Commoning in a pluriverse

Here we explore the possibility of a new series of commons.hour - a study circle around Vanessa Machado de Oliveira’s Hospicing modernity - Facing humanity’s wrongs and the implications for social activism.

The author is interviewed here

Seems to me, Vanessa Machado de Oliveira’s 2021 book is an important, powerful, well founded and intriguingly presented radical decolonial take, on the mess we’re in, It carries a challenge:

to grow up, step up, and show up for ourselves, our communities, and the living Earth, and to interrupt the modern behaviour patterns that are killing the planet we’re part of. Publisher’s website

This note of mine is a move to convene a study circle around the book, and in relationship with the formation, Gesturing toward decolonial futures, of which the author is a member. I resonate particularly with the call to ‘eldering’ [Towards Eldering – Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures] in GTDF and the book.

I’m circulating this invitation thro the networks of, MayFirst Movement Technology and, the Robinistas, and some formations involved in language(ing) of struggle. The three coops involved in collectively stewarding digital infrastructure (meet. coop, MayFirst, social. coop), are deeply, contradictorily, meshed in modernity. The Robinistas - affiliates of progressive economist Robin Murray (an early leader in Fairtrade and waste economics, a cooperator, a development economist) - are kind-of tangential-but-still tangled. The practices of language(ing) of struggle are like GTDF, attempting to re-weave a fabric in which modernism is just at the margins.

My hunch is, it would be worthwhile to see if we could dance together threads of all these, in a joint review-learning process, across various movements, sectors and regions.

The language(ing) of struggle framing that I’ve been working at for several years - a pattern language of making a living economy - is the foprop weave. One of the pivots of this is the capacity for commoning, in all landscapes (material, cultural, aesthetic), all fields of subsistence and wellbeing. Another is pluriverse, a radical decolonial commitment and insight that is shared, for example, by Global Tapestry of Alternatives: Pluriverse - A post-development dictionary. Hence my proposed tag for a study circle: Commoning in a pluriverse. That thematic framing is open to re-writes of course, by whatever group might decide to get together. It’s sure to have modernist entanglements!

Here is what I will do:

  • July 2024 - Circulate this invitation to form a study circle
  • July-Sep 2024 - Collate responses and convene an initial discussion, in the meet. coop forum: Commoning in a pluriverse. The forum is open to all, just make an ID.
  • Thro 2024-25 - Hold a space at commons.hour, an open online discussion venue of meet. coop, for whatever live online exchanges and sessions develop.
  • April 2024- - Blog related stuff, in my own voice, at The Methuselah papers

It’s worth noting how very education-centric the book is, founded in discovery-learning-therapy processes conducted in multiple locations over a period of years. It thus meshes closely with the commitment to formación (the skilful cultivating of formations, which could be capable of making a living economy) which became prominent for me through co-convening the Robinistas, and which constitutes one of four ‘zones of reach’ in the foprop weave. The book offers a rich curriculum, as-is. But I imagine that in our networks we also have creative capability that might amend, localise and diversify the author’s methodological-pedagogical insights, working in further ways in further kinds of community.

‘The digital thing’ is probably the most different dimension; and one of the most difficult and problematic? But to think radically revisioned ‘economy’ (ie provisioning material means of subsistence and wellbeing) - and not just ‘movements’ (ie culture and politics) - is an important extension too?

Anyway: we make the path by walking. Looking forward to initial thoughts on frame and actions and scope. Respond here below; or in email

Love & solidarity / mike
Barefoot Documents | meet. coop

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Hi Mike,

I’m interested! Please keep me posted as this unfolds and let me know if you need anything else from me. I tried clicking the email link but it led to an error message. Feel free to message me on Mastodon at


Hi @mikemh I like to share this study process and learn more about these various languages of struggle, decolonial futures and eldering, and in the process weave networks to do things differently.

For now I think this space at forum + the fediverse is a good place to convene people to join the process, in which we can get together online in a online meeting room. Or, put differently, in a decentralised view: probably the fediverse is our greatest way to connect to each other, with posts in different hubs like and the GTA and MayFirst etc.

I just followed @arod at the mastodon :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Lovely to see you here @wouter :slight_smile: A couple of others have expressed interest at this point, but I’m awaiting further responses before making a move to get together. I have a hunch that August may pass before things can get off the ground. Watch this space. And leave any thoughts here of course, meanwhile.

I’m on the list too… :slight_smile:

Thank your for seeding this initiative! :pray:

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hi @EduMerco / lovely to see you here. Hang loose, this will take a little time to get in motion!

Reflections on the book, and how it might be mobilised, are very welcome though, from all here.