How can we build a community that circludes?

a community that cares

that serves

that hosts

and disseminates

at the same time

 

How can we shape our carrier bag?

And our care bag?

 

How not to penetrate but to circlude the practices of others?

(on language and care)

(on care and violence)

(on the concept of circlusion again)

These lines, written and read out loud by artist Katinka de Jonge for a collective ‘meditation’ exercise, were the starting point of the meeting where the 2nd Phase ofCatalizadora3 CIRCLUSION has been developed.

In this 2nd Phase of ‘CIRCLUSION’, the practices of meeting, hosting, agreement, coexistence and (re)distribution have been essential in order to collectively question what does it means to practice care in cultural organisations and artistic practices from the standpoint of the circlusion.

Starting from the 12 ways of approaching, understanding and using care in practices, collectives or cultural organisations that resulted from Phase 1: (Un)SCREWING CARE SEMINAR, the six collectives participating in ‘Catalizadora‘ CIRCLUSION were invited by Te( n ) cuidado to a face-to-face and partially virtual meeting on 5, 6 and 7 July 2021 at Can Serrat centre for artists’ residencies and cultural production (El Bruc, Catalonia).

The goal of this session was to co-create and consolidate a series of common tools with which to implement care in cultural organisations and/or artistic practices. Tools to be firstly put into practice within each of the socio-political contexts of the invited groups, then to be shared with other organisations, collectives and institutions in a number of different fields.

In order to generate and define these tools, Larre collective – promoter of the project Te( n ) cuidado – worked together with systemic facilitator Juliana Simoes and Belgian artist Katinka de Jonge. This collaboration allowed for dynamics and moments of exchange, co-creation and calm to be devised, conforming the CIRCLUSION Meeting, developed both face-to-face and partially online.

How can we collectively define a tool?

What is its use?

What is its goal?

What has worked?

What has not worked?

These were pivotal initial questions to be able to collectively define a series of portable, replicable and malleable tools in relation to care, based on experiences and visions shared by the individuals representing the invited collectives.

By means of an intense and intimate process of exchange, filtering, negotiation and collective re-articulation through the dynamics suggested, and with the support and facilitation of Juliana in this session, six tools were defined that are currently being used by the participating collectives. In turn, these tools are re-defined based on right or wrong outcomes in their implementation:

 

1. JAM SESSION

> Category: Value(s) system(s)

> Description: Use of different value systems in the organisation of a collective or a cultural practice. For instance, articulation of systems of exchange beyond capitalist value system based on exchange of capital.

 

2. RE-ROOTING

> Category: Wellness and balance

> Description: Building community based on the relationship with our ancestors, with ‘my’ self, the earth and the environment, and with other beings. Creating an encouraging environment to open possibilities – to choose a path or to develop full potential –, satisfying basic needs and priorities.

 

3. THE CARRIERS

> Category: Observation

> Description: Operating with non-anthropocentric perspectives and relations. First observing, then acting. Every seed contains information and strategies of its journey.

 

4. FUCK FEAR

> Category: Crash, Boom, Bang

> Description: Connecting through error, mistake, failure. Letting unsafe constructions navigate us. Being vulnerable. Working on the unknown. Possibility for generating dialogue about plural forms of exclusion. Rejecting binarism. 

 

5. ASSERTIVE PRESENCE

> Category: Listening

> Description: Taking the time to listen to the stories of ‘others’. Listening without trying to fix things on behalf of or for ‘others’. Just listening! Even if we don’t understand what we hear… it’s simply about being there. Listening, transparency, intangible, radical, reciprocity, conscience, empathy, privilege, power relations.

 

6. CHECK-IN / CHECK-OUT

> Category: Maintenance

> Description: Making a round of consultations at the beginning and at the end of each meeting, assembly or gathering to get to know the status of all participants. Distribution of work or money by checking the practical/essential survival needs of members and participants. An individual need becomes a collective one. Fostering coexistence and redistribution.

We also add, as reference and inspiration for the creation of tools, the essay written by Ursula K. Le Guin in 1986, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, where the author challenges the notion of the first human tool having been the spear, the sword or the stick. She suggests that the first tool was actually the recipient, the basket of wild oats, the medicine bundle, the net woven with our own hair. Thus, Le Guin interrogates phallic linear logic, questions the Western understanding of time and history and allows for the idea of

‘a vast stack of things that become tools, collected in a sling, a gourd shell, a leaf, a bag, home or shrine… A stack of things that can become tools and that during this session we have imagined as places that circlude and can be circluded.’

‘[…] my carrier bag […] full of beginnings without ends, of initiations, of losses, of transformations and translations, and far more tricks than conflicts, far fewer triumphs than snares and delusions […]’

Ursula K. Le Guin, 1986.

Collection, constellation, carrier bag…

What tools do we want to collect and carry in our bag or sack?

What conditions do we need so that this constellation can be maintained?

As closure for Phase 2: CIRCLUSION Meeting, each representative of the invited collectives chose one, two, three or as many tools as they wanted to use, creating their own ‘carrier bag’ and taking it with them together with the chosen tools. The mission was to implement them within the structure, dynamics and practices of their collective, and in their socio-political context and closest community.

Penetration is considered a form of domination.

CIRCLUSION a form of care.

In October 2021, in the 3rd Phase of ‘Catalizadora‘ 3: ‘CIRCLUDING Circlusion’, the collectives involved will meet again in order to share experiences on the implementation of tools.

The following have been part of the CIRCLUSION Meeting: KAK, Volksroom, Post Collective, Katinka de Jonge, Conciencia Afro, Plata and Larre.

Learn more about the collectives in the section Partners.