Rethinking the Commons (2014)

Commons web

The world is our home, not your property

Join KSU’s 7th reading group about the commons – community organised resources for the future! As current crises are making abundantly clear, government and business have not turned out to be the best guardians our natural or cultural resources. More and more communities are looking to the commons – not private nor public, but something in between – for better solutions.

But what exactly are the commons? Traditionally they refer to natural resources, such as air, water or forests, not publicly or privately owned, but held in common. Now they have come to include the cultural sphere as well, like language, knowledge, our cities and the Internet. We can consider them shared gifts, which we receive as members of a community and govern in common: a self-organized system by which communities manage resources (both depletable and replenishable) with minimal or no reliance on the market or the state.

Community gardens, collective childcare, communal living and other commoning practices are becoming more and more visible and popularised, but can these commons provide a viable alternative, or a real challenge to our current economic system?

This reading group is participatory, self-organised and free of charge. We collectively decide which subtopics to cover, by splitting up into groups, which will each organize one of the sessions. The reading group will be in English, held from Oct. 8 to Dec. 17, bi-weekly on Wednesday evenings from 19:30 until 22:00 in political bookshop de Rooie Rat at Oudegracht 65 in Utrecht.

This reading group is organised within the framework of (Un)usual Business, a collaboration between Kritische Studenten Utrecht and Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory

The sessions: