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Canada Research Chair in Social Justice, CACIM, and fellow-travellers @ Dakar Forum, Event 3 :

Perspectives on the ‘crisis of civilization’ as a focus for movements

Workshop being organised on February 9 at the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, February 6-11 2011

Event Outline

February 3 2011 version

Title of event :

Perspectives on the ‘crisis of civilization’ as a focus for movements

Date requested : Day 4, February 9 2011

Time : 12:30-3:30

Organisations co-organising :

Canada Research Chair in Social Justice, CACIM (India), El Taller International (Tunisia/Global South), and National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (India)

The expected speakers at the event are :

Carlos Torres (Chile, chair), Janet Conway (Canada), Corrine Kumar (El Taller International, India / Tunisia / Global South), Domingo Hernández Ixcoy (Convergencia Waqib Kej, Guatemala), Jacques Depelchin (historian, Ota Benga Alliance, Democratic Republic of Congo), Jai Sen (CACIM, India) and/or NFFPFW rep (India), Janet Kuji (CONAIE, Peru), Onyango Oloo (Sankara Centre for Social Movements, Kenya, and Member, 2007 WSF Nairobi Organizing Committee [TBC]), Phumi Mtetwa (World March of Women—Africa? region [TBC]), and Tom Goldtooth (IEN, Turtle Island : USA)

Background :

The 2011 WSF at Dakar has introduced as Working Axis 12 the notion that humanity is today experiencing a “crisis of civilisation”, particularly that of a hegemonic Eurocentric modernity. The Axis also proposes the need to search for alternative paradigms – particularly alternatives to development, and for alternative subjectivities and epistemologies opposed to racism, Eurocentrism, patriarchy, and anthropocentrism. The initiative for this axis emerged from Latin American networks, especially reflecting the cosmologies and rising influence of indigenous movements in that region, who have also put forward the related notion of buen vivir, of ‘living well’, at peace with all living beings and with Mother Earth.

Description of event :

Strengthening this initiative requires critical debate and learning across diverse movements in a spirit of solidarity. This Workshop will critically explore the background, history, and rationale of these ideas and of this Axis, their significance for their authors, for the WSF, and for social movement in general. It will invite commentary from a panel of speakers coming from other parts of the world and from a range of movements. The Workshop seeks to provide an opportunity to reflect on conditions within the originating movements and within the WSF and the global justice movement, in terms of the degree to which coloniality, racism, Eurocentrism, patriarchy, and anthropocentrism, continue to play roles, and whether and how a focus on “crisis of civilisation” is helpful in confronting these issues.

This event will likely be included as part of a co-ordinated program in a permanent space within the WSF focused on Axis 12. It will also follow a related discussion that will take place as the second part of another event in the Dakar WSF, titled ‘Facing the Challenges of the Present and the Future : How Well is the World Social Forum Doing ?’ and scheduled for February 8 2011, 8:30-11:30 and 12:30-3:30.

For information, the full text of Axis 12 for the Dakar Forum is :

12.  For the inter-learning of alternative paradigms to the crisis of the hegemonic civilization of colonial/Eurocentric modernity, through decolonization and socialization of power, especially in the relations between State/Market/Society, the collective rights of peoples, the rejection of the commodification of life and “development”; and the emergence of alternative subjectivities and epistemologies opposed to racism, Eurocentrism, patriarchy and anthropocentrism.

Details of co-organisers / co-sponsors :

CACIM (India) -
Canada Research Chair in Social Justice
El Taller International (Tunisia) -
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (India) -


CACIM @ WSF 2011