ConCiencias por la Humanidad: Frente Al Muro

There is engagement, discussion and reflection on the ConCiencias gathering across numerous lists and science and science/art world spaces. The videos of the gathering are available here,  Many are in Spanish, and provide history, context, and ideas for a revisioning and reorientation around the purpose and practice science at this moment in time.

David Meeks notes that:

Las ConCiencias, the title of the conference, brings together the Spanish words for science and awareness. The moniker pinpoints the conference’s dual purpose. First, the Zapatistas convened the meeting to critically explore the ways in which science has historically been a social endeavor largely devoid of consciousness, a project in the service of capital, an endeavor that contributes to the marginalization of indigenous peoples throughout the world. Second, the conference is a space of dialogue to explore the counter-hegemonic potential of science; how can its power be harnessed to identify the cracks in the wall of capitalism, and expand upon them, leading to its dissolution and the resurgent sovereignty of indigenous peoples.

The Zapatistas demand that science be reimagined by both scientists and the grassroots together as a technique of resistance. Decolonizing science requires scientists to organize in their own communities, and to deconstruct how their own research methodologies and epistemologies have been employed as tools of colonialism and neocolonialism. Such a process of decolonization also demands scientists become engaged allies, co-conspirators, and accomplices who can share methodological and theoretical insights with grassroots movements about how to build a new vision of science within the cracks of capital’s wall.

David Meek, Cracks in the Wall of Capitalism: The Zapatistas and the Struggle to Decolonize Science.

The technology sector also needs a conscientization of aims and practices. There are many allies and co-conspirators in this sector, however, the velocity of development across the globe outpaces the capacity to manage a situation which is leading to what Sassen calls 'expulsion' with humans becoming the 'unnecessariat.'

It is interesting to watch scientists in other regions respond to the Zapatista call to situate themselves as having agency and within the struggle for life - "Entiendan ya lo que ya entendimos nosotros: que, como científicos y científicas, ustedes luchan por la humanidad, es decir, por la vida." Sup Galeano, El Gato Perro y el Apocalipsis.

This response is critical for the project of a science with conscience. Though it requires tremendous dialogue, work, changes, and struggle, todo para tod@s, nada para nostr@s is the guide to another world that is possible.

Dec 27, 2017