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School of Business and Management

Self-organising workshop: Group ecologies

4 March 2011

Time: 5:00 - 7:00pm

Venue: Lock-Keeper's Graduate Centre, Mile End, London E1 4NS (number 33 on map, nearest tube station: Mile End)

This encounter will be an attempt to better understand what is at play when individuals decide to become a group, to create a collective agency able to change their living situation. What are the forces that traverse the becoming of the group, what Foucault called the microphysics of power?

Conflicts, frustrations, pauses and acceleration, the development of habits and fixed roles, all that is left unsaid and all the words that are repeated as a refrain until they lose meaning are just some of the issues that hunt the constant process of groups creation. The current diffusion of models of governance and organisation based on self-management often borrows the vocabulary and tools developed in autonomous spaces during the 1960 and 1970, distorting their potential in the service of neoliberal policies of exclusion. Subjectivities, individual and collective, are today the locus of governance, directly implicated in the political. Many of those who are involved in self-organised initiatives are also implicated in strategies of self-management as precarious cognitive workers. Instead of proposing a recipe or a method, the micropolitical approach helps to develop a sensitivity towards the gestures that can empower or stifle collective practices, in order to de-naturalize (“this is just the way it goes”) but also de-psychologise (“it is his fault!”) group experience. In light of the current season of dissent, the micropolitics of groups can offer precious tools of sustainability and joy.

David Vercauteren has been a member of the Collectif Sans Ticket, based in Belgium and active for five years (1998-2003) around the issue of public transportation. The dissolution of the CST was at the base of the self-investigation and research that constituted the basis for the book ‘Micropolitiques des Groupes. Pour un Ecologie des Pratiques Collectives’, written together with Thierry Müller and Olivier Crabbé. Currently, David is part of the Groupe de Recherche et de Formation Autonome (GReFA).

For those who read French or Spanish: The book is published in French for Édition Les Prairies Ordinaires ( and freely accessible online at . In Spanish, for Traficantes de Sueños and freely accessible online at

Valeria Graziano is a Phd student at QMUL and member of the Micropolitics Research Group, a London-based collective formed in 2007 to investigate the micropolitical implications of  the flexible subjectivities who dwell in the cultural and creative sectors. The MRG activities are currently on stand-by, since its members became involved in the recent struggles against the cuts to public education and for a different knowledge production.

Special Guests: REFF
Ubiquitous media can (and is) changing the way we perceive public spaces, relationships, time and space. Mobile devices and the possibility to bring technologies to the body are factors that are not only creating new opportunities (and problems, obviously), but also new senses and new points of view on ethics, noetics and anthropologies. has been created to fight against the invasion of digital cultures by large global operators. REFF uses the slogan "Remix the world! Reinvent reality!" to suggest the project's main strategy: using the practices of fake, remix, reinvention, recontextualization and reenactment as tools to reinvent reality. As a fake-real institution, REFF is promoting an education program whose main focus is the methodological reinvention of reality. They produce open platforms that allow anyone to produce independent, ubiquitous content and to use it for critical, tactical purposes.


GROUP ECOLOGIES is the first encounter of a series of workshops and discussions on self-organisation and non-hierarchical work practices. The encounters aim to provide an initial platform to reflect on current practices, establish networks and create shared concept-tools that can be used in different situations. The guests will offer some points of departure for the participants to take elsewhere. We hope that this project may continue and transform itself based on the inputs and desires of all those involved. For further information:

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