Re-enchanting the world(s) through feminist activism and commoning

Silvia Federici in Rome Photo: Anna Katharina Voss

How to resist the devastation of territories and social relations by collectively and creatively planting the seeds for a socioecological transformation through feminist practices of commoning? Understanding the commons as the performance of care-full social relations through which alternative, anticapitalist and non-patriarchal forms of socioecological (re)production can emerge, we can re-enchant our heterogenous lifeworlds. Putting life at the centre calls for building networks and forging alliances between urban and rural experiences of commoning, recognising women’s role in socio-environmental resistances and fighting against gender violence and hierarchies in the everyday politics of being-and-doing-in-common.

Photo: Anna Katharina Voss
Photo: Anna Katharina Voss

These were the inspiring debates during two discussions with feminist writer, scholar and activist Silvia Federici I had the opportunity to attend in May and June this year in Italy – both in themselves an expression of commoning: in the immaterial space of sharing scholar and activist perspectives and experiences while being organised on the material grounds of a community farmers’ market in Bologna (as a dialogue between Federici, professor and commons scholar Massimo De Angelis, the food sovereignty association CampiAperti and local activists from the transnational feminist network Non Una Di Meno) and at Lucha y Siesta, a self-organised women’s house and cultural centre in Rome.

Gender violence regards you too. The women house Lucha y Siesta is not for sale! Image shared by Anna Katharina Voss

Lucha y Siesta has been offering housing shelter for 142 women and 65 children who escaped situations of domestic violence since activists occupied the abandoned house and plot owned by Rome’s municipal transport agency in 2011. The centre is under imminent threat of eviction and suspension of water, electricity and gas utilities… The eviction threat is still ongoing but for now the house is resisting. They are currently mobilising a broad civil society committee to collectively purchase the house – a feminist defense of the commons in action.


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