Feel the pain, change the narrative, then celebrate

Indigenous cosmologies can save us from the terminal ecological and environmental crisis. There is much to learn. The ‘environment’ is not external to indigenous people’s bodies, communal life and cosmologies. Their collective being includes the mountain, the river, the animals and the plants. The notion of the defence of the environment is an alien term to them, for there is no separation between (the protection of) the environment and (the protection of) human and animal life. The environment is not surrounding them: it is them. We must learn from indigenous people. Chopping a tree is the equivalent of cutting an arm off. Millions of trees are being chopped down on daily basis. They feel the pain. Do we feel the pain? Only then we can truly celebrate the international day of the world’s indigenous peoples.




From Fear to Hope: Shifting narratives for art, social and human rights activism

Join us for an exploration into new narratives and frameworks for art, social and human rights activism guided by social research.

12 Jun 2019, 5.30pm to 12 Jun 2019, 7.30pm

8 West, 2.30, University of Bath

How can we reframe the debate on human and social rights?

Dr Ana Cecilia Dinerstein from the Department of Social & Policy Sciences (SPS), is thrilled to announce this Research Impact event, funded by the University of Bath Research and Innovation Services’ Impact Fund for her REF 2020 Case Study 'The Art of Organising Hope'. The event is sponsored by the Standing Seminar in Critical Theory South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP). 

We are delighted to welcome Thomas Coombes, Head of Brand & Communications at Amnesty International who will be joined by Dr Ben Parry (Bath School of Art & Design, Bath Spa), Dr Ana Cecilia Dinerstein (Social & Policy Sciences, Bath) and María José Ventura Alfaro (MPhil/PhD candidate, SPS, Bath). Chair: Adrian Burgess and Josie Hooker.

Too often participants in social movements and human rights organisations feel more angry, fearful and pessimistic than hopeful. The panellists will explore why and how the concept and the philosophy of hope offers a better framework to create new narratives for those mobilising against violence and injustice for a better world.

Speaker profiles

Thomas Coombes is Head of Brand and Deputy Director of Communications at Amnesty International, UK. He is working on a new 'hope based communications' proposal. He is author of a practical guide for NGOs to change their communications strategies towards hopeful messages.

Ana Cecilia Dinerstein is a feminist, open Marxist and decolonial critical theorist with a research interest in the global politics of hope at the University of Bath. She is author of The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope (2015). She writes about social resistance, prefiguration, new forms of utopia and the contemporary uses of Ernst Bloch’s principle of hope

Dr Ben Parry is a visual artist based in London and course leader for the MA Curatorial Practice in the Bath School of Art & Design, at Bath Spa University. His research explores the role of interventionism and activism in challenging the urbanisation of neoliberalism with a focus on reclaiming urban space. He is co-founder of arts organisation Jump Ship Rat and editor of the book Cultural Hijack: Rethinking intervention (2012) 

María José Ventura Alfaro

PhD candidate María José Ventura Alfaro is an ESRC funded post graduate student in the field of Development Studies, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath. Her research offers a feminist analysis of the contemporary violence against women or Feminicide and social movements’ action in contemporary Mexico. 

Chairing the event

Adrian Burgess is a PhD candidate, Social and Policy Sciences and Global Political Economy, University of Bath. By drawing on the conceptual framework of Pierre Bourdieu, he explores working class millennials aspirations for adult life in advanced neoliberalism to theorise the process of coming of age under austerity.

Josie Hooker is an ESRC-funded PhD candidate, Global Political Economy Pathway, University of Bath. She is an activist and her academic work is rooted in the political practice and collective strategic reflections of the grassroots struggles; most recently, anti-austerity movements and the ongoing radical municipalist turn in Spain.


Critical Theory in a closing and violent world

The newly-funded Standing Seminar in Critical Theory at the University of Bath, with the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter, within the ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) 

is thrilled to announce this event Critical Theory in a closing and violent world. See video:

For this event, we are delighted to welcome John Holloway (Puebla), Werner Bonefeld (University of York, UK ) and Theo Papadopoulos(Bath) who will join Dr Ana Cecilia Dinerstein (Bath). 

The panellists will bring critical theory to bear on a contemporary global panorama in which the legitimisation of violence, xenophobia, misogyny and racism takes on new and alarming power. What does it mean to speak of a closing world? What are its political implications and those, in turn, of open critique? What openings can critical theory forge in support of emancipatory politics and their horizons?




Social Movements and Critical Theory: The art of Organising Hope

On 17 April 2019, Plan C Bristol has held a public debate with Argentinian critical theorist Ana Cecilia Dinerstein as part of the local group’s monthly events series. Dinerstein’s recent work has focused on combining Open Marxism and decolonial feminism, and her best-known book is The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope (2015), on grass-root social movements in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. She has theorised “The Art of Organising Hope” as a collective practice of social critique from below, contributing to a dialogue among experiences from different areas of the world which attempt to create autonomous forms of life in common, in, against and beyond the existing society. As Plan C is part of these attempts of organising autonomy, we propose here this text by Ana, which was originally written as the opening of the Alternative Summit TAOH: New Narratives for Europeheld in Ghent in November 2018’ (Plan C)

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L’arte di organizzare la speranza Movimenti e critica sociale

L’arte di organizzare la speranza.

Movimenti e critica sociale

(Translated by Lorenzo Feltrin)

Per la rubrica teorica Il pensiero alla radice proponiamo un testo di Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, teorica marxista e femminista argentina, docente alla University of Bath. Il suo lavoro più noto è The Politics of Autonomy in Latin America: The Art of Organising Hope (2015), sui movimenti di base in Messico, Argentina, Bolivia e Brasile. Negli ultimi anni Dinerstein ha teorizzato “L’arte di organizzare la speranza” come prassi collettiva di critica sociale dal basso, facendo dialogare esperienze di diverse zone del mondo accomunate dal tentativo di costruire forme di vita in comune e autonome dentro, contro e oltre la società esistente. Quella che segue è una versione abbreviata dell’intervento di apertura dell’Alternative Summit TAOH: New Narratives for Europe, tenutosi a Ghent a fine 2018. Traduzione di Lorenzo Feltrin


Per molti anni ci è stato ripetuto fino allo sfinimento che non c’è alternativa, che non possiamo fare niente contro ciò che ci danneggia. Si tratta di una narrativa paralizzante che crea disperazione. Ma anche la disperazione è un costrutto sociale, e l’immaginario sociale della disperazione è basato sulle idee di dolore, sacrificio, paura, incertezza, vulnerabilità, pericolo. Creare un senso di disperazione è un modo molto efficiente di far passare rapidamente ristrutturazioni economiche irreversibili, anche se degradano la qualità della vita, peggiorano le condizioni di lavoro e più generalmente diffondono paura e infelicità. Tutto ciò facilita la smobilitazione e le attitudini al riflusso che ci separano gli uni dagli altri e dal mondo che dobbiamo così urgentemente cambiare. Il messaggio “Sacrificati oggi o non avrai opportunità nel futuro” che ci offrono i dirigenti del capitalismo-patriarcato-colonialità non è una promessa politica molto allettante! O no? ...


Continue reading: https://www.globalproject.info/it/in_movimento/larte-di-organizzare-la-speranza-movimenti-e-critica-sociale/21967re-la-speranza-movimenti-e-critica-sociale/21967



Rosa Luxemburg: revolutionary warned of environmental destruction and resurgent far right

Your ‘order’ is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will ‘rise up again, clashing its weapons,’ and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing: I was, I am, I shall be!

The final written words of Polish revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg still resonate 100 years since her death. Murdered by right-wing paramilitaries on January 15, 1919, her fate in Berlin foreshadowed the brutality of the following two decades. The German Revolution she fought for was stamped out in the chaotic aftermath of World War I. But did Luxemburg’s legacy die with it? 

Continue reading


Interviews with Ana Cecilia Dinerstein

'Hope is an invitation to work together, to develop alternatives'.

Interview by Dominique Villaert, from the art of organising hope. 31/10/2018
Read the full interview here.


‘Reorganizar la esperanza. Por un Marxismo abierto y decolonial’
Interview by Alejandro Mantilla, 15/11/17, La Siniestra 

Translation (French)
‘Réorganiser l’espoir: Pour un marxisme ouvert et décolonial. Entretien avec Ana Cecilia Dinerstein, par Alejandro Mantilla’. Traduction: Denis Amutio

Blog Posts & Articles Online


Argentina votes to legalise abortion in latest victory for global feminism. TheConversation, https://theconversation.com/argentina-votes-to-legalise-abortion-in-latest-victory-for-global-feminism-98299. 


‘Concrete Utopia’. Public Seminar, New School, http://www.publicseminar.org/2017/12/concrete-utopia/ Also: Centre for Development Studies, Bath https://cdsblogs.wordpress.com 

Women on the Verge: The essence of feminist struggle’, ROAR Magazine,https://roarmag.org/essays/women-on-the-verge/ January 24.


‘A post work economy of robots and machines is a bad utopia for the left’, (with F. H. Pitts and G. Taylor), TheConversationhttps://theconversation.com/a-post-work-economy-of-robots-and-machines-is-a-bad-utopia-for-the-left-59134, May 2016 (5,000 hits).

‘Impeachment or ‘Soft Coup’?: The State of democracy in Brazil and in Latin America today’, Dev@Log Bath, CDS, University of Bath, May 19, https://cdsblogs.wordpress.com/2016/05/19/impeachment-or-soft-coup-the-revenge-of-the-right-and-the-state-of-democracy-in-brazil-and-latin-america-today/


What Europe’s hopeful left can learn from Latin America, The Conversation https://theconversation.com/what-europes-hopeful-left-can-learn-from-latin-america-37422 (87,000 hits).


‘Diciembre 2001: la política contra la police’, Centro Cultural de la Cooperaciónhttp://www.centrocultural.coop/revista/13/diciembre-2001-la-politica-contra-la-police