Commoning space

Commoning space

Part of a series of open calls, Commoning space invites interventions and reflections from the streets, fields, factories and other sites and spaces of struggles.

Commoning Space

Commoning space

  • How can struggles over space, particularly in the context of commoning practices, foster social bonds centered around sharing, mutual aid, and fairness?

  • Can concepts like ‘land’ or ‘territory’ guide us towards understanding societies that view spatial dynamics not as sources of exploitation and inequality, but rather as avenues for coexistence and cooperation?

  • This special section of The Commoner seeks to redefine our understanding of urban commons, communal land use, and the territories where commoning occurs. We invite contributions that blend theoretical exploration with practical insights, drawing from diverse disciplines or emerging from grassroots movements and communities engaged in commoning practices.

Commoning space | Submission Guidelines

We cannot think of a different kind of society without questioning the status of socially produced space. Social life is not simply contained within different spaces. Social life produces and at the same time employs spatial relations to signify social relations. The ownership status of space, thus, is not only connected to rights and value (economic, cultural etc.) but also represents and performs social relations. How can spatial struggles involving practices of commoning represent as well as make possible social relations based on sharing, mutual support and equality?

Can terms as ‘land’ or ‘territory’ help us recuperate the wisdom of societies that treat spatial relations not as relations of exploitation and inequality but as relations of co-existence and complementarity?

Insurgent Zapatista communities chose recently to define the land they seized from huge latifundia as common. Indigenous Nasa activists in Colombia struggle to liberate Mother Earth by burning down huge sugarcane fields propagated by dominant agribusiness enterprises. They cultivate instead vegetables for their communities and allow the surplus land to become forest again. Land has become a mere factor for production and extraction under finance capitalism and is considered as a commodity for generating financial returns. But communities around the world are engaged in struggles to reclaim territory as a political space for generating self-determination and creating solidarities.

As a response, their resistance is a target of moral, physical and legal violence and are often criminalized, disciplined, and punished.

Exploring examples of such spatial practices and struggles, this special section of The Commoner aims to re-think the meaning of urban commons, land-as-commons and territories of commoning. This call for contributions invites theoretical as well as action-based research and reflection on the spatialities of commoning, intersecting multiple disciplines and / or emerging from on-the-ground struggles and communities of practice.