GTA's Core meeting - Oct 6th 2021

GTA's Core meeting - Oct 6th 2021

  • Note taker: Alex
  • Facilitator: Franco
  • Participants: Amy, Alex, Ashish, Gustavo, Shrishtee, Xochitl, Lina, Patricia, Simon, Vera, Vasna, Upamanyu

1. Check-in and updates

Quick round of updates and defining roles for this meeting.

Welcome to Xocitl and Lina who have just joined the core group.

2. Endorsers update

  • Cara Judea Alhadeff, PhD. Program Director, Jews Of The Earth. www.carajudea.com carajudea@gmail.com
  • Cultural survival

Status of new endorsers, and decide on them. Nisha was to research some new possibilities, but no new info yet, so we will wait to take a decision.

Ashish will check back with Cultural Survival about endorsing.

Suggestions for endorsers

Ashish: one suggestion for endorsers: Global Environments Network, working in Morocco and US with indigenous peoples, young people. http://globalenvironments.org/

Suggestions for core team members

Ashish: suggestion for core group: From Rojava: Servin Nudem (may or may not have time, but worth asking). Ashish will follow up with her.

https://jineoloji.org/en/ (will also follow up with her about inviting Jineoloji as endorser)

Shrishtee: suggestion for core team: Angging Aban from Philippines. Shrishtee will contact her.

Gustavo will follow up with invitation to Marina Sitrin to join core group.

3. Main topic: GTA's next year plans and general reflection on the process

Plans for the future

Concept note with GTA's plans for 2022-2023 (prepared for FCF): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xgnKGFT2V\_z\_1H0ks98SJFtdzzLSY7IC\_kJuZf\_l6CI/edit#heading=h.ngg7qmomkelx

Janosh, Full Circle Foundation, invited us to present above proposal/concept note. Will send tomorrow (Thurs Oct 7), due Friday.

Franco: just a concept note, don't need so much detail, but pushes us to focus a bit on what actions to engage in during upcoming couple of years. We presented draft budget, summarizing what we are already doing, and adding elements of things we aspire to do: supporting other weavers, and expanding beyond VS and Crianza Mutua; organising gatherings of core team next year, and wider gathering event with endorsers and weavers. Comments welcome.

Ashish: FCF invited us to go up to $60,000, which would cover projected budget for next 2 years. Have added a few points highlighted, for people to consider:

  • first bullet point on 2nd page: initial note said post-capitalist; have suggested changing to post-development.
  • expanding the tapestry: added SE Asia, and north, west and/or southern Africa


    Ashish asked about any other European networks. Vasna points out we already have a number from Europe. Ashish feels the paragraph needs clarifying.

Franco: understands that we are saying we will actively seek out networks in regions that we are not already connected with. Ashish: Does this mean inviting them as endorsers, or weavers like VS and CM? Franco: both; hoping that some endorsers can eventually become weavers. Ashish: change to: “will be seeking more endorsers from these regions, some of whom may become more active weavers.

Space for dialogue: AK added point about welcoming constructive/critical feedback on GTA's work.

General reflections on GTA process

Shrishtee: background on why we're doing reflections: idea has been around for a few months. Just to see what we have been doing, are they syncing with intentions for which GTA was started? Also to look at internal function of the group, how are we making decisions, division/sharing of tasks/responsibilities. Pause a bit to reflect on all the many things we have been getting invovled in to assess how it all coheres. Please see the list of questions put together.

Vasna: to bring us into space of reflections without confusion: would be good to take a few rounds of hearing from everyone, what they have gained from being part of GTA, what GTA is contributing? Asks everyone to contribute.

Upmanyu: likes the way GTA weaves such diverse and wide variety of processes together. Being a process rather than org. helps facilitate this, building theoretical and practical bridges.

Shrishtee: personally gained a lot, fantastic relationships, such inspiring people in the group; becoming acquainted with so many diverse movements and stories; given a lot of hope and sense of purpose to know about and connect to the stories we've connected to around the world.

Amy: been on CT since 2019. Because of unique situation, have not been able to do as much as wished, but asked to join CT because believed that was the right thing - most important thing - to do at this stage of history, and this hasn't changed. Hope to be able to do more in future. Always told Gustavo, cannot do anything confrontational, but can do many creative things nevertheless.

Simon: also learning from GTA, so far see GTA as a hub of knowledge; talking about different knowledge systems; see a lot of potential from GTA to give alternatives to every part of the dominant system that is failing. We need also to dig deeper, go down to the roots, give examples across the globe documenting and sharing from communities of alternatives in practice. Have to find ways of investing in creative documentation. Newsletter good, but not enough. Need to work with artists to more creatively attract attention and share stories etc.

Gustavo: Extremely happy with what's happening in GTA, more than expected. Frustrated though with exactly what Simon suggested, going down to the ground level, community level. Intention at the beginning of GTA was for CT to be temporary, and for endorsers and weavers to take control of process, but this is not happening - would take 20 years at this pace! Need both to add more endorsers/weavers, and share more about inspiring concrete/earthy experiences at the grassroots. This will provide hope and motivation for the many people who feel hopeless and powerless. So: need more weaving at the grassroots, incl with people not connected to internet (some by choice). CM is working to precisely connect more intimately with such people and movements.

Ashish: From 2016-19 we took it quite slow, just to see if even as an idea it makes sense, replying to questions like, “WSF is already there, why this needed?” But this slow process was good for building a substantial base of endorsers. From 2019-now phase of rapid 'development' of GTA. Need to look at that latter period to see what has and has not worked well to plan for the future. Heartened by significant positive response from so many networks, processes, organisations from across the world. But this has also put significantly more expectations on us, hence the need for additional people who can take on coordination roles. Like how much mutual respect and good will there is among CT. On othe hand, dist of work within CT is not as equitable as it could/should be. Need to resolve in some way. Have a long way to go and need to do it patiently and slowly to avoid burnout, in order to accommodate cross-learnings across such diversity (linguistic, cultural, etc.). Totally agree with Simon and Gustavo that we must strengthen our ties to movements on the ground.

Franco: Mostly agree with what has been said so far re. connection to local processes, as well as with Ashish's point about slow deliberate process taking time, space and resources. GTA being able to redistribute resources by next year with weavers is a noteworthly contribution. Personal level: we have been able to create relations among ourselves and spread the tapestry even in the pandemic context which is admirable.

Vasna: Remembering we have been living through pandemic for 2 years, and seeing so much stress and despair in society, GTA has given hope and inspired to keep working despite the overwhelming state of the world. The sharing amongst core group and amongst participants in sessions we have organized has been a really valuable contribution. How to make our CG more sustainable whilst expanding and getting endorsers and weavers more engaged is a challenge I am looking forward to.

Patricia: GTA been a very nice experience, learning about so many common processes and struggles from which to learn together. We need to start working with other languages than dominant colonial languages. I wish we could bring people from non-colonial language groups, and create another atmosphere for speaking and listening, and other ways of interaction. Within Crianza Mutua, trying to weave from below - not to empower the already-empowered. Would like to focus on the weaving of weavings with radical affection. Weaving a matrix of connection in everyday life, based on informality, affection. In our ancestral weaving processes in CM we are rooted, and not subscribing to formal or academic style meetings, givng space and importance to feelings.

Alex: been very valuable to be part; resonate a lot with Vasna's points about feeling occasionally doubtful about own role and value to the group, and sometimes thinking other voices from N America might be worth approaching to join CG, esp someone from a more rooted/grounded process/movement. Agree with Patricia about language diversity, but the practical difficulty of common conversation and comprehension is there.

Xochitl: hope and mutual respect sounds easy, but we must remember the violence so many communites are experiencing. We have learned how to speak about local expieriences in our webinars, e.g. the Myanmar one gave such a fresh, unique and inspring alternative to what comes in the media. Listening to the grassroots movements, local experiences, bring to the GTA understanding of how to be part of these experiences. We need to connect what grassroots movements/communities need and what GTA can help provide (much beyond only money). We are making a video from the Zapatistas in Tzeltal, that we will translate and share, and seek response from GTA. Counter hegemony from the bottom. Maybe could be a way to connect from the bottom to the GTA.

Lina: Didn't know that GTA gives funds to weavers; this is v. important material support. Agree about problem of communication, not only about languages, but way in which we communicate - if writing, videos, music, images etc., important to explore other ways of communicating but not abandon other ways like the newsletter or webinars. How to do this is the question. Has to be done from below, also transform the academy from below. Change the way publications are made to move away from text-centrism.

Shrishtee: Will come up with specific questions for future meetings to continue this sort of reflection and sharing in a quite directed/focused way.

4. Funding updates

FCF

  • FCF Proposal already discussed before.
  • First deadline: 8th October
  • Expansion of core team and facilitation team
  • Support for contents creation and software development
  • Support for current and seeding new weavers
  • Phisical gatherings (2 meetings)

AHRC

  • Art and Humanities research Council (AHRC)UK. Ana Cecilia with Franco, Vasna and Shristee + otehr colleagues). From Planet Crisis to Planet Hope. Almost ready to submit. Very complicated process. Will attach some documents for you to read
  • To be submitted in the next weeks

5. Other updates

  • Proposal from Hali Healy (Anthropology \& Development Studies at the University of Johanessburg, but now based in UK) to advance in regional mapping of alternatives in South Africa, a potential new weaver?
    • Franco: having an ongoing conversation with her; can connect with others on CG, as well as with other movements, networks etc. in S. Africa
  • COP26 Participation update:
    • We will organise a session at the People's Summit on Radical Alternatives. Vasna will send more details.
  • Adelante update:
    • Vasna: Dialogue of global processes (GTA, GGND, PI, WGBD, GtoG…) Meeting tomorrow (Thurs Oct 7), focused on supporting each other on various actions: radical alternatives in/to COP26; BRICS People's Summit, WSF Stockholm +20 Forum. Also creating a dialogue space working for each other and learning from each other about our processes. More about this in https://adelante.global

6. Next meeting

Next internal seminar session #8, will be Wed 20/10 → 3 pm UTC

Next core meeting: November 6th Friday at 3 pm UTC