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Commoning Care & Collective Power

Commoning Care & Collective Power

Childcare Commons and the Micropolitics of Municipalism in Barcelona

Manuela Zechner
transversal texts, October 2021
ISBN 978-3-903046-31-3
238 pages, paperback, 15,- €

With a foreword by Joan Tronto
and a preface by Bue Rübner Hansen
edited by Lina Dokuzović and Niki Kubaczek

Commoning Care & Collective Power traces the twin genealogies of childcare commons and the micropolitics of municipalism in Barcelona. It shows how grassroots movements engaged new institutional experiments after Spain’s 15M movement, marked by struggles for social reproduction and a new feminist politics, leading towards commons municipalisms. Interested in both struggles for and to care, this book looks across subjective and collective processes. Interdependence and autonomy, care and micropolitics, building power and commons, neighbourhood and city: those are some of the terms brought into resonant tension. Zechner honours the groundwork of mothers’ networks and commons nurseries, telling of powerful webs and infrastructures of care in the neighbourhood of Poble Sec. Midwives, mothers, carers and councillors prefigure schools and cities of care, as this book turns to explore how institutions are themselves sites of struggles to care. How to stay with the trouble of embodiment, interdependence and collective learning, even within institutional contexts? How might we grapple with the relation between movements and institutions? This book’s interweaving of concepts and experiences traces a powerful cycle of collective learning, yielding new articulations between the commons and the public, and channeling new feminist forces.


Book presentations / Interviews / Reviews

Frauen*solidarität / Bibliothek: Vorstellung des Buches

Buchpräsentation mit Manuela Zechner, La Raposa, Barcelona, 16.10.2021, 13:00

Buchpräsentation mit Manuela Zechner, Casale Garibaldi, Via Romolo Balzani, Roma, 20.10.2021, 16:00

Online book presentation, organized by Housmans bookshop, with Manuela Zechner and Stevphen Shukaitis. 09.03.2022, 19:00 GMT / 20:00 CET.

Buchpräsentation mit Manuela Zechner, Errant Bodies studio, Cotheniusstrasse 6, 10407 Berlin, 18.03.2022, 19:30.

Buchpräsentation und Gespräch mit Manuela Zechner, Fluc, Praterstern 5, 1020 Wien, 29.3.2022, 19:00

Social Struggles in Spain, Depot, Breite Gasse 3, 1070 Wien, 25.5.2022, 16:00

Kindergartens: laboratories of change in the community, Dječja kuća, Art-kvart “Benčić”, 51000 Rijeka, 10.6.2022, 17:30



Foreword: Complicating Care
by Joan Tronto

Preface: The Conditions of Strategy
by Bue Rübner Hansen

Introduction: To care as we’d like to

I. Common struggles: from autonomy to interdependence and back again

No commons without community and care

Minor genealogy I: Commons between autonomy and institutions

Minor genealogy II: Feminist subversions of the commons

II. Childcare commons: mothers‘ sympoieisis, the neighbourhood politics of care and municipal policy

Childcare commons as vector of political change

Laboratories of interdependence: Self-organised nurseries

Aporias and precedents

Schools of care

III. Commoning power: the micropolitics of municipalism

Starting points for micropolitical enquiry

Minor genealogy III: Power from the streets to the institutions

Municipalism and social movements: Anatomy of a relation

Institutions without bodies: Rhythms, affects, embodiments and subjectivations

Lessons for collective practice

IV. By way of concluding: struggles for care, struggling to care

Both interdependence and autonomy

Care networks and ecologies: A mapping exercise