‘Hack the Earth!’: Non-Utopian Myth-Making in Calafou

Vie, 27/07/2018 - 16:45

We are happy to share this research about Calafou developed by Herta Gatter. It has been a great process of activist and collaborative research with the community.

Abstract The community of Calafou in Catalonia is a radical experiment of fusing three types of hacking — cooperativism, the development of sovereign technologies and trans-hack- feminism — in the pursuit of an alternative way of life and economy that is based on egalitarianism. In this context, hacking does not mean unauthorised access but overcoming of problems in a creative way. Calafou's collaborative and experimental vision of development defies modernist visions of progress which, by imagining change through utopias, evaluate all action as failure. In contrast, the practice of autogestion in terms of hacking allows the theoretical exercise of radical criticism to go beyond the enervating dominance-resistance divide. Instead of messianic expectations for social change to emerge out of a simple confrontation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, Calafou directs efforts towards an alternative way of living now, and does so through cooperation across class boundaries. Such pragmatism strengthens the power of their social imaginary — the multimedia mythology — rather than contradicting it because it sustains hope in the struggle's viability. This myth that does not present itself as beyond criticism and change could be of inspiration not just for the hacker community, but for public policy discourse and academic discussions too.