Open call for researchers

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(Un)usual Business is looking for researchers to join the group!

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In Spring 2013, Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory and Kritische Studenten Utrecht started the long-term research project (Un)usual Business. (Un)usual Business explores the paradigm of the commons in Utrecht and beyond. Our aim is to understand, visualize, connect and contribute to (local) practices of commoning and so-called “community economies”, a term coined by feminist economic geographers Katerine Gibson and Julie Graham. 

Core to the project is the idea that the economy is much broader and more diverse than the hegemonic economic system of capitalism. Instead, economy is embedded in everyday exchanges and relations. More than often these types of economies propel values and agencies that are very different from the capitalist spirit of profit making and financial success. Instead, they focus on exchange, growing together, friendship, mutual care and social wellbeing.

Critical, collective research into “community economies” seems particularly urgent now, in a time when commons are being enclosed, when market-oriented governments are gnawing at public sectors while forcefully encouraging top-down forms of participation and civic responsibility. It is within this context that the many small initiatives and groups that have been taking control over their own livelihoods for decades, in the form of community gardening, self-organized childcare or communal living; become more visible and are gaining (mass)popularity. (Un)usual Business explores these dichotomies, while researching how self-organized groups work, how they see the world and whether their practice can offer true alternatives, in common!, to the tight grip of capitalist values.

 

So far, we have researched “(un)usual business” in the fields of activism, environmentalism, education, child care as well as by means of artistic practice. To move forward, we are in need for your knowledge, experience, support and energy! We hope to form a group of about 6-8 people with various interests and backgrounds, willing to invest and reap the benefits of researching together. We hope it’s you!

 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

(Un)usual Business is looking for critical, enthusiastic researchers, who are interested in the commons as a viable alternative for
Wa capitalist and neoliberal market economy.

 

Time commitment

• individual research: apr. 1-2 days a week

• bi-weekly meeting: 4 hours a month

 

Reimbursement

We offer a modest reimbursement for your time and energy. 

 

Activities

• research and writing, including fieldwork and interviews

• organizing and attending events

 

Interested? Send an e-mail to Ying via ying@cascoprojects.org for more information!

 

Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory is a contemporary art institution that functions as an open space for artistic research and experiments. We consider artistic practice as a way of engaging with the world we live in as an investigative, imaginative, and inventive practice. The aim of our work is to contribute to forming non-capitalist cultures and possibilities for life for which we believe art could play an essential role. Not as an insular avant-garde but in alignment with other initiatives and social movements. Casco initiated (Un)usual Business in 2013 and organizes various collaborations with artists in affinity.

 

Kritische Studenten Utrecht is an open collective which works to promote a society based on freedom, solidarity and co-operation. In contrast to our current society, we strive for one with social and economic equality without exploitation, and where need is central rather than profit. With this vision as our frame of reference we are involved in pressing political societal issues, we organize resistance, and propose alternatives.