Andreas Broeckmann on Wed, 24 Mar 1999 07:52:31 +0100

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Syndicate: Alain Kessi: GGG Seminar: Globalisation, Gender, Genetech - in Tabor/CZ

Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 11:45:21 +0200
From: Alain Kessi <>

This goes out to all of you who are making visible our social,
political, everyday problems with your activities and spoken word.

Seminar in Tabor/Czech Republic from 3-9 May 1999
focussing on Eastern Europe

Languages: Russian and English
Please send applications to <> or <>
(see application form below).
This and updated information is available from

The theme of this seminar is threefold:
GGG stands for Globalisation, Gender, Genetech.

How do I feel Globalisation on my skin?
How does Gender shape my identity?
Why should I believe in Genetech?

We would like to open a discussion which puts the three topics in
relation to each other, focusing on the situation and struggles in
Eastern Europe and the relation between Eastern and Western Europe.

We would like to explore the topics on various levels: personal
experience, political and economic analysis, struggles against the loss
of autonomy of people, etc.

We want to close the gap between discussions and action.

We want to delegitimise the status of experts talking about other
people's lives.  We are all experts of our own experience and this is
the expertise on which we want to build.

We want to disrupt the fatalism of the 'transition' from real-socialism
to capitalism and from a 'soviet' union to a european 'union'. We do not
want a 'transition' from A to B where B is defined by Western and global
interests, but a collective search for new ways to shape our lives.

----- The personal is political. -----

The seminar is part of a wider initiative to link up existing political
and environmental projects within Eastern Europe. We do not say that
either Eastern or Western Europe is one block, nor do we want to build
up new barriers between east and west.  On the contrary, we aim to work
out the inner structure and diversity and raise awareness about existing
differences and "borders".

The aim is to facilitate autonomous strategies of resistance.  These
strategies should be adapted to the specific political and social
situation of Eastern Europe.  We hope in this way to counterbalance the
often biased power relations between Eastern and Western activist
groups. It is closely related to our efforts of overlapping and
confronting political discussions in Eastern and Western Europe through
our Russian-English newsletter Tusovka (see

In the long run, the aim is to contribute to a culture of resistance -
resistance against mechanisms which take away people's autonomy and
prevent them from shaping their lives in interaction with their
surrounding. There are various groups and individuals active in
resistance in various fields of life: environmentalists, feminists,
lesbian and gay movements, human rights activists, anti-racist groups,
art-and-politics or media activists, and more.  If people from these
various backgrounds come together, they may find out that they want to
join their efforts and see their struggles as a common struggle towards
more autonomy.

We hope this seminar will provide the opportunity for finding ways of
collaborating -- collaborate and still keep the diversity of struggles.

----- Struggle can also be subversive behaviour in your immediate
surrounding. -----

We think that mechanisms of oppression have something in common.  We
have chosen to explore the common ground between various mechanisms of
oppression using the examples of Globalisation, Gender and Genetech.
Our experience is that GGG have separately come up repeatedly in recent
seminars and discussions.

We would now like to explore how they relate to each other.


What is the relationship between GGG?

Here are some thoughts and questions that have emerged in our
discussions so far:

Globalisation, Gender and Genetech are three mediums of attack on
personal autonomy.

Gender has had a central and constant role in histories of personal
autonomy.  Globalisation and Genetech have made a more recent entrance.
Are we experiencing the Globalisation and Genetech Revolutions?  Or, by
granting them this title of 'revolution', are we giving credibility to
their own hype?

----- We are the experts of our own experience. -----

We propose that Globalisation can be seen as a manifestation of the
interplay between
· gendered oppression in the form of patriarchy;
· economic oppression in the form of capitalism;
· racist oppression in the form of (neo-)colonialism, identity checks on
the street, and a nationalist backlash.

 Genetech can be seen as
· imposing the ideology of science and a patriarchal myth of progress
· imposing the legal concept of intellectual property rights through
biopiracy (a phenomenon which nicely shows how property is theft).

 A few questions on Gender we ask ourselves:
· How do I experience patriarchy?
· Why do I want to struggle against patriarchy?
· Can we subvert compulsory heterosexuality?
· What could non-patriarchal behaviour look like?

Can we find the struggle against patriarchy in the struggle against
Globalisation and Genetech?
What can other struggles learn from the struggle against patriarchy?

PRELIMINARY PROGRAM - WORKSHOPS (estimated 2 hours each)

(Note: this is a flexible working document. The aim is to give an
impression of the seminar as we see it. No doubt changes will be made as
we discuss the specific contents with the invited speakers. Please give
us feedback on the program, so that we know your priorities when making

Summary followed by descriptions of individual workshops.............

Monday, 3 May
Why GGG? Why in this way?
Perceptions of Gender Relations: Personal Stories I
History of the Perception of Gender Relations in Eastern Europe
The Neoliberal Globalisation Attack Against the Autonomy of People

Tuesday, 4 May
Women's migration: Personal Stories II
Patriarchal Structures in State and International Institutions
Border Identities and 'GastArtBeiter': Personal Stories III
Planning Session I: Eastern European Participation in the ICC

Wednesday, 5 May
History of the Perception of Gender Relations in Western Europe
Dealing with Sexisms in So-Called Progressive Groups
Mechanisms of Media Bias
Playing with the Media

Thursday, 6 May
Perestroika and Forced Transition
Ethnicising Society: The War in Yugoslavia
Strategies in Gender Relations: Personal Stories IV
Planning Session II: Press Work

Friday, 7 May
GGG Interlinked: The Modernisation of Agriculture and the Destruction of
Struggles against the Introduction of Genetically Modified Crops
What Images Are Used when Speaking about Genetic Engineering?
Planning Session III: Critical Review of Current Strategies

Saturday, 8 May
EU and NATO Enlargement
New European Migration and Fortress Europe
Activism Under Conditions of Survival in Russia, the Ukraine,
Byelorussia: Personal Stories V
Planning Session IV: Cologne 1999

Sunday, 9 May
The Global Financial Casino and the Russian Crisis
What Could a Non-Patriarchal Economy Look Like?
Nature for Sale: Travelling Scientists Looking for 'Usable' Plants
Planning Session V: Genetech Watch Eastern Europe

Time slots:

7:30		Wake-up call
8:00		Breakfast
9:00-11:00	Workshop I
11:15-13:15	Workshop II
13:30		Lunch
14:45-16:45	Workshop III
17:00-19:00	Workshop IV
19:15		Dinner
20:30(-21:00)	Discussion


[can be sent on request]

5. Contributing
Would you like to contribute to the seminar by participating in
organising one of the workshops? Several of the workshops will be
prepared by a group of people rather than individual speakers. Please
indicate which workshop(s) you are interested in contributing to, and
briefly describe in what way.

6. Travel reimbursement.  Partial travel reimbursement (around 50%) can
be given, but wait for our confirmation before you're sure you will get
it!!! In case you cannot possibly pay the other 50%, we can discuss this
individually. If on the other hand you have a sufficient income, please
consider leaving the travel reimbursement to someone else.
In order to allow a maximum of people to come, the idea is to pay only
the cheapest way of transport (no airplane fares if possible).  IF YOU
with what means of transport):

Send the form as quickly as possible -- BY THE DEADLINE.  We'll let you
know by April 3rd if you are selected for travel reimbursement, and
we'll send travel directions, and in case you need it (depends on the
country), an invitation. Don't forget that invitations have to be sent
by postal mail, which can take several weeks from the Czech Republic
depending on the country of destination.

Contact us at <> or <>, or by telephone
or fax at ++359-2-980 96 52. Applications by postal mail can be sent to
GGG Seminar, PO Box 122, 252187 Kiev-187, Ukraine (note that postal mail
may take several weeks -- e-mail or fax are preferable if you have this
possibility). Updated information on the seminar is available from

The seminar will take place at CESTA/Cultural Exchange Station Tabor,
Novakova 387, Tabor 39001, Czech Republic, tel: +420-361-258-004, email:
<>, web: <>.