Thinking Radically as a Species

24 Sept to 1 Oct 2022

Diversity, power and participation in migrant solidarity work

How do we bring more equity into our movements to acknowledge our vastly different starting points? How do we decolonize our thinking, actions and organising? How do we create spaces in political and social participation to ask ‘whose reality counts?’ 

In the field of racial justice and migrant solidarity work we find ourselves working within deep, historic and intersecting social constructions such as race, gender, class, culture, sexual orientation, legal statuses. Systems of oppression, particularly in this course we focus on colonial and racial oppression, are underpinned by conscious and unconscious perception of ‘other’ dependent on these collectively created social constructions. 

In grassroots migrant solidarity work, we aim to co-create intercultural spaces and go beyond the ‘us and them’ of traditional NGO and state response, but despite our intentions we sometimes 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 who have migrated, for people who have connections to migration in their own history and for people working in social justice and migrant solidarity work. 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. We will explore the co-evolving dynamics of colonialism/decolonialism. Increase our awareness of the constructions of “views of the world” and cultural relativism. Learn theory and practical tools from the field of race and restorative justice. 

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 conflicts of power relations in 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:

  • Migrant led sessions
  • Restorative Justice in Racial Justice and social movements
  • 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
  • Embodiment, race and awareness practice 

This training is hosted as part of the Ulex South Project


Contribución sugerida
En la economía solidaria: €400/€600/€1100
(ver los detalles de nuestro enfoque hacia Economía solidaria)

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.