Common Agency Projects, Rehearsing Commoming Actions At Wanstead Flats October 2020. (Photo: Felicity Crawshaw)
Find out more about the commons, acts of commoning and the ideas behind the exhibition.
(We’ll be adding to this resource as the exhibition tours.)
The exhibition invites you to become, or recognise yourself, as a ‘Commoner’.
The commons is historically thought of in relation to land and resources that are held for common use. Now it also includes the cultural commons such as open source software and knowledge in the digital world.
Increasing privatisation, individualism and the impact of austerity have eroded the commons. Activating the verb ‘to common’ is a way to renew public life. Acts of commoning can be woven into every aspect of life and become a way of living. A life where we can connect to produce shared rituals and resources that we look after together. Getting involved through co-operation, mutual care and exchange can heal and make change in our communities.
Become a Commoner
The ideas for commoning offered in the exhibition are timely as society addresses the impacts of extreme disruption from COVID-19. Commoning can help process trauma and loss to find meaning and aid recovery.
Mirroring the commons movement there has been a shift in thinking from, “you’re on your own” to “we’re in this together.” Co-operation through neighbourhood mutual aid groups has resulted in taking care of one another. Acts of commoning can rebalance our ways of imagining, living and working to realise a more collective future.
If you want to find out more here are some links you may find useful:
- Types of commons Useful intro, plus good short video introduction to knowledge commons
- The Commons, Short and Sweet by David Bollier
- Commons Thinking by Justin Kenrick
- Article by Leila Dawney: Commoning and the production of common worlds
- Article by Max Haiven: Creativity and the Commons
- Article by Amy Twigger Holroyd: Why it’s important to be open