Conor Heaney is a PhD candidate in Social & Political Thought at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Drawing on the work of, among others, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Henri Bergson, Joseph Beuys, Kendrick Lamar, and Gregory Bateson, his PhD project focuses on the revolutionary and creative sculpting of alternative presents. He is also involved in collaborative pedagogical experimentation (the ‘Learning, Exchange, and Play’ campaign with Hollie Mackenzie) and attempts at enabling political transformation through popular culture.
Change life! Change society! These precepts mean nothing without the production of an appropriate space.(Henri Lefebvre)
It is time for those interested in radical social, political, ecological, and democratic change to transform and to create. Not just in the realms of our relationships with each other, or of our relationships with the non-human, but also our relationship to ourselves. We cannot wait for permission to create a better world together – such permission will not be given – we can only do this ourselves.
In this provocation, members of a newly forming collective – a Centre for Transformational Learning and Culture (CTLC) – outline the aims, purposes, and goals of this new Centre. Presently, we have plans in motion to create experimental learning spaces, alternative democratic spaces, different types of cultural production (documentaries, zines, podcasts, etc.), and other types of events which seek to contribute to the collective transformation of our being-in-the-world; but this is only the beginning. The express hope of this provocation is to invite fellow conference delegates to join us in these processes of personal, political, and ecological transformation and creation.
In our everyday life, each of us differentially navigates structures of domination and exploitation: capitalist instrumentalisation, everyday routines of racism, sexism, exclusion and marginalisation, and the orthodoxies of education and cultural production. These structures encourage and enforce narrow framings of who we might be and what we could do as living beings, autonomous learners, political subjects and as a community. There has been, and continues to be, a hegemonisation of the imaginative environment. Let us join together to pierce open this collective imaginative environment and build another world.