make world paper 2

The World Social Forum, organized twice in Porto Alegre 2001 and 2002, not only prompted a flurry of autonomous self-organization, crossborder organization, and creative media interventions. It also initiated an intense process of analysis and reflection on the tricky question of a 'global' dynamic of self-organization.

Across continents and movement traditions, a few key terms continue to re-emerge as focal points for reflection - above all the status of sovereignty and the limitations of a sovereign logic of organization, as well as the frustration with the various traditions of leftist representationalism. Activists have long ceased to simply march on the corporate and institutional bad guys of globalisation-as-usual. They have also begun to articulate alternative logics of organization and mercilessly sort through the archive of political pieties, challenging the dominance of an older leftist expertocracy at every juncture.

The words of Franco Barchiesi of Indymedia South Africa might well serve as a summary of this shared sentiment: "it was time for the new social move- ments to express the qualitatively new "biopolitical" nature of their struggle in terms of refusal not only of the identity and mystique of "national liberation", but also of the leadership practices of a left that has historically tended to reproduce subordination and discursive expropriation of the movements' grassroots subjectivity."

In this issue we have brought together many different perspectives on the increasingly pressing questions of the 'movement' - its theory, its politics, its media and modes of organisation. The texts reproduced here add vibrancy, background and analysis to these ongoing debates, and irrespective of the diversity reflect that none of these issues can be treated in separation.

The first edition of this free newspaper appeared in October 2001, as a part of the Munich 'Make World' festival and exhibition that brought together activ- ists, new media artists and theorists. The first paper dealt with responses to 911, migration, immaterial labour, free software and featured a number of art projects.

The free paper format already has a certain tradition. Within our context it started with the nettime ZKP4 paper, produced for the nettime meeting in Ljubljana, May 1997. Another one appeared in Zagreb, August 1999. In the global edition of 'Bas- tard' a group of editors brought together critical texts related to the Kosov@ conflict.

Within this 'tradition' the Make World paper#2 also works with the concept of collaborative text filtering. The amount of key texts and strategic debates on the Internet is overwhelming. There are so many in- teresting lists and weblogs. It is a potlatch of con- tent. This abundance of material could drive one mad. Yet, it also makes selecting and editing much easier. There is less of a feel of censorship and exclusion. All the texts, in their full length, including responses, are available online.

The context of this issue is the summer and fall of 2002, defined by the growing threat of an US-led Iraq invasion. The texts for this issue were selected alongside some significant events of the last few months such as the noborder camp in Strasbourg, where between 2000 and 3000 activists met for discussions, actions and media interventions. But it may also seen as a direct or indirect output from the work on the films and the online-platform "What's to be done?" or the dark markets conference in the be- ginning of october in Vienna. Last but not least the make-world paper#2 will be accompagnied by live- streaming and mobile screening events during the European Social Forum in Florence.

november 2002

This paper has been compiled and edited by: Arianna Bove, Erik Empson, Susanne Lang, Geert Lovink, Florian Schneider, Soenke Zehle.
Thanks to: Franziska Frielinghaus, Suzanne Helden, Paul Keller, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Joanne Richardson, Pit Schultz and all the contributors.