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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Dreaming, we walk : CIPO-VAN and the search for resistance and creation Cushing, Loren Benjamin


By way of a case study of CIPO-VAN, a Vancouver BC comuna within the Popular and Indigenous Council of Oaxaca - 'Ricardo Flores Magon', this thesis addresses two fundamental questions: First, what is the relationship between ideation - including theorizing, dreaming and searching and organizational forms in contemporary radical social movements? Second, what is CIPO-VAN's method of resistance, and how does it challenge power? In response to the first question, I argue that in CIPO-VAN, ideation and organizational form interact in a mutually constitutive cycle that each informs the constant recreation of the other. Ultimately, a firm distinction between ideation and organizational form cannot be sustained, as both are integral to CIPO-VAN's exploratory process. To address the second question, I develop the beginnings of a concept of creative resistance that I call 'community conception'. Community conception is a form of resistance based equally in dreaming of another kind of world, or worlds, and establishing, in concrete everyday relations, the forms of communality that offer alternatives to capitalist and statist social relations. As such, this form of non-violent radical social change exists at the intersection of dreaming and creating, where people form community relations that undermine dominant systems and provide alternatives to them.

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