Unipop

How many meetings fit in one single meeting?

Audience | 14:00-16:00

An undetermined number of people meets in a room and…

This sentence can be finished in an infinite number of ways, as the ellipsis suggests. But the verb signals a purpose and invites us to think of certain formalities. Anyone can meet, but there is some added dignity to the act of meeting, generally associated with the expectation of an outcome. You meet, in general, to take decisions (even if this not necessarily the case here).

Imagine the tenants or the parents association meeting, with well determined ends and practical purposes, from which you cannot escape. But also the parliamentary commission meeting, exchanging jokes, or the general assembly, exchanging insults, or the debate on poetry that ends in a gunfight.

Someone requests the floor and goes on forever. Someone is urged to speak and has nothing to say. Someone assumes the role of moderator and is accused of being a dictator. Someone gets up and leaves without saying a word. Someone swears it’s the last time they will ever be caught up in a similar mess. Someone recalls there are still many points to be discussed in the agenda.

Can all these meetings meet in the same meeting?

This meeting begins with the identification of a different set of formalities usually associated with meetings and proposes to dismantle them by overlap.

An undetermined number of people meets in a room and…

 

UNIPOP  is a Lisbon collective set up in 2007 to disseminate critical theory and militant practice beyond the narrow confines of the academic circuit, and to open up spaces where contemporary capitalism can be subject to analysis and political intervention.  Unipop has a few core members but operates as a network that over the past few years has relied on the participation of hundreds of individual militants and academics as well as a number of independent organizations.

Although there is much common ground between the various Unipop members and collaborators, this common ground is something we continuously work on rather than a previously demarcated terrain, much less a singular political line. The work we carry out is open and cooperative, but also militant, anchored in a constellation of concerns aimed at a politically inflected understanding of the present and at encouraging new forms of critical understanding and emancipatory practice. These are interrelated parts of a general critique and redefinition of the scope of ‘the possible’.

In short, we want our identity to be shaped by our activities, contacts and exchanges rather than by a series of pre-established programmatic notes or trajectories.

 

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