Although there seems to be little interest today in India about the relevance of the World Social Forum to struggles for social justice, the WSF that was held in Mumbai in January 2004 was a landmark event and a wide range of political analysts and commentators worldwide have repeatedly affirmed the significance of this process to the global struggle against neoliberalism and for justice; and it can be well argued that the WSF is growing from strength to strength. How we in India now want to relate to this process is up to us.
After months of intense deliberations, the International Council (IC) of the World Social Forum (WSF) recently decided (at its meeting in Rabat, Morocco) that the next world meeting of the WSF process will be held in Dakar, Senegal, in 2011. Various kinds of doubts had been expressed in previous IC meetings about the conditions for organising a WSF in Africa in 2011, especially after the interference from MNCs and fundamentalist religious bodies at the Nairobi Forum in 2007. In fact, after Nairobi there was even intense debate and discussion questioning the very survival of the Forum process.
On the other hand, it is widely accepted that it is Africa that has borne and continues to bear the brunt of neoliberalism and of neoliberal globalisation. In this logic there is no more suitable place to organise the next world meeting of the WSF process than Africa.
So, with the decision to hold the Forum again in Africa, what should be the strategic perspective with which the WSF should organise the 2011 WSF there ? What is the perspective that the local organisers are working with ? And what are the challenges – and the opportunities – for the Forum to be held in Senegal, specifically ?
As it happens, Rabia Abdelkrim Chikh, an IC member who is based in Senegal herself, and who along with her organisation ENDA Ecopole is a member of the Africa Social Forum and is expected to play a key role in the organisation of the WSF 2011, is coming to Delhi. CACIM is taking the opportunity of this visit to organise a meeting to critically look ahead to the Dakar WSF in 2011. We warmly invite you to join us at on June 2, Tuesday, from 3:30-6:00 pm, at the Indian Social Institute, New Delhi.
3:30 – 4:00 pm Tea and informal welcome to Rabia Abdelkrim Chikh
4:00 – 6:00 pm Presentations by Rabia Abdelkrim Chikh (ENDA), Vijay Pratap (SADED), and Ashok Chowdhury (NFFPFW)
Moderated by Jai Sen (CACIM)
We hope you will join us for this meeting ! Do let us know.
Madhuresh / Jai, for CACIM
Further Readings :
Teivo Teivainen, May 2009 – ‘Back in Africa, Forward to Another World : Challenges of the World Social Forum 2011 in Dakar’, @ http://openspaceforum.net/twiki/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=788
Rabia Abdelkrim Chikh, May 2009 – ‘WSF 2011 in Senegal’, a note for discussion in Delhi.