Two years after 911 the global cup looks both half full and half empty. Itâ€™s hard to be optimistic, yet there are plenty of reasons for it. With the Bush-Blair war machine running out of steam, the movement of movements shifts its attention to alternatives for the WTO, Security Council and similar post-democratic bodies. In the moral desert of the Iraq War the structuration of imaginary consent through the repetitive bombardment of the image began to show severe cracks in credibility. These discrepancies within the represented result in a heightened need for action. The Iraq war didnâ€™t fool any one and both sides are still reeling a little from the shock. While maintaining their anger, people moved on from protest to a collective search for that other, possible world. What might a global democracy look like? Would it be a system with representatives and â€˜rights,â€™ or rather a dynamic set of events, without higher aims?
The focus of this publication digs into two concerns many artists, theorists and activists have had over the past decade: the fight for open architectures of modern communication tools and the support for refugees and migration to abolish repressive border regimes. One may ask: why these two? There are so many other concerns, such as gender issues, global warming, poverty, fair trade. It is not at all arbitrary. We found out that the demand to combine the freedom of movement with the freedom of communication is social dynamite. To conceptualize free software in relation to the rights of migrant workers is a powerful, contemporary struggle that questions a variety agendas.
How to break open the easy assumption of WSIS and NGOism in general that a mutual comprehensibility of concerns is always already a given point of departure? The assumption of a general communicability of concerns is perhaps one of the more problematic gestures of a world summit dedicated to issues of communication. Central to this trend is the spread of a homogenizing civil society discourse: one of the ways in which WSIS and similar events structure the â€˜grassrootsâ€™ long before any actual encounter takes place.
While it would be easy to assume that all we need is a couple of open access/commons ideas from anglo-american media theory and stir it into an emerging dynamic of multitudinal self-organization to see the counter info-society in the interstices of the existing one, there might be the need, especially when the agenda is communication and information, for some constitutive openness.
This eclectic mix has no claim to representativeness and does not not presume that there is already a shared common sense, even within our own circles, on what the conceptual elements of a counter-discourse are. We just tried to make some legitimate and illegitimate connections between discussions, debates and projects that we are involved in or concerned with. Feel free to use and re-use but donâ€™t expect extended warranty.