CACIM (Critical Action – Centre in Movement), based in New Delhi, India but active in local and global networking, and an initiative towards promoting criticality in socio-political action and movement by promoting a culture of critical engagement and reflection, is again offering four Fellowships on the World Social Forum process. CACIM is involved in research on and documentation of the Forum and other related processes (such as social movements); plays an active role in the organising process of WSF in India and globally; publishes books, reports, newsletters, and bibliographies on the Forum, both in Hindi and English; and organises local and global debates and discussions around the WSF, its programmes and politics, and related issues. For details on the Forum and on our work on the Forum, see www.openspaceforum.net and www.cacim.net; and for ‘official’ details on the Forum, www.worldsocialforum.org
This is the second round of the award of these Fellowships. (see details on the first round) As do many others, CACIM considers the WSF to be a very significant social and political initiative – but where, like all such processes, it also has its problems. The Forum Fellowships provide opportunities for young activists, students, and researchers to critically look at different aspects of the Forum process in India and globally. This would include intensive interaction with social and popular movements and with civil organisations and networks, in India and South Asia and as far as possible globally – both those who are part of the WSF process and also with movements and organisations who have either boycotted or stayed away from the WSF and/or who take part in similar but alternative processes. We hope that the Fellowships will provide the opportunity to the Fellows to develop a substantial understanding of the Forum and also engage with and study wider socio-political processes in the country and in the world as they are emerging; and through this, to contribute to strengthening both the Forum and socio-political movement. We invite Fellows to critically examine the procedural depth, methodology, potentialities, and limitations of the Forum and of the ‘new politics’ of ‘open space’ that it professes, and also the impacts that the WSF and these politics may be having on socio-political movements and processes in the region.
The 2008-9 Forum Fellowships, offered for a period of six months (September 2008 – February 2009), will provide candidates with Rs 50,000 for the preparation of a research paper to be presented at a Workshop on the WSF that CACIM will organise in mid 2009. Selected Fellows will be provided with literature published on the Forum and with contacts in India and worldwide, and will receive introductions to mentors / advisors both within India and from around the world for assistance in sharpening their Fellowship work. The process will include an orientation workshop and at least one interim review meeting that will take place in the course of their Fellowships, as well as a final public Workshop where the Fellows will present their research findings. CACIM also undertakes to publish and publicise the research papers.
This round of Fellowships will start from September 1 2008 and continue till February 28 2009. Fellows will be expected to budget the Fellowship award to cover their stipend as well as all research and other related expenses for their Fellowship work. They will be expected to attend all the review meetings and the final Workshop, and also the final Workshop of the current 2007-8 process, which will take place in New Delhi during August 29-30 2008. CACIM will take care of travel and staying expenses for attending all the meetings. At the end of the Fellowship period, Fellows will be expected to submit a well researched and referenced paper of publishable quality on their theme of study, along with all supporting material. They will also be expected to submit copies (or originals, if they prefer) to CACIM of any research material generated in course of their study (such as documents, newsclippings, interview tapes, articles, etc), for its archives on the WSF and on social movements, which are publicly available. While we do not expect Fellows to devote full time to their Fellowship work, given the quality of work that is expected Fellows must expect to make a serious and definite time commitment to their award work.
For this round of Fellowships, we are again accepting applications only from people living within India, though both from Indian and other nationalities. Candidates may be from any discipline and background. No formal academic qualification is required for application. Applications can be in English or Hindi. Due to our own limitations at the moment, we are not able to entertain applications in other languages but welcome ideas for including them in this endeavour.
The following are some suggested themes for study, but you are welcome to look at other aspects of the Forum and related areas :
- The roles, potentials, and limitations of the WSF process in relation to the particular experiences, visions, aspirations, and expectations of various sections of Indian society such as Dalits, Adivasis, women, the physically challenged, sexual minorities, and others, as well as their questions and dilemmas in this regard through any engagement they may have had with the Forum process so far
- Has the WSF managed to promote inter-movement networking and dialogue ?
- What is the social and political significance and relevance of the WSF process in India, in the context of wider emerging social, political, and economic conditions, and related issues – in the country and globally ?
- The organising principles, political economy, and/or information architecture of the Forum, in India and worldwide.
Please send your application by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post by August 17 2008 along with :
- A short research proposal indicating the scope, nature, and approach of your proposed research (covering objectives, method, and literature and other references; plus a first list of contacts in your subject and/or field areas)
- One writing sample (published or unpublished), and –
- Your detailed CV (two relevant references preferable).
The Fellowships will be announced on August 20-21 2008.