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September 19 2008, 10-1 pm @ European Social Forum, Malmo, Sweden


Abstract of program activity :

The WSF is a short periodical event, costly in cash and human effort, dependent on polluting air travel. It has lost the shock value of its early years. It has also come under criticism for excluding the poor, ignoring certain regions, dependence on state support and western funding, commercial penetration, and for representing the privileged in global civil society. Some argue that if it is to be meaningful and effective for emancipatory struggles in the coming period, it needs a much clearer programme; others that it must go ‘local’ (regional, national, sub-national). But this is just the opposite of what it has so far been celebrated as being – an open space, and a key vehicle for the globalisation of social movement today, and in that sense of a new internationalism and global solidarity. This may only reinforce what is today already often the case, where the thinking and strategization that takes place in the organisation of the WSF as event and process is somewhat local and national – and nationalist? What is the meaning and implication of all this for the politics and the future of the Forum?

The seminar will discuss these and other ideas that feature in the revised second edition (external link) of the 2004 classic, World Social Forum : Challenging Empires (external link) – which will be released at the ESF.

Participant Speakers :

Alex Callinicos is Professor of European Studies at Kings College London and a member of the SWP (Socialist Workers Party) in the UK. [email protected]Read, Alex Callinicos and Chris Nineham, July 2007 – ‘At an impasse ? Anti-capitalism and the social forums today’, in International Socialism, Issue 115, July 2 2007, @ http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=337&issue=115 (external link)

America Vera-Zavala? is a writer and an activist, America Vera-Zavala? has written commentaries for Znet since 2001. She has published three books in Sweden and her book Democracy Lives : A World Mosaic of Participatory Democratic Experiences was released in Turkey in 2006 and published in English in 2007. She lives in Sweden. She has been active in both the Left Party and in founding the Attac movement in Sweden. She is currently writing a play on sans papier, paperless workers. [email protected]

Dimitri Roussopoulos is a well-known activist in Canada for some four decades working from the local to the regional level and back again on issues dealing with radical democracy and urban ecology. He is also a writer and book publisher, having been educated as an political economist. [email protected][email protected]

Emma Dowling is active within the social forum movement and in struggles for global justice. Based in London, she is currently studying for a PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London, where she is researching the development of neoliberal global governance from the perspective of social conflict and resistance. Her research interests include social and political change; autonomous politics and global democracy; radical practices of political participation; immaterial and affective labour; and border regimes, detention, and deportation. She has published a number of articles on the social forum process and has been an active participant in the organisation of the ESF and WSF (both the official and autonomous spaces). [email protected]

Geoffrey Pleyers obtained a PhD in sociology at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris). He is currently FNRS Researcher at the University of Louvain (Belgium) and at the Centre d’Analyse et d’Intervention Sociologiques (Paris) and a Visiting Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance (London School of Economics). Geoffrey Pleyers is a member of the Open Space Forum discussion network and has attended the seven World Social Forums. He has conducted field research on the Global Social Justice Movement in Western European and Latin American countries including France, Belgium, Mexico, Argentina, and Nicaragua. His recent publications include Forums Sociaux Mondiaux et defis de l’altermondialisme (‘World Social Forums and the challenges of alter-globalisation’, in French), Brussels: Academia. [email protected]

Gina Vargas is a veteran Peruvian feminist sociologist and founder of the Centro Flora Tristan in Peru, Gina Vargas is one of the 1,000 women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2006. She is associated with the Articulación Feminista Marcosur in Latin America, and the Program of Democracy and Global Transformation in San Marcos University, Lima. She has taught at universities worldwide and currently teaches the Master of Sexuality and Public Policies course at San Marcos University in Lima, Peru. She is a member of the WSF International Council. [email protected]

Gustave Massiah is President of CRID – Centre de Recherche et d’Information pour le Développment, France. [email protected]

Moema Miranda (Moema Maria Marques de Miranda) has worked at IBASE, the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Research, since 1992 on different projects and initiatives. She is an anthropologist with an MA in Social Anthropology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, where she studied rural labour and politics. Currently, she is a coordinator of two programmes at IBASE : the World Social Forum (WSF) process, and Democratic Alternatives to Globalization. She has also recently taken charge of IBASE’s Human Rights initiative. As IBASE’s representative on the WSF International Council, she has been a member of the organising committee of the last five global WSF events. She has also been the Secretary-General? of the Agrarian Reform National Campaign in Brazil; between 1998 and 2001, she was a member of the steering committee of the National Forum on Urban Reform; and she was an active participant of the Citizenship Action against Hunger and for Life, one of the largest popular mobilisations in Brazilian history. A ‘Carioca’, as natives of Rio de Janeiro City are called, she has two daughters and one son. [email protected]

Raffaella Bolini is the Coordinator of ARCI, in Italy, and of the International Council of the WSF. [email protected]

Place :

Babel (Jeriko, Spångatan 38).

(This is a theatre located right next to Jeriko, a bar very close to the ESF site that Fronesis have hired for the duration of the Forum as a place for the Eurozine group, where the journals of all the members of this group will be available for reading – over a drink. See Map here (external link).)

Collaborating organizations on this program activity :

CACIM (India Institute for Critical Action – Centre in Movement), India, and Fronesis (external link), Sweden



All Are Welcome !