Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Jow Lindsay: Pop-Up MilPo (On the Militant Poetics Conference)

It was a totally bracing event, with a sense of ephemerality, fragility, sprawl and gelatinous frondiness. One excellent thing was how tensions & disputes mostly didn't coalesce into historical re-enactment of standardised positions. Sociologically it was a bit of a total sausagefest. There were no clear plans formed, but I think many people agreed that:

(a) We should arrange sequel events. Some people also had suggestions for slightly different formats; some people felt it had better be more than once a year; some people weren't sure about the title Militant Poetics. (Personally I don't think we should get hung up on names. No name will sum everything up).

(b) Meanwhile, we should get together in small groups. In smaller groups, that meet more regularly, people can get to know each other, look out for each other, and invent and carry out practical actions and projects. Most people seemed to hope these spaces could be characterised by attentiveness, collaboration, patience, support, nourishment, tenderness and celebration, and by solidarity that subsists in acts and not only in pronouncements. We also sometimes seemed to refer to them as omnipotent ("this looks like a job for THE SMALL GROUPS!"). There seemed to be slightly different ideas about whether such groups should bring together people who are not already friends, as well as about the importance of ideological mix, of links with other organisations and groups, and of inclusivity and openness. Presumably different emphases could be pursued in parallel.

Mood and will may have shifted since the event, but that's my sense of what many of us decided on the day.

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