OKUPÉ Collective – a Game of Resistance

Magdalena Prusinowska, Piotr Kowzan Otwarty Komitet Uwalniania Przestrzeni Édukacyjnych [Open Commitee for Liberation of the Educational Space] + Doctoral Students Council – Faculty of Social Sciences, UG + Student Scientific Society Na Styku + Quality Assurance Committees + !reVOLT zine editors + PhD students in educational research

For a New Europe: University Struggles Against Austerity Paris 11-13.2.2011

Your 'given' character: a PhD student
Characteristics: As a PhD student your are the product of the Bologna Process As a first-year PhD student You've just found out that you don't get any salary, any research grants for 'new-comers' and your faculty doesn't provide any doctoral scholarships Legally you might be required to teach courses up to 90 h/year – you receive no money for this work as it's part of your PhD studies (unpaid internship) You are not unionised No contacts with “experienced” PhD students You became PhD student together with friends from Student Scientific Society NaStyku, i.e., semi-autonomous learning circle

What are you going to do?
Speed up with your studies and leave university? Migrate? Occupy? Write your thesis about that? or.... what else?

Political Opportunity of the International Flash Mob (International Student Movement Network)
Trying to count ourselves

...in a new and almost empty building

Critical Mass?
The flash mob did not create any critical mass :( Alienated activists: no working networks, no student unions, no email lists, no media at the campus, no access to university facilities, security guards destroy leaflets and zines

How do you play this game with no resources? Any theories?

Empty Signifier
'empty signifier' Ernesto Laclau 'On Populist Reason' (2005)

We decided to look for local issues which might concern everybody...

Surprising 'investments' instead of scholarships, grants, etc.

Foto by Dominik Krzymiński

The fence as a uniting element for a multitude of small grievances, claims and struggles?

Locking Gates, Opening Eyes

Going clandestine...

Building Signifier
fot. Łukasz Unterschuetz/trojmiasto.pl

...and how empty it was ;)

Repressed without repressions
Authorities organised a series of meetings dealing with particular demands separately. It caused the collapse of our 'empty signifier'. Dissolution of the structure of our movement. Unfortunately, our mobilisation was suspended during negotiations. IT WAS ALL DESCRIBED IN THE BOOK, BUT WE DIDN'T FINISH READING IT ON TIME!

Campus Security, Prison-like Library and Educational Reforms

Other Actions and Campaigns

Thank you! The game is not over!
Now we focus on consciousness :) We are going to publish our zine again Please, send us short stories about your local experience of global struggles Our contacts Piotr Kowzan: satkow [at] gmail Magdalena Prusinowska: e.rudyka [at] gmail