Blog by Christos Giovanopoulos
One of the results of the Infra-demos’ collaboration with the Solidarity Schools Network has been the development of an interactive platform which will visualize the ecosystem of the solidarity schools. This implies not only a presentation of quantitative and qualitative information about each school, but also other actors and agents which facilitate the solidarity schools’ operation, or, the later mobilize.
The development of the platform (still ongoing) follows a participation action research and co-design methodology. The initial discussion of the proposal for such mapping in the coordinating assemblies of the solidarity schools was followed by a first round of data collection. During these interviews the issue that arose was ‘what is the best way’ to represent the solidarity schools network according to its decentralized logic and principles? The deliberation, comments and suggestions that made informed the platform’s design and layout.
The resulted interactive map shows thus the span of the schools social relations and the reach of their transformative practices. It also provides an initial glimpse into their social infrastructural capacities which transcends a net pedagogical perspective as the network expands in various scales and fields; from the local to the international and from meeting educational needs to nurturing structures and processes of education communities (and education) as ‘expanding commons’ (Stavrides, 2017).
On Saturday 16/03/2019 a ‘draft’ version of the platform was presented for first time (photos) and for deliberation to the teachers, students, parents and volunteers who participated in the assembly of the ‘Mesopotamia’ Solidarity School, in Moschato - Athens. The event initiated a new round of co-design meetings for feedback towards the final formation of the platform.
The public launch of the platform, in both Greek and English, will take place in the first public event that the Solidarity Schools’ Network organize for this year next Friday, 12 April 2019, in Thessaloniki. It forms part of the presentation of the expanded Solidarity Schools’ Network which organizes a round of public events and meetings until the end of the current academic year, starting from two-day events in Thessaloniki on 12 & 13 of April, which will be followed by two more public events, in Corfu and Athens in June.
Stavrides St. (2016) Common Space: The City as Commons. London. Zed Books