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The Intercontinental Youth Camp 2001-2005 : Linking Open Space Activism, the World Social Forum, and Imaginaries for Alternative Worlds Download
Daniel H.O. Morrison
The Intercontinental Youth Camp (IYC) has opened distinctive spaces of experience to link activist networks, the World Social Forum (WSF), and alternative imaginaries. It originated in reaction to the inaugural WSF in Porto Alegre, Brazil, although both initiatives emerged in 2001 in broader struggles to challenge neoliberal globalization. Some 80,000 campers from diverse backgrounds and mostly under 30 lived in the five Camps, which lasted from six to ten days. Four took place in Porto Alegre and the other (in 2004) in Mumbai, India. The IYC’s central imaginary of horizontal self-management was largely shaped by Camp organizers and key volunteering onsite; the WSF and local political conditions were also crucial. While the Camps exhibited contradictions – such as those arising from hierarchical leadership and many participants more interested in apolitical partying than in social change – they cultivated exciting possibilities for an emerging new political generation of human agents.