Call for Submissions to Class Dismissed

A group of us have been talking about the ways in which we’ve often felt alienated from our own movements because of not having gone to post secondary in a scene where it seems like many of our comrades have and would like to hear from organizers with similar experiences.  Rising from these chats, some of us have been talking about an idea for a compilation zine we’re calling ‘Class Dismissed’.

It’s meant to be by, and for, anarchists who, like us, haven’t gone to post-secondary (with two exceptions… read on!). We figured we’d also like to include folks dropped out or flunked out early on and who have found ways that, while always colored by these institutions (ours probably are too in a lot of ways), don’t use them as the main background for the development of our understandings of the world and the shit that needs to be done and how to do it. We also want to extend the invitation to folks who have only gone to trade school, because, if your experience is anything like our friends, school didn’t really do much to offer opportunities for political engagement outside of the debates you’d otherwise be having on the job site.

And while we could try and just write something as a small group we wanted to open it up to other folks too because we think everyone’s got their own take here and it’s important to share those things with each other. Below are some things we are curious about but don’t take it as a checklist of stuff you need to respond to. It’s more meant to give you some ideas of the shape of what we’re thinking about.

– Stories and reflections on the ways in which not going to school has shaped your politics, experience, and identity as anarchists.
– How folks came to identify as anarchists outside of school and find others in the first place and what they’ve been doing since
– How folks like to go about sharpening their strategies and politics and sharing political knowledge outside of pre-scripted ‘teacher-student’ or ‘classroom’ style modes
– How we have shared this stuff with the other folks in our lives who are in the same (or similar) boats that break free of the ‘teacher –student’ mold.
– Suggestions and ideas about how we could be doing things better rather than just pointing out what’s wrong (though there’s definitely space for that too).
– Things that you’ve felt frustrated by in your own sense of ability or place in anarchist spaces or debates because you haven’t had experience in post secondary educational institutions and suggestions for ways of overcoming those
– Problems with the anarchist milieu being something that’s often tied to folks with institutional education are and what solutions we’ve found or have a feeling may be out there.
– Stuff that you think might be helpful/useful for folks to consider or try in order to level the playing field.
– Ways in which dealing with academia and folks influenced by experiences with it from the outside has shaped your class conciseness
– Overcoming barriers of inaccessibility of language.
– Talking with other folks who don’t have an academic background about political theory, and growing movements outside of institutional academia

The rough shape of submissions we would like in a format of problem, then solution. First the problems you’ve found organizing without having attended these institutions, followed by a personal account of your organizing and how you’ve gone about organizing or radicalizing other folks (or whatever various work we do within our communities).

The hope is to get this together in time for the anarchist book fair in Halifax this fall, and it’d be rad if you’d toss some thoughts our way so it’s not just us writing. If you’re into it, we would really appreciate it if you could get a draft into us by the first weekend in August so we have time to get back to folks and put the thing together.

Writing is hard for me and maybe a lot of us. Don’t worry too much about making it perfect. No one’s grading you. That being said, if you want to submit something that’s not in writing we ask that you get in touch first if you’d want something you’ve recorded typed out or want to do an interview or something since it’s just a few of us working on this when we’re not at work. Art is great, but keep in mind we wanna photocopy this in black and white and may give priority to stuff that approaches things in a conversational or storytelling way rather than making statements. Feel free to tailor this callout to the specifics of your networks as we know all of us come from different cities with their own intricacies around institutional academia. Any submissions can be forwarded to wordstofire@protonmail.com, feel free to sign as anonymous or however you want if even at all.

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