GTA's Newsletter #03 - February 2021

GTA's Newsletter #03 - February 2021


Dear readers,

It is our pleasure to share Global TapestryThe weaving of networks of Alternatives of AlternativesAre activities and initiatives, concepts, worldviews, or action proposals by collectives, groups, organizations, communities, or social movements challenging and replacing the dominant system that perpetuates inequality, exploitation, and unsustainabiity. In the GTA we focus primarily on what we call "radical or transformative alternatives", which we define as initiatives that are attempting to break with the dominant system and take paths towards direct and radical forms of political and economic democracy, localised self-reliance, social justice and equity, cultural and knowledge diversity, and ecological resilience. Their locus is neither the State nor the capitalist economy. They are advancing in the process of dismantling most forms of hierarchies, assuming the principles of sufficiency, autonomy, non-violence, justice and equality, solidarity, and the caring of life and the Earth. They do this in an integral way, not limited to a single aspect of life. Although such initiatives may have some kind of link with capitalist markets and the State, they prioritize their autonomy to avoid significant dependency on them and tend to reduce, as much as possible, any relationship with them.' third newsletter with you. The Global Tapestry of Alternatives or GTAGlobal Tapestry of Alternatives as a process or a dialogue began in 2014 and was officially launched in the year 2019.

The Global Tapestry of Alternatives seeks to build bridges between networks of Alternatives around the globe and promote the creation of new processes of confluence. You can know more about the project, in our introductory note.

This newsletter comes to you at times of immense uncertainties that pose very serious challenges and have social, economic, political, cultural and ecological implications for most of us. The attempt of this newsletter is to bring to you the news, perspectives, thoughts, ideas, reflections, and dialogues on alternatives to the current dominant regime. Importantly, what can do they offer us as pathways towards just, equitable and ecologically wise futures. It is a humble attempt to bring together the collective envisioning of these pluriversal alternatives by creating a space for sharing and dialoguing.

We intend to share this newsletter every two months to share perspectives, news on activities being seeded through GTA, as well as perspectives/news/thoughts/questions from tapestry weavers and endorsing organisations and networks. We do not see it as a newsletter that is simply a conglomeration of news/updates but rather as a process of knowing each-others' work, engaging with ideas, facilitating collaborations and initiating co-writing and co-learning processes. Yes, the objectives are ambitious and that is why we need your support, your contributions and engagement. We invite you to this sharing, reflecting, dialoguing, healing, and envisioning space.

This newsletter features updates from our weavers in India (Vikalp Sangam), Mexico (Crianza Mutua), and Colombia (Crianza Mutua), updates on GTA's activities, community responses in these times from our endorsing networks- Natural Justice,SANGAT-a feminist collective, Convivialist and a perspective piece from our core team member, Ana Cecilia Dinerstein.

News from GTA

Webinars updates

In our 13th Dialogue we were joined by Monkoxi leaders from the Indigenous territory of Lomerio, Bolivia,sharing their experiences dealing with COVID-19 and how the Monkoxi were able to control further spread of COVID by blocking access in and out of their territories, coordinating with partners the delivery of biomedical equipment, and (esp. important) reviving traditional medicine and community care values and relations.

Our 14th dialogue was co-organised with Global Working Group Beyond Development and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Brussels Office on the recent book on Cities of Dignity – Urban transformation around the world. The dialogue explored What conditions and strategies enable radical transformation in urban contexts? What kind of economic and political processes can sustain radical urban transformations?

For our 15th dialogue and the last one for the year 2020, we were joined by Lara Monticelli,and Suryamayi Clarence-Smith to discuss Capitalism, Its Crises and Its Alternatives: Understanding Real Utopias

We started year 2021, with an exciting 16th dialogue with our endorsing network WoMIN on African ecofeminist alternatives to development for a just and resilient post-extractivist future.

You can listen and watch to all our webinar recordings in this link.

Virtual World Social Forum 2021

GTA actively participated at the Virtual World Social Forum 2021. Initiated, co-organised and presented in dialogues on crucial themes like Power and Democracy, Parliament of World Citizenship, Global Dialogue on Solidarity and Mutual Aid, Climate & Ecology and Environment Space, Rural environmental struggles for system change, and Zapatista visions, voices and practices. All the sessions recordings and details are available online in our website.

GTA's core team member Ashish Kothari was part of the opening panel along with Yanis Varoufakis, Lula da Silva, Leila Khaled, Aminata Traore, and Miriam Mirand.

GTA helped initiate dialogue among eight global processes on 'How do we resist fascism and promote radical democracy'?. The seven global processes include:

News from the Weavers

Vikalp Sangam updates

In the month of December, the national core group of the VikalpSangam process (which includes 67 organisations and networks from all over India) met virtually to reflect on the year long activities of VSVikalp Sangam (India), how communities and networks are responding to crises, the proposals of holding gatherings of alternatives on various themes like health, disability, and data/privacy. The meeting was focused on reflecting on the VS process, its activities and its relevance in these exceptional times.

A third youth alternatives confluence was organised online with about 30 to 35 youth and a few facilitators and speakers from across the country (all of whom may not fit into the classic definition of ‘youth’!).The confluence attempted to share hope, learn, dialogue, discuss and more; build friendships that we carry into the future.

The three thematic sessions during the sangam were: Visioning Alternatives: Exploring what would make for an Alternative world - Sustainable Livelihoods and Resilience - Sustaining Movements and Building Synergies

Crianza Mutua updates

During the month of November, the people who are part of Crianza Mutua México continue with our periodic meetings through the Zoom platform. These meetings, even remotely, help us to follow up on our fabric, be aware of the activities we are doing and share the challenges that each one experiences in our territories. In addition, they allow us to exchange the knowledge, experiences and strategies that we are generating in the midst of the pandemic to channel our activities, in such a way that these spaces provide tools and knowledge that emerge in our daily lives and allow us to continue resisting.

On the other hand, we are organizing ourselves to attend the Crianza Mutua meeting between collectives from Mexico and Colombia (more below). In addition to getting to know each other, we will have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experiences in small groups and agree on our forms of interaction from now on. We are convinced that these exchanges are essential to strengthen the tapestry of alternatives in the social base, which advance in the autonomous construction of their own ways of life while conventional institutions continue to fall apart around them.

In Colombia and Mexico, Crianza Mutua has been formed during a process for a couple of years. The initiative took the name of Crianza Mutua, inspired by the practices and philosophies of the peoples of Lake Titicaca and Valle del Cauca; in the relationships between peoples and the beings that inhabit the earth, because that is the main intention - to raise each other back to the communal connection with the earth. But we also want to knit together to offer each other solidarity. And the idea has arisen that we should also have some visibility, so that the millions of disaffected can be inspired by our practices to take similar initiatives.

In Colombia, from the Tejidos between peoples, communities and processes in Colombia –Tejido de Colectivos-UniTierra Caldas and southwestern Colombia, Tejinando sentipensares, pluriversidades de a pie, Tejido de transicionales, Campaña Hacia Otro Pazífico Posible– came the idea of ​​getting in touch to learn from each other. In Mexico, we also started various collectives, groups, communities. In both Mexico and Colombia we have linked the fabrics, although we have been meeting, each in their own way.

Motivated by the advancement of these twinned processes, on December 19, 2020 we carried out the first international dialogue of “Crianzas Mutuas”. We are summoned by topics such as: Food and eating; Knowledge and learning; Healing; Audio-visual autonomies; Writings and editorials; Intergenerational weavings and Defense of life and territory

News from the endorsing organisations

African solidarity with community defenders

By Natural Justice

On the 22 October 2020 we heard the shocking news of another assassination of a community defender. 63-year-old community activist, Fikile Ntshangase, was gunned down in her home in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Defender of her land and heritage, Mam Ntshangase stood in opposition to the expansion of the Tendele Mine and she paid for this opposition with her life. This is a great tragedy. Mam Ntshangase’s death is another example of the stakes at play in the struggle that thousands of people across Africa are facing as they seek to protect their land and resources from exploitation.

Keep reading ->

Raising Gardens of Hope and Love towards Feminist Solidarities

by Sangat: A Feminist Network

We find ourselves today caught in the currents of tumultuous time. All around us we can see the consequence of letting years of plundering Nature, systemic oppression and exploitation continue unchecked. The Covid19 pandemic has revealed and deepened the existing social and economic fault lines of our society. It is a subtle reminder from Mother Nature of the importance of living in harmony with Nature. It is a hint that this race for power and control is futile. The pandemic is an exposé of the myth that humans are the supreme race.

Keep reading ->

Convivialist wishes for 2021

By Convivilist Network

What can convivists convivialists wish for and wish for themselves for 2021? The same things as the largest number of people on this earth:

Keep reading ->

Perspectives from GTA core team

The power of the alternative

By Ana Cecilia Dinerstein

Twenty-five years ago, late Subcommander Insurgent Marcos from the EZLN, described globalisation as a 'war against humanity'. His “Seven Loose Pieces of the Global Jigsaw Puzzle” (1997) pictured several dimensions of this war including the omnipresence and omnipotence of money. Today the war against humanity has reached a point of no return. Crises are inherent to the fabric of capitalism. Through crises, capital renews itself to continue self-expanding. The problem that we face is not the 1% of greedy capitalists standing against the 99% of the world. Rather, this ill-conceived idea of the Occupy Wall Street movement prevents us from understanding that the problem we have to confront is that capitalism is an (im)possible project, i.e. a system tis alive but has colonised human and non-human to the point of self-destruction.

Keep reading ->