An Other World is Possible? On Representation, Rationalism and Romanticism in Social Forums
pp. 370-392, in ephemera: theory and politics in organization 5(2), Special Issue on The Organization and Politics of Social Forums. online here
In this paper I engage with the question of what place the Other and ‘otherness’ have in the so-called ‘open space’ of Social Forums? In doing so, I attempt to coax into the open some of the multiple experiences of being and becoming human that are excluded within and by the construction of these spaces, and by the discourses – the powerful knowledge-frames and their epistemologies – which to a large extent they uphold. My hope is to open up the key terms of my title, namely representation, rationalism and romanticism, via a consideration of the cross-cutting domains of subjectivity, ontology and experience in contemporary resistance politics. I write as simultaneously part of, and co-opted by, the distributed society of control of Empire; and as othered by the assumptions of what it means to be human on which it seems based. My intention is to explore the possibilities for presence of such othernesses in Social Forums, and therefore of the potential for Social Forums to genuinely respond to its stated and radical desire for ‘another possible world’.