We've had a few questions about what we intend with this year's Empathy as Resistance project, so we're writing this post in an attempt to clarify matters.
Empathy as Resistance will meet 4 or 5 times, roughly every two months, throughout 2017. One meeting will definitely occur during the 2017 Pixelache Festival in September, and because of the general festival atmosphere this meeting will likely be larger and more visible than the others. So the schedule might be something like:
- March meeting
- May meeting
- July meeting (or maybe not, cause, summer)
- September meeting [Pixelche Festival]
- November meeting
Your proposal is to take charge one of these meetings, as a facilitator, teacher, or whatever you want to call yourself (but please don't use 'guru'). You will design the entire structure of that meeting and execute your proposal. Pixelache will handle facilities such as finding a venue to meet in, local promotion and advertising, etc. Each meeting could be a half-day, full-day or even longer, but keep in mind that longer time committments usually leads to fewer participants.
If you are only interested in participating in the group, then you don't need to apply! All sessions will be open to everyone for participation.
Pixelache has always focused on collective culture building, knowledge sharing, and culture production. We will continue this throughout EaR as a core group will hopefully coalesce around these meetings and the different topics will converge into some definitive outcomes (a publication, pilot programme, or project to be developed further).
As stated in the open call, Empathy as Resistance explores how empathy can be employed for constructive and direct political and social action. We are seeking projects that will directly engage in the active world. We are not seeking projects that are about empathy on a personal, intimate or artistic level without a tangible outcome.
We are not quixotic enough to imagine that in one or two days we will establish social work programmes, new tax schemes, or community centres, but nonetheless, that's the direction we are seeking. We are very interested in learning from examples (whether successes or failures), and understanding the motivations, processes and impact that these examples had. We expect the first session (or two) to be likely focused on learning, sharing and brainstorming rather than implementing a specific project, but anything is possible.
It is essential that the activities in EaR address real-life needs, problems and crises. We even prefer less-than-complete projects (works in progress) if they aim towards an immediate impact, as opposed to theroretical exercises and artistic explorations.
Some projects which we find inspiring, that may or may not be 'empathy as reisistance' already in action: A grassroots refugee centre in Athens ; the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee; Parking Day; Conflict Kitchen; Angel Hair
You, us, money, etc.
It doesn't matter if you are an individual or a group, just put someone's name down who can be a contact person.
EaR takes place in Helsinki and thus by definition it will focus on the situations affecting Helsinki/Finland today. This does not mean that we exclude those who do not live in Helsinki, but we hope that this group is just a starting point for something larger, so we will lean in the direction of proposals that can be applied to our local environment.
We still unfortunately cannot provide you with information about how much money we have for EaR. Please do not let this interfere with your willingness to share ideas!
The application form can be found here. Thank you for your interest!