as a common area of the city, we will talk about the networks that are produced in social centers. In a vision of these spaces as political subjects, we will talk about networks between social centers. The premise put forth in this session is to review: 1) precedents and the current state of networks between/in social centers and urban commons in Madrid and; 2) experiences of consolidation-recognition-stable obtaining of spaces with the objective of outlining needs and wishes towards a statute of independence of common goods in Madrid.


SESSION 4. Autonomy: key points and methodology for the collective writing of our own rules.

Thursday 31st of May. 18h-21h

Beyond the bureaucratic norms of life proposed by state, regional, and municipal institutions, common spaces have given themselves codes of self-government, not necessarily in writing, that have appeared out of the ways of doing things and of shared experiences that are combined with self-reflexive choice. This session is formulated as a space for collective construction of other possible categories from which to imagine urban commons and to propose ideas, using past experiences, and also using the power of a new perspective of the common right. We will start from the construction of other models in the past, and of formulas that are functioning at the present time (such as the plan of civic use for the commons) to collectively formulate a document.