Durutti Free Skool For Poets: Summer 2011.
This summer, we participated in a short seminar that was more or less a meet and chat about Marxism, anarchism, and poetry. It was called the 95 cent skool. We put out the call and we reserved the space but that was about it. It was a week of collective talking and shared intellectual responsibility.
We spent a lot of the week talking about political economy, our suppositions and uncertainties, our feelings sympathetic and skeptical and passionate. But not much time talking about what we might do with these things. We did not become a terrorist cell or even an action group, despite the fears of so many bloggers. We were a giant group hug, but not yet a Durruti column.
This is a joke; and yet sort of not. We did not show up to declare a poetic program, but to think about social action from the perspective of poets. In the weeks after the 95 cent skool, we pursued pursuit: how to continue this conversation. We want to talk next about what actions “we,” whomever we are, might take in response to some of the things we noticed. And after doing a week of concentrated talk with a small group, we were thinking it might also make sense to talk with a larger group. Are you interested in talking toward action?
Here is our idea…
You start your own skool finishing up before the end of June. Call it whatever you want. Announce it wherever you want. Enroll whomever you want, as big or as small as you want. Read what you want. Just, for our purposes, make it somewhat related to Marxism and anarchism. (Feel free to also start schools unrelated to Marxism and anarchism; but for the Durutti Free Skool of Summer 2011 purposes do some thinking about Marxism and anarchism as poets.)
That said… two books we might suggest as curriculum:
Provo: Amsterdam’s Anarchist Revolt, by Richard Kempton
Dispersing Power: Social Movements as Anti-State Forces, by Raul Zibechi (tr. Raymor Ryan)
Both of these discuss specific moments of decentralized direct action, with extensive detailed information; this sort of detailed discussion was what we felt was missing at the week long 95 cent skool and we want to talk more about this sort of thing in the future. One is global South/social and one is global North/cultural. (We are thinking that there is much to learn from thinking about both of these at the same time.) And they are both fairly short and interesting to read.
Then, we want to invite you and everyone in your skool to meet up for a weekend in Berkeley, end of July or beginning of August. We haven’t planned this yet. Right now we think it might be nice to do some group-talk about what we all might do. And we want to have some drinks at the bar and we want to do some dancing after we have some drinks at the bar and feel as if the world is a little less alienating because there are poets to talk with about Marxism and anarchism.
If interested, and if you give in to facebook, then visit (and/or join) the Durutti Free Skool page and post your intentions for a free skool. If no facebook, then send an email to duruttifreeskool[at]gmail.com declaring your intentions and we will post it. The facebook page is publicly viewable.