Squatting Europe Kollective, Conference 2018

SqEK (Squatting Europe Kollective) 2018, Catania – CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

The SqEK meeting will take place in Catania (Sicily) from 13th June to 17th June 2018. The main purpose of the coming SqEK meeting is to share experiences and studies in fields that are of interest for both sqekkers and activists. Sharing knowledge and experiences may, on the one hand, help activists in improving their instruments to deal with specific political issues and, on the other hand, may also help sqekkers to know better the context of radical squatting in Catania in particular, and to improve the way in which local activists contexts should be addressed, more in general.Therefore, the contents here proposed are the outcome of the discussion between Sqek and activists.

The contents of the meeting are divided into seven different groups.

  1. Repression to radical activism

We welcome contributions about repression of radical activism in diverse contexts. In particular, we are interested in two main aspects. One is police repression during public events (for instance sit-in, demos, strikes, etc.) and police control on radical activists out of public events (for instance, the use of detention, precautionary measures, the use of technology). The other is about the strategies and the ways activists react to police repression.

  1. Far-right politics and groups

We also welcome contributions on far-right parties and/or groups (for instance, occupied spaces, cultural groups, skinheads groups). In particular, we are interested in understanding how they take roots in a given neighbourhood, city or territory, their practices and forms of action, and transnational networks between different groups. Moreover, we are also interested in actions and practices used by antifascist groups, activists and networks to halt the advance of far-right groups.

  1. Migrants and their political articulation

We would like to explore, first of all, the relationship between migrants and radical urban activists and groups. Second, we are also interested in the process of awareness at the base of migrants’ collective actions and the role that such collective awareness has in the mobilization and empowerment process. Finally, we would also be interested in those cases in which migrants become activists and start mobilizing on a wider range of issues.

  1. Squatting, social centres and the youth-students

Regarding the experiences of squats and occupied social centres that are mainly focused on youth and students’ issues, we are interested in understanding their principal characteristics, the location of these experiences both inside and outside the universities, and to what extent they are efficient in recruiting new young activists.

  1. Approach and engagement of squatted social centres with diverse neighbourhoods

How and with what approach squats and occupied social centres made an intentional and strategic choice to focus their political actions not exclusively but mainly in the neighbourhood where they are located? We are mainly interested in the way such experiences take root in the neighbourhood, which strategies, activities and actions are used, etc.

  1. Territorial struggles in which squatters are involved

Furthermore, the role that occupied social centres play in territorial movements is quite significant for us. In particular, we are interested in which kind of contributions the social centres give and receive by belonging to a territorial movement (e.g. protests against infrastructures and mega-projects beyond the urban scale, like No Tav, No Muos, ZAD, etc.). Finally, it would be worth exploring the opportunities that territorial struggles represent for social centres and the different interpretations about its significance.

  1. Developments of the research project on squatting, self-management and urban commons (comparison of “success” and “failure” cases)

If the contributors to the research project on squatting and urban commons are prepared to update their work in progress, either theoretical or empirical, we can dedicate some time to it. At least, a brief presentation of how is the project going on and the publication prospects will be held.

  1. Open session for contributions on other issues

As we expect a meeting in which activists from different European (but not only, of course) cities and contexts, are active in different types of struggles, and researchers are interested in this topic, contributions of any kind are welcomed: not only academic papers, but also posters, pictures, slides, workshops, talks without paper and any other forms of public presentation and discussion. Moreover, both “success” and “failure” empirical cases are welcomed for each issue here proposed. Finally, as we expect to have an “open group discussion”, if you have any material that is in line with the aims and the general framework of the meeting, please submit in time so we can schedule it.

We kindly ask you to send the abstracts/brief description of your presentation by the 15th March to infosqekmeetingcatania2018@gmail.com . Afterwards, we will reply to all the submissions and expect you confirm your participation in the meeting by the 1st April the latest.

There is no fee to pay in order to participate. More info about accommodation options and the final programme will be given as soon as possible.

Donations to support the attendance of those without resources for travelling to Catania will be also further advertised.

Please, fill in the following form and attach your abstract/proposal in your reply to us:


Title of the proposal/contribution:

Do you need any specific means, space, etc. for your presentation?

Arrival date in Catania:

Departure date from Catania:

Preference for accommodation (activists’ houses, social centres, hostels, on your own, etc.):

Do you need financial support to travel? (If so, please, let us know how much and a brief justification of why you apply for it.)

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