Who are we? We are the result and synthesis of our time
Commonspolis, Weaving Networks and Civic Culture for Change
CommonsPolis is born from the interconnection of personal trajectories and collective and unique journeys in a time defined by the rise of civic resistance struggles. These struggles are rooted on the will to reform relations between citizens and democracy, power and politics upon new foundations.
Among these hope and resistance struggles are the Arab Spring and its democratic demands (Tunisia, 2007), The March of the Penguins and student struggles for justice and free education in Chile (2006), the Occupy Wall Street movement against social and economic inequalities all over the world, as well as the outstanding social and political laboratory resulting from the rise of the 15M movement and the various municipal victories achieved in the Spanish State. Since then, the new municipalism as an alternative for change is materialized as a way to manage territories with and for its inhabitants, generating public policies in favor of the majority and the general well-being, thus meeting the challenges of the systemic, social and environmental transition.
The idea of creating CommonsPolis arose in 2016 with the purpose of generating an environment which would not be dependent on any political structure. The idea was to create an autonomous instrument aimed at strengthening municipalism, which would be able to contribute to the interconnection among diverse actors and processes involved in producing global changes in our societies (municipalist platforms, commoners, transition operators), as well as unifying the different scopes of such changes. From the very outset, we wanted CommonPolis to host its own space for personal and collective growth, open to criticism and exchange of ideas, in order to be able to grow based on common trusts, avoiding barriers resulting from relying on external structures.
Great Challenges and Strong Convictions
The challenges we face are political in nature, and are related to our ability to answer urgent matters: make contributions to social and political change; strengthen the fragile municipal victories already in place and the ones to come (in the Spanish State, France, Belgium, Europe and the rest of the world); defend the progress made against the neoliberal onslaught intending to commodify life, against wasteful consumerism, corruption, short-termism, resignation and ignorance.
These challenges are related to our need to pinpoint alternatives which allow us to adapt to climate change and to the widespread collapse already noticeable (irretrievable loss of biodiversity, complete vulnerability of our ecosystems, dispossession and annihilation of our natural resources, peak oil, violent and autocratic denial of fundamental civil rights, etc.).
They are also related to cultural matters, to our ability to transform and to create narratives and diverse ways to express such changes and emergencies. We strongly think that culture and arts help us to change the meaning of who we are in this world.
They are related to our will to transform ourselves while we aim to transform and improve our surroundings, structures and institutions.
They are related with our stances, feelings and work within ourselves, because it is no longer possible to think that political actions are detached from our emotions. On the contrary, we need to draw upon them to set the conditions for change.
And, finally, they are related to the invention of new methods, new ways to listen to each other, to share and collaborate, to build community.
Driven by these urges, in 2018, CommonsPolis acquired its own legal structure in the form of an Association, and establishes itself in Castielfabib, a town of 300 inhabitants in the Ademuz mountiains (Valencia). We feel very close to Castielfabib, as we have shared many common goals with its residents. We also share the challenge of contributing to the strengthening of rural areas, a crucial factor toward building resilient societies.
CommonsPolis hosts a Socio-Scientific Council, whose participants nurture CommonsPolis with their ideas, projections, and openness, due to the singularity of their journeys and various commitments.