A Collective for Better Collectives

We’re interested in peoples’ experiences working, living or being in collectives, and we want to open spaces where groups of us can share our learning as a kind of mutual aid.
  • scissors
    February 17th, 2012

    Quite a few months ago, ACBC ran a “Collectives & Informal Hierarchies” workshop. I took photos of some of the notes/thoughts people wrote on our flipchart paper on the wall, and in the spirit of “better late than never”, have finally shared the photos below. (Click for bigger versions.) A lot of interesting stuff to think about!

    – Juliet

  • scissors
    February 14th, 2011

    I didn’t mean it personally.

    You don’t say.

    You didn’t mean it personally?
    Well then, exactly how did you mean it?

    Impersonal
    as a sudden knife against a throat?
    Mind you, I am speaking of any throat: black, white, brown,
    young, old, female, male.
    A personal throat.

    Impersonal as
    the food
    you have to eat / you must not eat,
    it’s just TVm
    they’re not talking to you you know.
    You always take verything
    so personally.

    Impersonal as pain
    eating another’s belly
    another’s immune system
    another’s child?

    Impersonal as chemicals
    made so much more pesronal
    when the right colour,
    a familiar surname is involved.

    Impersonal as an unfamiliar shape
    on a computerised map
    hard to pronounce
    impossible to see
    or touch.
    Impersonal as their war
    until our boys
    are threatened, missing, kidnapped, murdered.

    Might you be talking about the personal monogram,
    careful initials machine-stitched just for you
    on the home-ec hankie, the polo shirt, or satin travel case
    in which you can go anywhere
    with that very personal diamond?

    Can you guess where the stone
    cut from South African rock
    by South African shoulders, South African lungs,
    stopped being hometown earth, became
    your personal status symbol, beneath that monogram
    or on your personal wrist?

    And what about the wrist, personal when slapped, when held,
    when touched:
    when, by whom, under what concrete conditions?
    What about your belly, your womb, your choice
    personal or otherwise?
    What about your space, sex, trust, language,
    meaning of those rules?

    You should be ashamed!
    Oh, I didn’t mean …
    If you really loved him ….
    But I only meant …
    It’s not a matter of black and white …
    I meant …
    They’re just workers!
    I didn’t mean …
    They’re just, you know,
    it doesn’t hurt them as much
    to give up
    their children,
    their land,
    their lives …

    Well I meant … I mean, I didn’t mean …
    Well, you do know what I meant.
    Don’t you?

    I know.
    You didn’t mean it personally.

    I was afraid you did.