Eco-Anarchies, Issue #1: A call for papers

We are presently seeking submissions for a new project that aims to explore the ineluctable connections between ecology and anarchy. Since Green Anarchy ceased publication in 2008 there has been no significant forum that has taken up its broad range of ideas. Yes, anarchists across the world can presently debate radical environmentalism over the Internet; in fact, this medium presents us with an information glut. However, we are highly suspicious of the quality of dialogue this can generate, for reasons that are perhaps obvious: the lack of face-to-face interactions (which we have seen perpetuate abusive, derogatory commentary and flame wars that would not be tolerated in physical space) and the growing sophistication of technological surveillance of particular individuals and marginalized social perspectives generally. As we desire to have the widest readership possible and plan to make this publication freely available via and on a future web site, we do not extricate ourselves from this latter concern. However, we would like to take some initiative on the former: This project will facilitate a focused and qualitative engagement with the twin themes of anarchy and ecology, soliciting contributions across a variety of written and visual mediums. We want this to ‘zine to manifest in physical form whenever possible — showing up anywhere from the bellies of global cities to the most ancient of forests, discussed amongst friends and lovers, and shared freely with others. We want this project to salve wounds of the heart and inspire a rebellion of bodies.

We admittedly have ambitious goals and dreams, but we will start modestly, and gauge future issues of our project based on the quality of submissions and our own available time and resources.

Theme for first issue: Toward an Anarchist Conversation Culture…

While on the whole Green Anarchy was an incredibly important publication during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and remains a central inspiration to this project, it our position that later issues became impractically ideological while claiming to avoid ossification; mean spirited in the name of openness and uncharitable toward others in the name of “critical thinking.” Unfortunately, the public dialogue that has transpired in the wake of the publication’s demise has not been particularly inspiring, largely focusing on the cult of anti-civ celebrity, stale debates about whether or not calling the cops or voting “is anarchist,” what drama occurred at this or that anarchist bookfair, etc. These and other subcultural squabbles have eclipsed local conversations, communities, events, actions, workshops and other anarchist flourishings that have continued unabated largely outside the purview of representational media.

For all these reasons, we think it’s time for a reboot. The first issue of our publication seeks to articulate some dimensions of what we call an “anarchist conversation culture.” What are boundary conditions — physical, geographical, spiritual, interpersonal, or otherwise — that help define this term, and what import do these conditions hold for anarchist praxis? How do notions of space (physical or nonphysical) inform our understandings of conversation and personal accountability? What are some of the tensions that emerge from being in critical dialogue with one another, both near and far? How do the particularities of community inform broader, trans-geographical conversations? Similarly, how does an ecological standpoint uniquely inform our notions of dialogue/conversation and community? How do relationships between human and the more-than-human world inform our notion of “conversation culture?” Finally, what — or are there — meaningful distinctions between personal and political dispositions in conversation? How have our cultural affiliation with anarchist politics or adoption of an “anarchist identity” hampered or promoted conversation culture? Are there meaningful and important distinctions between implicit and explicit forms of anarchist politics, and if so, what are some specific examples? When is “divisiveness” informative/instructive of important differences, and when does it become mired in dysfunction? How are “critical thinking” and divisiveness related/unrelated dispositions? What resembles a strong anarchist/anti-authoritarian standpoint upon of critical thinking? How do sympathy, empathy, compassion, and forgiveness inform our considerations of anarchist conversations?

These are purposely open-ended questions and we seek contributions that construe to construe their themes broadly across a wide range of mediums — artwork, theory, fiction, narrative, poetry, etc. We also encourage submissions that are multi-lingual. Please email all content submissions, questions, and comments to Deadline for submissions is August 1st, 2011 with an intended Autumn 2011 publication date.

Our editorial collective…

Is multi-gendered, -ethnic, -abled, and geographically dispersed. Some of us are involved in the production of intellectual knowledge/the academy; some of us live in forests. Some of us are farmers whereas others reside in cities.

We are heresiarchs who have no hope of triumph;

We are dilettantes and wanderers, longing for a sense of purpose and home. We read theory alongside fantasy, and dream of atavistic return. We are not a subculture, though we mingle with them sometimes. We may listen to banjos, blast beats, or coffee-shop crooning.

We survive on food we grow and food stamps, wildcrafted plant allies and unemployment checks, and the love we share with each other.

We are not pure: Sometimes we work shitty jobs, we don’t always recycle. None of us owns a Prius and sometimes we pay rent.  

We are lovers of life and each other, and our intention is to increase the resiliency of the communities we build and the relationships we share. Our goal is to survive, and save the seeds of resistance for the generations yet to come.