Making Possible

Making Possible is a symposium and book project inspired by one of the contributors, AbdouMalique Simone.

Outline: Realising the possible requires gaps left open in the intersection of lives and aspirations, ecologies of places and designs, relations and things. It necessitates identifying somewhere to contribute to, navigating space where there seems to be none, and interjecting during pauses in conversations even when the first words are clumsily composed. Making possible also involves struggles—forcing open space for things to happen—and defending that space from occupation, ensuring opportunities for lives excluded and futures denied.

Hope and actions towards making possible require a view of the future: Whether a full perspective of what can be achieved or a partial, constrained, and fleeting interstice, making possible requires a belief in future worlds. Lands taken back from oppressive rule demands belief in a different future, it begins with moments seized and fragments reclaimed. Finding presence in congested cities requires seeking out spaces uninhabited, workplaces left vacant. Contesting emergent publics requires being present, setting forth visions, establishing new relations.

Making Possible, is a 1-day symposium (16 May 2024) exploring how, within austere regimes of tightening controls and oppressive surveillance, possibilities can be identified and constructed, potentialities realised. It is a symposium that explores situations, spaces, and actions of making possible, a discussion of other futures constructed from care, generosity, and compassion—with determination. Between theoretical investigations and grounded empirical research, speakers will discuss what AbdouMalique Simone describes as the ‘possibility for propositions and the rehearsal of experimental ways of living that circumvent debilitating extractions, surveillance, and capture—for the time being.’ (Simone 2022:6)

Speakers: Anushka Athique (Spatial and Digital Ecologies, University of Greenwich), Elisa Cattaneo (Domus Academy / Politecnico di Milano), Kate Davies (Unknown Fields / Architectural Association), Stephen Kennedy (Sound and Image, University of Greenwich), Maria Korolkova (Spatial and Digital Ecologies, University of Greenwich), Justin McGuirk (Future Observatory – Design Museum with AHRC), Victoria Pratt (Invisible Flock), Natasha Trotman (Royal College of Art), and chaired by Ed Wall (Spatial and Digital Ecologies, University of Greenwich).

Publication: A publication will be produced from the discourse, published by the Centre Press in collaboration with Testing-Ground journal, also including contributions from Anna Antonova (Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society), Catherine Maffioletti (Spatial and Digital Ecologies, University of Greenwich), and AbdouMalique Simone (University of Sheffield / Polytechnic University of Turin).

Organisers: The international interdisciplinary symposium is organised by the Centre for Spatial and Digital Ecologies at the University of Greenwich.