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15th New York City Anarchist Book Fair 2021 – October 2-3, 2021

NYC. This year’s NYC Anarchist Bookfair will be held both in-person and virtually online.  Meet us OUTSIDE in person on Saturday, October 2, at a Community Garden for an awesome exhibit of anarchist cultural materials plus festivities, from films, books, and zines, to art, performances, and bikes.

Originally published by NYC Anarchist Bookfair.

Join us online the following day, Sunday, October 3, for virtual workshops, presentations, and panel discussions featuring anarchist writers, activists, and artists. The virtual book fair is organized by Kuñangue Aty Guasu  Assembly of Guarani and Kaiowa Indigenous Women Brasil [www.kunangue.com], with translation in English, Spanish and Portuguese, supported by the University College London Multimedia Anthropology Laboratory (UCL MAL) [www.uclmal.com] London]

Zero Money = Live in Mutual Aid

This year, the NYC Anarchist Bookfair is especially celebrating the lives of anarchists in prison and struggle. Our virtual panels, workshops, and presentations are built around the concept of Zero Money = Live in Mutual Aid.

How does money work from a macroeconomic perspective, and what we can do to destroy it? How can we imagine a different monetary system when money is often a tool of coercion, competition, and power? Should we destroy conceptions of value, quantification, or money completely?  How can we cultivate opportunities for communities to experiment with different kinds of non-hierarchical, horizontal, and decentralized modes of economic cooperation? What would an anarchist economic structure and egalitarian economy look like? What role do mutual aid, mutual benefits, and welfare arrangements play in such an economy?

Egalitarian societies the world over have refused to account for credits, debits, taxes, or who gave and took what and when. Such refusal has served to prevent the comparison between powers and the reduction of human relations to inhuman regards. Different needs and desires drive our species in different and contradictory ways. “However, humans can choose for themselves which propensities guide us in which direction and, therefore, which human wills become the foundation of our humanity and civilization”— David Graeber.

Call for Panels, Workshops, Presentations

We invite you to propose panels, workshops, presentations, artwork, and films that look to a future of Zero Money = Live in Mutual Aid. We especially welcome proposals built around the following:

Communal Care Networks – alternatives to policing; organized communal responses to individuals and groups in crisis; organized protection of trans people, women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the neurologically divergent; meeting needs versus punishing deeds; restorative justice; anti-violence work; children’s needs; collaborative home-making

Decolonized Futures – Indigenous movements and solidarity in North, Central, South Americas and beyond; abolishment of police and prisons; land return; free schools; curriculum for black brown queer indigenous liberation; Water Protectors; Free Borders work

Black Liberation – demolition of racist institutions; movement histories and presents; abolition work; housing justice; education and black bodies; racism in left movements; black women, queer, and trans empowerment

Anti-Pharma-Capitalist Medicine and Healing – self-organization of free medical care; decolonized approaches to medicine and healing; trauma’s roots in systemic oppression; herbs and herbalism; energy and body work; sex work; pharmaceutical alternatives; street medics; community medicine; protest first-aid practices and strategies

Food Autonomy – existing projects for the growing and sharing of food; plans and practices for appropriating spaces to grow food; redistribution of warehoused/garbaged/privatized food; foraging and commoning

Zero-Money Economies – including Mutual Aid networks; Mutual Credit Exchange systems; worker-owned collectives; off-grid urban commoning

Resistance Organizing – BLM; General Strikes; Rent Strikes; Critical Mass; Worker Solidarity; Water Protectors and Anti-Pipeline struggles; Immigrant rights and Free Borders work; IWW; Antifa; Police Abolition; Prison Abolition; ACT-UP; Queer/Trans Liberation; Climate Justice; Earth First; CHAZ and other autonomous zones

Anti-capitalist Media – Anarchist media collectives; open-source platforms and technologies; hacktivism; alternative internets; digital security

We are asking, What is in your mind that should we address, or is relevant to now…?

Why “Zero Money”?

Can we imagine the arrival of a “zero money” future in a time of multiple intersecting crises: pandemics, climate change, capitalist environmental devastation, increased human and multispecies mass migration, rising religious fundamentalism and fascism that feed off Imperialism, genocide, mass-surveillance systems, and widening economic disparities?

We know that revolutions mean ongoing practices in revolutionary action, not singular ruptures in history. Revolutionary modes of action we believe we can all commit to now to bring about a zero-money future include:

  • Collective action that deconstructs power and domination and reconstructs social relations through mutualism and collaboration,
  • Creating and strengthening autonomous communities in resistance to oppressive power regimes, and
  • Establishing traditions of continual self-re-examination and self-management to ensure that “work” is a means of empowering the individual to develop their potential.

We need to envision a world without money and social stratification and act on our imagined plan—even though social change never occurs per a blueprint, no matter how precise and detailed.

  • Organizers of the NYC Anarchist Bookfair have been studying the time-bank system, wherein wage-labor is eliminated and hours of work exchanged are valued equally, regardless of the kind of work performed.
  • We recognize the value of all work, including interpretive and typically feminized work that sustains peoples and pro-social human, non-human, and more-than-human relations. That means redirecting systems of care, energy distribution, and work toward human and earthly well-being rather than the output of products and things.
  • We want to see science and technology focus on making free association, cooperation, and direct communication between individuals, consumer-cooperatives, and productive units easier, to facilitate the transition from mindless labor to creative activity.
  • We regard constantly re-defining what human freedom means not as an abstract principle but a practice enabling individuals to access and cultivate their unique means of benefitting themselves and the collective.

While we refuse to declare what an alternative to the monetary system would look like, we invite attendees to consider the contributions that an anarchist framework can make to a zero-money future.


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