| UNIVERSITAT PIRATA
[ PIRATE UNIVERSITY ]
The Universitat Pirata, or Pirate University, was a self-organized university based out of the Miles de Viviendas social center in Barcelona.
It was founded on principles of piracy, meaning: the free circulation of educational access, the decorporatization and decommodification of knowledge, free culture, and a phenomenal 'fever to share'.
Following these lines, the Pirate University hosted a plethora of co-educational experimental 'bloques', or classes.
Some of the longest-running 'bloques' included:
* A class on the global history of Piracy and new practices/philosophies of Piracy such as social hacking and emerging forms of resistance.
* A feminism and DIY sex-toy workshop;
* A number of laboratories researching and building free-software tools, and 'interference' technologies for use in social movements and public space modification.
* There were physical education bloques based in urban exploration and embodied research:
* A large curandero-led bloque which dealt with wholistic health, naturopathy, herbalism, physical therapy; and the politics of medicine;
* There were research groups focused on the history and current practices of alternative pedagogy, self-organized education and student movements globally, as well as a group working on the theory and practice of Translation.
I participated in many different bloques, but my principal activities in the U.P. involved the Open-Source Sewing Studio, a ‘Branding/PR for Social Change’ seminar, and a neighborhood television experiment known as TV L'Ostia.
In addition to sharing the principle of Piracy, all of the bloques were experimental, androgogic, and focused on the intersection between research, theory and practice.
The Universitat Pirata was also deeply engaged in international and local political and pedagogical networks, supportive of other similar projects, and strongly enmeshed in the neighborhood struggle for self-defense.
The life of the Universitat Pirata was cut short by the eviction of the Miles social center - but at the time of it's disarticulation , many of the bloques had been in the process of transforming; bleeding into each other along transversal lines of agreement and contagious curiousity.
As is common with self-organized institutions, it's diverse energies have now continued on, only in new, and perhaps stronger forms.
VISIT THE PIRATE UNIVERSITY / UNIVERSITAT PIRATA WEBSITE HERE
One of the events we organized in the U.P. was a screening and discussion with a number of different radical telivision networks from around the world. Our guests included Catia TV, one of the largest community-controlled television networks in Caracas, Venezuela; Dara Greenwald, who spoke about the history of radical television collectives in the US, and presentations from Chilean and Argentinian pirate television stations as well.
This event was so inspiring that we decided to found a neighborhood pirate television network for the Barceloneta, known as 'TV L'Ostia'. TV L'Ostia consisted of a technical 'bloque' within the U.P. working on the development of a pirate transmitter, and the creation of a neighborhood based network of TV production and exhibition.
We set about talking with neighbors and collecting shows that were by, for, and about the Barceloneta, and with the creation of the first DVD of these shows, we inaugurated the first 'transmission'.
Inspired by one of our collaborators from the Italian 'Telestreets' movement, our 'transmission' was organized simply as a simultaneous public projection of TV L'Ostia throughout the neighborhood; in Bars, cafes, corner stores, and projected on the street.
I'll upload some clips soon from TV L'Ostia, for the edification of Barceloneta lovers..
You can also enjoy some of the interviews from the parallel effort: UniPirataTV
'Jugar para Ganar' and the Open Source Sewing Studio / Taller de Costura de Codigo Abierto:
In the Universitat Pirata I co-facilitated the 'Jugar para Ganar: Branding/PR for Social Change’ course,
where we studied branding theory and history and put it into various campaigns.
This often dovetailed with my main activities in the Open Source Sewing Studio /
Taller de Costura de Codigo Abierto. Both projects were collaborations with
Aviv Kruglanski, who was also the main tailor during the Yo Mango and Pret a
Revolter campaigns of Las Agencias.
In the Open Source Sewing Studio we made
costumes, fashion shows, textile design, soft sculptures for protest, and sewing
workshops where we would occupy the public space out in front of Miles.
SEE: Geografia Esborada, 'Why we Squat' campaign, Ropa Colgada/Bragas campaigns