Thank you to Prof Tessa Morris-Suzuki for inviting me to act as a discussant in the Living Politics: Self-Help and Autonomous Action in East Asia and Beyond, hosted by the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific in Canberra, 14th-16th March 2018. The following YouTube audio clip captures my remarks and the following Q&A, in which I identify three key themes which stood out for me across the conference:
- The global transition and the emergence of new “isms”;
- Living politics case studies as laboratories for emerging new modes of production, consumption, exchange, and social organisation and relation;
- The role of academics in this historic moment.
The conference is the culmination of the ARC Laureate Project Informal Life Politics in Northeast Asia: New Perspectives on Social Transitions from Cold War to Post Cold War, conducted by Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki, Dr Tom Cliff, Dr Shuge Wei, Dr Robert Winstanley-Chesters, Dr Uchralt Otede and Yonjae Paik.
This conference was about rethinking the boundaries of the “political,” exploring innovative autonomous ways in which people in East Asia and beyond are collaborating to solve challenges which conventional political systems fail to address.
Conference participants included practitioners in grassroots alternatives as well as academic researchers. Topics covered included informal life politics; re-imagining the state; cooperation and cooperatives; the self-help politics of memory, and art activism, with the aim of encouraging debate and inspiring new ways of looking at politics in the region.
Thank you to my academic and practitioner colleagues for your wonderful presentations and stimulating discussion!