Disorientations Weekly 2020-07-07
7pm via Jitsi
Attending: Casey, Emma, Joanne, Matt
- Intros - pronouns
- Check-in question [all - 5m] - If you could teach a class on anything, what would you teach? If you could take a class on anything, what would you want to learn?
- Joanne: would teach Chinese, would learn how to raise a timber frame house & forest maintenance, fox maple school
- Matt: would teach computer science or coding; learning: took a creative writing course, bucket list to publish a work of prose
- Casey: would go back to school for actuarial science/study of risk; would teach structures for organizing workshop
- Emma: ceramics, succulents
- docs.disorientations.org - [Casey - 2m]
- Should we tweet out meeting minutes and Jitsi links to encourage broader involvement?
- Decision: yes!
- Should we tweet out meeting minutes and Jitsi links to encourage broader involvement?
- Emailing groups - [Emma - 5m]
- Emma went on Airtable and tried to find emails for very group with a pub in last 4 or 5 years. Only person that got back was Cambridge, linked PDFs – will upload. They said they don’t have capacity to collaborate.
- Went on Facebook and searched Disorientation. Turns out Penn has a call for Diso out and Brown is compiling their Diso right now. Reached out and heard back from those two, who will reach out to more people.
- Heard back from friend at Columbia, Barnard Diso. Would put a blurb in call for submissions, explaining goals. Could patch something together. Wanted to sit in but werne’t able to. Really excited!
- Do we have a blurb outlining our goals, our team, what we need, other stuff, etc.?
- Can repurpose from Eyebeam.
- What’s appropriate practice for following up?
- Helpmonks (shared email) [Casey - 2m]
- Shared email that will make it easy to collaborate and assign different threads back and forth. Could be helpful for tagging a bunch of things for someone else to upload, or picking up a thread where someone else left off.
- Waiting to confirm open source free account eligibility then will send everyone invites and show how to forward messages in.
- Pandemic Edition check-in - [15m]: ~2 months to September – Based on where we’re at, what’s most important to making this happen? Do we need to re-think any aspects of this?
- Joanne: Ultimately something that we’re helping students create, so not something we’re creating. Not sure what sense is from student groups, if we know what kinds of help they might need. Last few days seeing the news about international students and visas. What’s a diso for when your campus is at 40% capacity? Such a wild fall semester. Without having a call with students, hard to say what this will become.
- Casey: what kind of help would you need? putting out our intentions, a landing page where we create (just on the docs page or as a subdomain) a call for collaborators (“hey we want to do this” and speculate how it will run)
- Emma: AFAIK Brown is already compiling guide. Document I sent is a draft of last section. Penn hasn’t sent a call for submissions, Columbia/Barnard hasn’t. Hearing from other schools that they don’t have capacity. University of FL has a page but hasn’t replied. Could be an opportunity to enter space, maybe didn’t have resources, don’t wanna speculate. More specific questions. Groups that want to form but haven’t formed.
- Casey: Students who aren’t in a group can still contribute to something cross university. How are we going to continue the conversation? we can still apply to different stuff, but what are the other things we can offer regardless (experience in publishing things, copy editing, archival research kinda, offer strategy/insights, facilitation, support, volunteer hours)
- Emma: Can ask my friend what the process is like. Barnard Zine club organizes across different students and compiles submissions. Brown is
- Casey: group of people deciding together, assigning roles (edit, design, write, website); in a lot of cases these can happen internal to a group, space for floater people can be productive to think about, so many people who are far-flung might be experiencing the university fucked them over for the first time (Joanne), these publications bring a sense of “we are the students this is about”
- Joanne: People across different schools might be asking similar questions that they didn’t ask before. If I were an international student I’d be fucked because of visa stuff. You wouldn’t ask that otherwise, but it’s a national thing. Organizers might not know what questions people have. What are the questions of incoming students, across schools are these the same? Can poll people to try and answer. Can poll people to answer them. Can be connector.
- Emma: Two things tangential: tried posting Zoom University group, don’t know if post got past moderation, might try again. Talked to friend at U Chicago and heard they don’t really need help, what would be useful is to have a better campaign memory to create less about barriers to entry to organizing. How we did it, etc. A different kind of archival project. In the future distinguish between that kind of work, students organzing vs. a new student who has no idea what’s going on.
- Joanne: Love “campaign memory”. What’s urgently needed? What help would they need? More urgent needs before archive of disos.
- Emma: Diso is not for them, it’s a side project to building community base. Wanna look again before making judgement. Team related to other organizing projects. Question of urgency is tricky because of police organizing. Idea of urgency is about one thing.
- Joanne: Question of why now is important. Not super clearly but something requires us to do it this year.
- Casey: campaign memory: reminds one of the biggest challenge with free Cooper – things change so rapidly and it’s difficult to keep track of a blow-by-blow of events, timelines fall apart really fast; ideas around archiving student activism that are adjacent to the project and enacted by the creation of the diso. the diso was an exercise of putting actions into words for someone with zero understanding of the context. there’s also internal tools and ways of managing information and history and memory that are most useful for present day organizing. this project – nexus of student activism, archiving, and technology, there’s room to support adjacent ideas like that. stuff like what project STAND is doing feels super relevant, where we could/someone could do differently, not aware how a student organizer archives their own work. it’s adjacent to the things we are doing, a different take on the same issues. this is not for the core group but for people getting into it
- Share/discuss individual writing - [15m]: re: race, representation, where we’re at/where we want to see this project go
- Emma: Agree with transparency, resonated with limits, not try to speak for folks we can’t speak for or act for people not in our group currently – most certain about that. Anything further has to do with student input. (I would be okay being explicit – eg: we are currently a team of four, we want to do xyz and take a more infrastructural role)
- Joanne: This project is not about us. It’s more about our skills and resources and networks and less about our identities. I hope that we can build shared infrastructure for student activists, so that their work can rise to the urgent of the moments (and not worry about last-minute logistics like money for print production, or how to throw together a website, or how to manage money) AND have long-term sustainability (there’s an institutional memory that lives on in history!).
- Casey’s response: https://hackmd.io/MzKtTl0VQ5eHJmde3sKsyA?both
- 7 different sources :) hodgepodge of everything linked about governance and values, assemblage; next task is to look for snippets that resonate and condense in our own words
- we can put out there that we are a “do-ocracy” (for now, operating informally, people can do work in their own way)
- re: identity and representation, we want to be an archive in the service of student organizers and activists
- technology in this service/to help movements (FOSS)
- tech-inflected idea of “diversity” didn’t sit right with me for this project, tries to address a symptom not a cause; activist project could speak more to values of equity, anti-oppression, we can put some things out there to signal for activists that we are speaking the same language, we intend to take actions that center people of color, student activists. think there’s a way to do that that will be good
- Joanne: What we’re doing is as much learning as it is producing. How does one archive work in a campaign that’s ephemeral? How do we do it in a shared way? How do we do it in a way that builds history? The learning piece might be more important than the web archive itself. As we’re thinking about what we’re producing, these resources around coops, shared ownership, are equally important as a collective resource.
- Emma: Agreed. If we did have to put up a page could put questions. Love that meeting notes are published.
- Casey: Yes! Big declaration of our shared politics might be too much signaling, want to start where we’re at, questions > answers. how do other people address this? the way that the CLEAR lab says this is process orientation: less interested in creating data to change science than creating methods to change the way science is done; Combahee river collective: Black feminist organizers – consciousness raising; this is a project about learning
- Joanne: some uncertainty about what we’re doing, collecting resources and amplifying them, along those lines it’s okay to clarify…we’re not firmly set on what we’re making, it’s okay to be with questions. diso is the subject matter.
- Casey: connects back to UChicago friend: envisioning involvement in this project as a way to learn about archiving activism and take back to your own context, and apply to what you need most; this can become a pool of resources. let’s meet with an archivist (project STAND), shared learning group. another type of thing that (we might not be clear about asking)…set up a blog in the beginning, it’s hard to blog! a lot of people like writing and doing social media, a huge potential for people who spend time with these materials/in these meetings to contribute by writing and being on social media. a way to participate
- Joanne: we don’t have to sweat over the name of the structure; we’re curious about all of them and it’s a way to learn about them vs. here’s all the things we identify with, which is tricky since we aren’t forming an official entity
- Check-out - [2m]: In one word: how are you feeling?
- Hungry, Tense, Inspired, Tired
- Q from Casey: What do we want to feel like at the end of our meetings and how do we get there? :~)!
For Next Week
- Mini-Retrospective on Eyebeam Application/Opportunities - [10m]: What did we learn? What would we keep or change in the scoping, content, or process of future grant applications? Where to from here?
- We will share meetings notes on Twitter and also tweet about upcoming calls
- Questions (for collaborators, for diso potential audiences)
- Casey tweet meeting notes
- Casey setup Tweetdeck and add Joanne
- Emma - stitch together blurb, setup document for questions (for who)