Thinking Radically as a Species

23 to 30 Oct 2021

Diversity, power and participation in migrant solidarity work

In the field of social and migrant solidarity work we find ourselves working within deep and diverse social constructions such as gender, race, class, culture, sexual orientation, legal statuses. These are constructions that we collectively create and give shape to our understandings and our actions. Our work in the social realm focuses on attending basic needs, offering tools for empowerment and spaces for political and social participation in the countries or social context people find themselves in.

Sometimes despite our intentions we recreate old power dynamics, unequal forms of participation, conflict and the bitter taste of repeating the same old relationships over again.

This course proposes to start a few steps back looking to the forming of these social constructions. The course guides us into learning to pay attention, identify, and reflect upon the building of social constructions, to then reflect and imagine the creation of renewed forms of understanding each other.  Changing the relations among others, could influence the constructions of “you” and “I”. In the words of Patricia Shaw “I cannot go on being the same ‘me’ without continuing to relate to ‘you’ in a certain way, and if that way shifts we are both a little different” (Shaw, 2002).

This course is for people working in social and migrant solidarity work. For people from countries of origin of migration and receiving countries, people migrating, and asylum seekers. People campaigning and/or working in policy change. This training is hosted as part of the Ulex South Project

Key elements:

Understanding power and privilege, our own and that of others. Co-evolving dynamics of colonialism, awareness of the constructions of “views of the world” and cultural relativism.


This course is a construction site! A place for exploration and practice. A space to share, question, destroy, prototype, discuss together and get to the heart of the issues, conflicts of power relations and our wounded past, to overcome and propose renewed ways of relating and working.

It is a course with an open quality, an explorative, creative space. We will invite people from La Bolina to lead sessions sharing their views and challenges in arriving and forming a life in receiving countries. We will explore the new labels that create the identities they find themselves in such as migrants, undocumented, refugees… and the identities formed in relation: community worker, migrant solidarity activist, social worker.

Methodologies: Some of the things we will do and explore:

  • Open migrant led sessions.
  • Construction of migrant identity and Intersectionality
  • Cultural relativism, using forum theatre and other forms of performance and art.
  • The origins of the creation of us and them.
  • Learning to question the source of our responses and actions. The ladder of inference.
  • Decolonising and the process of healing past relationships.
  • Power types and power work. Power analysis.
  • Privilege: the form and reconfiguration of privilege
  • From integration to co-creating a diverse culture and share identities

This training is hosted as part of the Ulex South Project


Suggested Contribution
In the solidarity economy: €400/€600/€1100
(see the details of our approach to Solidarity Economics for details)

The Team

Our Name

Ulex: Latin (argelaga Catalan, gorse English) noun:

1. A thorny-evergreen flowering shrub, with a high capacity for regeneration and resilience. Its seedpods open in contact with fire and it reshoots from charred stumps. A successionary plant that grows well under challenging conditions. It improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixing, preparing the way for renewed biodiversity.

2. A traditional choice for igniting fires. Burns hot and bright.

3. A networked project adding nutrition and fertility to European social movements through training and capacity building. It kindles the realisation of social justice, ecological intelligence, and cognitive vitality.