Marina has just completed with Zed Press, London UK, Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism &Autonomy in Argentina (2012), and is co-editor of the forthcoming, Insurgent Democracies: Latin America's New Powers. Marina's work has been published in: The International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Znet, Yes! Magazine, Upping the Anti, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, alternet.org, and Prensa Latina, among others.
Thanks to Don Caldarazzo for help editing the
Guest: Marina Sitrin
April 24, 2012
Rob: And welcome to the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360 AM, sponsored by OpEdnews.com and you can listen to other shows if you go to iTunes and look for my name, "Rob Kall," or go to OpEdNews.com/podcasts . My guest tonight is Marina Sitrin. She's the author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina and it seemed like all the time when I was at the different Occupy Wall Street locales, the idea of horizontalism came at me, and almost always it was Marina Sitrin as the editor of this book whose name came associated with it. So, welcome to the show, Marina!
Marina: Great. Thanks. It's nice to be here.
Rob: Now, let me give a little bit more of a bio that I've collected on you. Marina Sitrin is a writer, lawyer, teacher, organizer and dreamer. She holds a Ph.D. in global sociology, and a J.D., that's a legal degree, in international Women's human rights. Her work focuses on social movements and justice, specifically looking at new forms of social organization, such as autogestion, horizontalidad, pre-figurative politics and new effective social relationships. She's the editor of Horizontalism: Voices of Power in Argentina, published in 2006 by AK Press, and that's been published in numerous languages. And she's just completed a new book with Zed Press, Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina, that's going to come out this fall.
Rob: You're doing some really exciting stuff here. Now, the one thing on your website - you have a quote that I just love, and I love quotes. I'm going to borrow this and put it on the OpEdnews database. You believe in the power of imagination, and that most all things are possible. As Lewis Carroll reminds us in Through The Looking Glass, "Alice laughed. There's no use trying," she said, "One can't believe impossible things!"
"I dare say you haven't had much practice!" said the queen. "When I was your age I always did it for half an hour a day. Why sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Marina: / I do love that quote.
Rob: / Great quote and reading the book, reading Horizontalism, which I have to say, is kind of "walking the talk," in terms of doing a book that's based on horizontalism and the values that have been manifested at the Occupy Wall Street general assemblies. This is not a book that you wrote and put your name on: it's a book that you kind of introduced, but then in walking the talk, you've created a place where a lot of voices could discuss and share their perspectives on what this is all about. And that's a really neat thing to do, and I don't know that I've ever seen it ever done before like this has been done.
Marina: I think people have done different kinds of oral histories or tried to facilitate voices. I was really fortunate in working on the book in Argentina. I was living in Argentina and went there, not as an academic or as a researcher, but as someone who is also involved in movements. So I was involved in movements and talking to people and thinking together with them about the best way to make a tool that would be useful for other countries in Latin America, because the book came out first in Spanish and then in English. So, the way it's being used in the Occupy Movement now is the same way it was used in Latin America in 2005, when it came out there in Spanish and it set--helping people to see and hear the voices of real people living things that are similar, and having them share both the inspiring moments and things they're doing, and then some of the challenges. But I did it together with people in the movements, in talking to them and getting feedback. And so I was really fortunate that that's how it came out.