Anarkiisma Somera Tendaro Austrio
Anarchist Summer Camp in Austria
Anarchist Summer Camp 2007
Resistance - we hold this to be a synonym of vitality. In this spirit, the second anarchist summer camp in Austria should be a week spent living together, loving, laughing, debating, making plans, dancing, gathering ideas, cuddling and doing whatever else catches our fancy.
The camp is not a holiday (the latter resulting from the separation of work and leisure time, which is dictated by society). Rather, we wish it to be an opportunity to freely mould our shared life during the camp, get to know each other and integrate anarchist theory with the practice of solidarity, during debates and workshops as much as in everyday life.
Anarchist Summer Camp 2007
We are aware that such a freedom can only ever be "relative", firstly because we carry the legacy of authority around with us in our heads and bodies, and then because the anarchist camp is an island, which is limited in time and place, surrounded by an oppressive society. But maybe we can still manage to create a free space outside of dreary social normality, where we can experience what it is that we are fighting for and where it is that we are aiming.
In order to make this possible, it is crucial that no forms of discrimination or oppression be tolerated at the camp, and that everyone considers it their responsibility to ensure this to be the case. This means: be aware, get involved, and if any such behaviour is observed (in others or in yourself) then make sure you bring it up. Solidarity and freedom from authority, when genuinely experienced, give us energy and encouragement for our daily struggle.
What you will find and what you could find
The campsite comprises various fields with trees, wilderness, a small stream and campfires. As well as enough places for tents, the camp offers a varied infrastructure. There are dry rooms, a kitchen and sanitary facilities, as well as a limited number of beds for those who may need them. There will be computer facilities, which could for example be used for producing a camp newspaper, workshops and internet access. In the vicinity there is also a pond where you can swim.
Shared cooking will follow the principle that all should be able to eat (including vegans, persons with allergies, breastfeeding mothers…). If we cooperate and share the daily chores fairly (food shopping, cooking, cleaning, tidying up), they will take up very little of everyone's time. Solidarity and voluntary mutual help will however remain nothing but empty words, if in practice the same few people will end up doing all the chores.
What will actually happen at the camp will depend on what the participants will want to make of it. Don't expect to find a "ready schedule" of lectures and workshops: rather expect to get involved, create the workshops and debates yourself and with others. The experience of previous anarchist camps has shown that many varied and interesting topics and activities will arise spontaneously on site. The following and much more took place at the camp in 2006: workshops and debates (on subjects as diverse as post-anarchism, anarchism in Slovakia and anarcafeminism), a concert, women's self defence courses, a puppet show ("A-Camp in Trouble"), stencil workshops, games ("the Anarcholympics"), films evenings, a party…
The scope of subjects and possibilities should go beyond "traditional anarchism". We would like to discuss the most diverse topics from an antiauthoritarian perspective: from (anarchist) utopias and theories, gender relationships and the critique of romantic monogamy to action forms, practical examples of political activism or alternative forms of communal life. The camp's size and nature should allow it to be multifaceted: filled with theory and praxis, workshops, games, music, presentations and debates, cooking, movies, dancing etc.
What the organising group does
The organising group takes care of preparing for the camp (arranging the location, publicizing the camp internationally, setting up the initial infrastructure…). However nothing will work on site if the camp's participants do not get involved and pitch the tents, organise the kitchen activities, procure food, cook, tidy up, look after the children, clear-up once the camp is over and so on. We are aware that the existence of an organising group implies the persistence of a knowledge-hierarchy, and will therefore do our best to ensure that information at the camp is spread as transparently as possible, so that other (collectively developed) forms of organisation may arise.
Nevertheless, there are a couple of basic decisions that we have taken in advance. These have been the result of intense discussions and of experiences that were gathered at various camps in the past, and we do not wish them to become a subject of argument once the camp begins. We are well aware that not everyone will be equally happy with these (particularly as far as dogs are concerned)!
· Leave your dogs at home! A large number of dogs at a camp is an annoyance to most participants and hinders the participation of parents with children. For this reason, which was born out of past experiences, we have taken the deliberate decision that this camp will not be open to dogs.
· A large tent will be reserved for women and transgender persons. This tent may function as a meeting point, a free space, or whatever else people may choose to make of it.
· We encourage parents to come with their children. The site is vast and offers plenty of opportunity to play around; furthermore a children's tent will be set up. What use will be made of this tent will depend on those who wish to use it. Bring ideas and toys! It is not just parents who should care about their own children: we should all try to take children and their needs into consideration.
What it could become
The 2007 anarchist summer camp in Austria wishes to bring together people and experiences from different countries and regions, with the aim of building a connect for anarchist theory and praxis. Societies that have done away with authority cannot spring out of books and straight into reality: rather, they must be born out of real life via a learning process of trial and error. The practice of communal living and interaction at the camp can provide us with experiences in self-organisation, which we may build upon in our everyday life and political engagement. At the same time, exposure to new anarchist and antiauthoritarian theories and concepts can provide us with the tools to review our own practice and develop new ideas. Shaping a camp together does not mean uncritically embracing some kind of "togetherness feelings". It is important to bring disagreements to the surface and be critical of each other if needed, so that we can learn from each other and become able to question our own behaviour. Even arguing can sometimes be good! Nevertheless, our behaviour in an anarchist camp must be shaped by the principles of solidarity and mutual respect, which imply the acceptance of different approaches and points of view.
With love and strength
The organisation group for the 2007 A-Camp in Austria
When - Where - How
It would be great if you could register at firstname.lastname@example.org (if possible in German or English). Please also send us an email if you are planning a workshop (or anything else) or have any other ideas for the camp, so that we may post this information on the website.
Where it takes place
The camp will take place in northern Lower Austria (near Vienna). A month before the beginning of the camp (i.e. mid June) we will post directions and information on the (limited) public transport options for reaching the camp's location on website www.a-camp.info. Cars cannot be parked on the campsite, however there are parking opportunities in the vicinity.
What it costs
There is no fixed fee for attending the camp. It should be possible to cover all costs for the location, infrastructure and food shopping with about € 8 per person per day. If someone cannot afford this amount, this should not stop him or her from attending the camp. Those who can afford to pay more than this amount should act out of solidarity and do so.
As well as a tent, sleeping bag, woollen blanket and such camping basics please also bring your own crockery and cutlery. Please note that even on warm days it can get very cold during the night, so make sure that you bring waterproof and warm clothing!