[PeDAGoG] War By Other Names / Act 10

Alessandra Pomarico alessandrapomarico at gmail.com
Sat Mar 4 02:49:21 CET 2023

Dear Friends and Comrades,

We hope that this letter finds you well.

We want to invite you this Sunday March 5th, to join with for a special
edition of War By Other Names, making together one year since the
Russian invasion of Ukraine.

For ACT X, we are grateful to have a large group of friends, some who
have been part of our assemblies before, others who join for the first
time to share questions and thoughts which they believe are critical to
consider, in responding to this war and its many reverberations,
oscillations and consequences.

We have tried below to give a sense of the day. It will unfold in four
parts, each about one hour in length. Short interventions by invited
contributors and then open conversation, break, then the next circle,
spiral, grouping.

We hope you will join us in animating a communal way to both register
the immensity of violence and destruction which is concentrated in
Ukraine and on Ukrainians and to do so, thinking through, both in its
continuities and discontinuities to the violence in our midst, wherever
we are situated.

We wish together to create a space to construct in-between a political
language and imaginary that is capable of confronting these brutal
machines and regimes of violence.

reimagining solidarity, mai


Veronika Zablotsky, Françoise Vergès
Sista Oloruntoyin, Brother Mwayemudza
Black Community Coalition for Justice and Self-Defense
Alisa Lozhkina, Göksun Yazici
Peter Linebaugh, Sabu Kohso
Anatoli Ulyanov, Ovidiu Tichindeleanu
Zoé Samudzi, Nicholas Mirzoeff
and many friends

Sunday March 5th, 2023
11AM to 3PM (EST)


Meeting ID: 934 0924 8883
Passcode: Exter


Last year, we started with friends a series of encounters, attempting to
think through the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, both in its
specificities as well as it regional and planetary dimensions.*

One year on, we see it even more clearly, this war, at the same time as
it devastates Ukraine and destroys the lives of its peoples, is
planetary and involves nearly all the large ensembles, molar lines,
blocs, economic and political concentrations of coercion. And as much as
it reveals, this war, like all wars, masks and occludes, gives rise to
reactivity, countering our insurgencies. And in that sense, there is no
denying its relevance to struggles on a planetary scale, including the
fate of the planet itself.

Whether it is at the level of ecology, economy, energy, weapons,
technology, white supremacy, coloniality, hetero-patriarchy, border
regimes, state power, capitalist realism much of what is being mobilized
in the name of Ukraine from those larger ensembles seems nothing other
than the continuation of the very state of things that need urgently to
be abolished.

So it is in this spirit that we would like to call for an assembling,
marking this passing of a year since the invasion of Ukraine, not only
in order to be present to the immense violence, displacement,
destruction, death and suffering, but also to find ways of thinking,
responding, which do not isolate it, searching for words or senses of it
through other struggles, the many wars or war like states which underpin
our worlds.

For looking back at the previous acts, we assembled on our website a
little overview:


We think to organize in 4 one hour circles. Invited contributors will
speak for about 10 minutes, sharing questions they are thinking through
from wherever they are at, and then keep some space for a conversation
to emerge. We will try to take a short break between each of the


We don’t expect our contributors to explain what is happening, rather to
try together to construct ideas, thought forms, out of words and
questions which could help us overcome the dominant political
imaginaries and narratives of this invasion, this war, our times, and
what we are struggling for/against.


*This process has not been systematic, it emerged week to week, assembly
by assembly as lines of thinking held together mostly by association,
affinity, friendship, and trust for a process of collective inquiry and
its capacity to inform how we struggle against the wars in our midst. It
started as a conversation with Olga Kopenkina and Dmitry Vilensky weeks
before the invasion, to organize something to bring together artists and
thinkers to discuss what seemed to us a grave situation. We organized
the first encounter just days after the invasion had started. As the
assemblings continued, Alisa Lozhkina and Ovidiu Tichindeleanu added
further energy and nourishment to our collective, speculative but
politically grounded inquiry and conversation. We remain grateful to
these and the many friends who have given their time and energy to this
common effort.


Like the virtual assemblings we have organized with so many friends over
the last three years, as well as the many more physically over two plus
decades, we use these occasions to go beyond ourselves, offering instead
questions, sharing speculatively, as ways not to convince but to open
new paths for our ways of collectively perceiving as well as struggling
through the local realities contexts where we are all in.

As a friend and comrade, Stefano Harney, recently reminded us, we do
this wrestling away the monopoly of states and corporations (for or non
profit) to determine when, with whom, how, for what we assemble.

And given that the preponderance of spaces and situations which are
created for anything resembling assembly are usually of a professional
sort, even within our activist contexts (i.e., instrumental): assembling
to speculate and to discover new spaces of possibility, both for thought
and action become critical to overcome the terms of order and go beyond
disciplinary (in all senses of the term) logics.

If whatever we do or undo has anything to do with art (which remains an
open question), at the very least, it is to insist on this ability to
put the state of things into question, to question our means, and to put
into crisis any particular end sought, even in words. To open up a space
to do that collectively, is not easy, it requires trust and in moments
such as now, a generosity and care which seem harder to find.

We lose so much time in making ends meet, there is never time to meet
without ends, or to question those ends. These are dialogical moments
when thinking returns to an experience of being in and out of a body, at
a threshold, in contact, extimate, in common.

In 2005, our friend and comrade Brian Holmes initiated with us a
collective inquiry which he called Continental Drift. In that seeking,
he insisted that the enormity of the challenge to understand our worlds,
from the vantage point of what happened after 1989, 1991, required a
breadth of knowledge and a complexity of approaches that no single
person could carry, that it had to be done collectively and could be a
way to embody and open up the necessity of thinking, searching together
in our sometimes close, sometimes distant fields of study, struggle.

Just last night in a conversation between friends and contributors to
our assemblings, Silvia Federici and Verónica Gago, a question was
raised regarding the fate of struggles when they seem to dissipate from
the streets. And Silvia spoke about the necessity of spaces and
infrastructures to hold together, imagine, build up our forces of
continuing, presisting, resisting, responding, restituting, reimagining,
reproducing our communities and our worlds.

So as we continue to search for a language to articulate and weave
together our struggles, we do so thinking through this long arc of
efforts with friends and comrades, to insist on collectively
constructing multiplying those practices, spaces and paths of autonomy,
transversality, communality.


Please note, for those who have expressed interest in these weeks to join
our assemblings, we have made a list to send to you each week the details
for joining.

If for any reason you prefer to not receive these updates, we have made it

You can simply write an email to:
assembling-leave at 16beavergroup.org
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