12-14 September 2018 // Loughborough University, U.K.
Central theme: Decolonize Anarchism
The fight against domination and destruction continues under heavy clouds. A global wave of resistance has once again been met with reaction, as elites turn to barefaced nationalism, racism and misogyny. For the world’s majority, such oppression is neither surprising nor new, given the enduring legacy of colonialism and by-now-established forms of neo-colonial exploitation. Meanwhile, hegemonic discourses show a frustrating capacity to co-opt and neutralise: converting anti-capitalism into welfare-populism, ecological resistance into green consumption, and militant intersectionality into liberal identity politics. Anarchist literature and organising are not automatically immune to these problems; posing ideas and practices that are radically free from domination requires critical reflection on assumptions and truths, including one’s own. Despite challenges, anarchists have sustained and grown multiple sites of resistance as well as constructive projects, while boldly spearheading the confrontation with the far right. Confident that the tide will turn again, the flame remains kindled. In these uncertain times, the elaboration of anarchist analysis bridging theory and practice, scholarly rigour and the insights of social movements, is as necessary as ever.
ASN conferences aim to breach new frontiers in anarchist scholarship, and encourage cross-pollination between disciplines. The central theme for this conference is DECOLONISATION, which we hope will inspire many of the presentations and panels. The purpose is twofold: to stimulate discussion of colonialism and racism as forms of oppression that anarchists oppose, but which continue to be felt in anarchist organising; and to welcome individuals, groups and communities who have not previously participated in ASN events. By recognising the legacy of non-western and anti-colonial thought and action in the anarchist tradition, we want to strengthen the ties between contemporary anarchists and decolonial theory and practice in the struggle against oppression, and to use the recognition of racist and Eurocentric practices and mind-frames to open up the event to marginalised groups.