Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies

“Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies”
Wyspa Institute of Art (Ed.), English/Polish,
240 pp., 2007

Wyspa Institute of Art
Alternativa Editions
ul. Doki 1/145B
80-958 Gdansk, Poland
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In this very moment of widespread and publicly manifested disagreement on how the general framework of the organisation of our lives and economies is being executed, it is crucial to engage critically and practically with changing the reality with which we no longer comply. In the light of this awareness, Wyspa Institute of Art proposes a careful reading of the book that has collected views from different cultural perspectives, forms of organisations and geographies and submits some theoretical and locally tested and implemented alternative proposals.The English/Polish book “Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies” is a collaborative effort of theWyspa Insitute of Art and the artist Oliver Ressler, following the presentation in the “Health and Safety” exhibition at Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdansk 2004, and shows the current status of the ongoing project, which has been realised in 21 cities so far. The exhibition project “Alternative Economics, Alternative Societies” by Oliver Ressler focuses on diverse concepts and models for alternative economies and societies, which all share a rejection of the capitalist system of rule.

The book includes an introduction by Aneta Szylak, the new essay “Questions from an Artist Who Speaks (and Reads, Writes, Thinks, and Acts)” by Gregory Sholette, and the following 16 texts, which are based on transcriptions of video interviews that were carried out by Oliver Ressler for the project between 2003 and 2007:

Chaia Heller: Libertarian Municipalism
Takis Fotopoulos: Inclusive Democracy
Michael Albert: Participatory Economics
Heinz Dieterich: The Socialism of the 21st Century
Paul Cockshott: Towards a New Socialism
p.m.: bolo’bolo
Marge Piercy: Utopian Feminist Visions
Ralf Burnicki: Anarchist Consensual Democracy
Maria Mies: The Subsistence Perspective
Nancy Folbre: Caring Labour
Christoph Spehr: Free Cooperation
John Holloway: Change the World Without Taking Power
The Zapatista Good Government
Todor Kuljic: Yugoslavia’s Workers’ Self-Management
Salomé Moltó: Workers’ Collectives during the Spanish Revolution
Alain Dalotel: The Paris Commune 1871

The book will be followed by the upcoming Alternativa Anthologies “Labour and Leisure” and “Estrangement”, which expand the views of the critical investigation of work and organisation of time as well as functioning in conflicting vernacularities. The above books, published later this year under the label of Alternativa Editions, will be available from January 2012 onwards.

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