4. anarchists summercamp in switzerland 6.-17. august 2008:
Living without domination
Experiences with other camps and libertarian meetings have shown that it is important to create a place where people can come together on a regular base to unite anarchist theory and practice and to have a good time together. We know that a camp that is limited in time seems like a retreat on an island. But it is trough this that we create a space beyond the everyday life of society and make it possible to try to live our ideas from a domination-free life and try to develop them. The A-Camp gives us the possibility to think about how we want to live and to try things out. Away from the daily struggle against authorities, sexist and right wing molestations and other repulsivenesses which are normal in this society. But also the realisation and overcoming of these structures of domination in our own lives should be a subject.
Basic consensus is, that life without domination can not go along with sexist and racist sorts of behaviour. We do not tolerate any sexist, racist, and patriarchal behaviour. For people who don’t agree with this the camp is the wrong place. We are aware of the fact/we know that this can only be a relative freedom from domination, because we all carry the mechanism of domination of this society in ourselves. We count on everyone at the camp to actively intervene if they become aware of such behaviour from themselves or others. We should all try to make the life together as free from domination as possible. It has to be possible at all times to discuss the structures of domination and their consequences.
To organise a camp together does not mean being wrapt up in a "communitiysense of the scene". It is important to show contradictions and to bring in critic, so we can learn from each other and question our behaviour. And it’s okay to argue! At the same time the way how to deal with each other at an anarchist camp should be solidary and respectful, which includes the acceptance of different views and kinds of approaches.
Self-organised plurality 1: organisation
The preparatory group does only exist until the start of the camp, afterwards it’s up to all participants that it works, is fun and how far we can bring our utopias to life. We take over the preparation, look for a place, organise the advertising and try to organise the infrastructure, but without people who construct and deconstruct the camp, without the organisation of the kitchen and camp, people who organise food, cook, clean up, take over the caretaking for the children it’s not going to work. The camp starts this year on wednesday, for there being enough time to build up the camp. Towards the end of the camp there will be a discussion about the preparation and the way the camp was going on this year. In this discussion will be built also the new organisation group for the next camp.
We are aware of the hierarchy in knowledge that goes along with a preparatory group and we will try to spread the informations as transparent as possible so that in the camp other, common forms of organisation will come to the fore.
As we hope to meet many people of other languages at the A-Camp, we want to hold the plenary meetings, informations and discussions polyglot – we will need people who can translate.
Self-organised plurality part 2: workshops and culture
Besides the life together and the exchange during the camp, workshops will be a central aspect of the camp. Some of them are planned or already organised – the updated list can been found on our homepage: www.acamp.ch.vu – but the idea is that all participants of the camp will organise a workshop related to their wishes and interests. This can be announced trough the above mentioned page (just fill in the formular) or spontaneously at the camp.
So the range of workshops can be as colourful and diverse as the participants’ interests: ranging from building compost toilets to tree-climbing, making a newspaper or radio, playing streettheater, from discussions and presentations about anarchosyndicalism, antimilitarism, the basis of anarchy, work, life in a commune, about pedagogics/anti-pedagogics to anarchy of sexes/gender, meaning antisexism, intersexuality and critic of the small-family and of the romantic two-person relation.
But in the end that all depends on what you do and prepare, so please contact us with all the things you want to do. A plurality of the camp can only come to life if people who work with different themes theoretical and practical anyway prepare and offer a workshop on these subjects. There should also be a rich cultural programme. If you play music, cabaret or theater or want to fill the evening programme, please contact us. On the campside there’s also place for games and dancing, just bring along the material.
Connecting with others
To continue the resistance against domination and suppression all over the world and to connect it with the contents of the A-Camp we should try to connect the camp with concrete political problems/discussions/struggles. That’s why it would be good if people who are involved in these struggles could explain the newest developments and plans in these areas. Use your contacts to other libertarian camps, caravans, to people from other countries and anarchist organisations, to make the step to the A-camp a step towards more linking.