Inventing a world to live in: Continuous self teaching for excluded workers
Popular research is the process of reorganization and/or reflection of the inventions of individuals and groups that emerge in the popular field to resolve concrete problems, but they’re also intuitions or new ways of life. Popular research is a process of intensification of culture and popular organization.
The Technology and Territory Lab was created by m7red as an independent organization in 2017 after accompanying the development process of the popular economy since the Argentine crisis of 2001. It works on the edge, inside and out, of the Movement of Excluded Workers (MTE – 2003) as a space of invention (problem resolution), research (problem construction), reflection and action simultaneously.
The word “lab”, “laboratory” retakes the old word “labor” in the sense of work, of the inventive capacity of work in its universal and non-hierarchical potential, and has the strategic purpose of inverting its current common use, co-opted ny high formalized processes and strongly inscribed in power relationships. “Modernization” or “innovation” are the names these words take in the battlefield of capitalism. m7red tries to reclaim the strength of the word “invention” in an existential sense: invention of new ways of life, rescuing from the old paradigm of work the capacity to instate worlds, of opening new dimensions in the real. But we have to overcome the concept of work, work has become formality and exclusion, and there’s a surplus of people in the current capitalization processes. Today there is invention because there is exclusion: you invent a world to live in it, you build your own house to live in it, you build your own neighborhood above urban exclusion, but you invent above all else because there is an excess of inventivity, of knowledge, of courage.
The lab is a space and a process of popular self teaching through eleven strategic branches: social infrastructure and construction, immigrant street vendors, youth, women, health, education, garment and more. It understands self teaching as the collective and simultaneous process of formation, reflection and innovation of collective problems, and it understands by collective the fabrication of an open and heterogeneous social class led by the popular class. Self teaching is production of knowledge from the resolution of real life concrete problems, situated in real places and contexts. Production and formation for the lab are inseparable, two sides of the same coin.
- The laboratory of the continuous crisis, Urgent Pedagogies magazine, from IASPIS, November 2020.