Autonomous Geographies was initiated by Paul Chatterton (University of Leeds) and Jenny Pickerill (University of Leicester). A third member of the research team, Stuart Hodkinson (University of Leeds), was employed as the project’s research fellow. Here are a few lines about us:
Paul Chatterton, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Leeds
I teach international development and alternatives to development in the School of Geography at the University of Leeds. My main areas of writing and research are: the popular uprising in Argentina since 2001; the corporate control of city centres; and alternative models of development. I am also involved in various solidarity and campaign groups around the UK and beyond, including: Kiptik, a solidarity group helping to build appropriate technology water systems in the Zapatista autonomous communities in Chiapas, Mexico; the Common Place social centre in Leeds; Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network, which provides voluntary support, advice and friendship to refugees and asylum seekers; and Trapese, a popular education collective working on climate change, development and poverty.
Jenny Pickerill, Lecturer in Human Geography,
University of Leicester
I am interested in how collective action, participation, spaces for dialogue, autonomy and anarchism can create pathways towards environmental and social justice. I explore these themes as a researcher, teacher and through daily life. I have been involved in a variety of different campaigns in Britain and Australia, am currently building an eco-house in Leicestershire and volunteering with a support group for refugees in Leicester. My aims in life include minimising my environmental impact, undertaking useful and ethical research, encouraging discussion and radical debates through teaching and using my love of photography to explore the beauty of, and challenges facing, society. I am currently a lecturer in human geography at the University of Leicester and have published a book and a number of journal articles on these themes.
Stuart Hodkinson, Research Fellow, School of Geography, University of Leeds
I am trying to develop with others a grassroots-oriented action research agenda that investigates, explains and challenges the corporate enclosure and exploitation of everyday life under neoliberal globalisation. I am currently focusing on three main areas: (i) networks and distributions of power, ownership and control in the city; (ii) the ‘new enclosures’ being driven by housing privatisation and financial speculation; and (iii) migrant struggles against the modern enslavement system and for asylum, regularisation, full citizenship rights and reparations. I am active in campaigns for affordable public housing and the No Borders network that takes direct action against the detention and deportation of migrants in the UK and campaigns for end to immigrational controls and national borders.
On 28-29 August 2009 in Manchester, activist geographers from around the world will share experiences, insights and methods in relation to defending people’s ‘right to stay put’ and resisting gentrification, displacement and privatisation as part of urban regeneration schemes.
‘Third time lucky’ was Lammas’ motto as they resubmitted their planning application in November 2008. Despite being beleaguered by Byzantine bureaucratic bungling the group remain committed to developing nine eco-smallholdings and a community hub building on their first site in Pembs, Wales and the land purchase is going ahead.
A new book on Low Impact Development has just been published. Edited by Jenny Pickerill and Larch Maxey, with contributions from Simon Fairlie, Tony Wrench, Simon Dale and many more, Low Impact Development: The Future in our Hands explores the radical form of sustainable housing and livelihood in tune with the natural environment and offering innovative solutions for the environmental, social and economic challenges of the 21st century.
Engaging Geography is a seminar series (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council) that aims to explore and respond to key challenges facing geography in 2008 and beyond. Our first seminar will be held on Friday and Saturday January 23rd and 24th, 2009 at the Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK (see www.starandshadow.org.uk ): ‘How did that happen?’ The creation of time and space for public geographies.
University of Leeds, Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre, 6-8pm.
The teach-in will examine the origins of the credit crisis and why it has become so severe; the policies now being pursued nationally and internationally; and the long-term economic and political implications, particularly in relation to financial regulation and global governance.
The Permaculture Association (Britain) is a small education and research charity that supports individuals and groups to learn more about the theory and practice of permaculture. It is currently advertising two vacancies for a Project Coordinator and Finance Clerk at its Leeds office. Closing date: 27 June 2008. More information can be downloaded from its website
A former PhD student and current employee Nottingham University faces deportation to Algeria on 1 June following his unjust arrest under the Terrorism Act 2000 after he printed an Al Qaeda manual as a favour for a research student. Read on and see the Free Hicham Yezza campaign.
A new book has been published bringing together the diverse stories about many of the UK’s social centres, along with thoughts on their effectiveness, the problems they encounter, and the political ideas they encapsulate. What’s this place? has been written by activists involved in social centres with support from the Autonomous Geographies project.
Undercurrents have released the latest episode of their video series ‘Living in the Future’ about Lammas and many other ecovillage type projects around the world. Living in the Future highlights how people have come together to build their own homes, grow their own food, and create lively and sustainable communities.