Knowledge as a common good

As one of the countries hardest hit by austerity politics, Greece is also in the vanguard of experimentation to find ways beyond the crisis.  Now there is a documentary film about the growth of commons-based peer production in Greece, directed by Ilias Marmaras. “Knowledge as a common good: communities of production and sharing in Greece” is a low-budget, high-insight survey of innovative projects such as FabLab Athens, Greek hackerspaces, Frown, an organization that hosts all sorts of maker workshops and presentations, and other projects.

Greece is going through the sixth year of recession. Austerity policies imposed by IMF, ECB and the Greek political pro-memorandum regimes, foster an unprecedented crisis in economy, social life, politics and culture. In the previous two decades the enforcement of the neoliberal politics to the country resulted in the disintegration of the existed social networks, leaving society unprepared to face the upcoming situation.

During the last years, while large parts of the social fabric have been expelled from the state and private economy, through the social movements which emerge in the middle of the crisis, formations of physical and digital networks have appeared not only in official political and finance circles, but also as grassroots forms of coexistence, solidarity and innovation. People have come together, experimenting in unconventional ways of collaboration and bundling their activities in different physical and digital networks. They seek answers to problems caused by the crisis, but they are also concerned about issues due the new technical composition of the world. In doing so they produce and share knowledge.

George Papanikolaou P2P foundation:

We live in a time that has seen deep changes in the way societies produce perceptibly, at least in the West. It is as result of dramatic changes that have taken place in the production field. We live in an era of highly-networked society and it was the advent of internet, perhaps, the key element of this change. Fundamental labour practices have been altered. For the first time, we are witnessing groups of producers having the chance to meet up outside the traditional frameworks – like that of a corporation, or state organisation -People that take initiatives to form groups in order to produce goods that belong in the commons sphere.

Γιώργος Παπανικολάου P2P foundation:

Από την δεκαετία του 80 παρατηρήθηκαν στις προηγμένες βιομηχανικά χώρες της δύσης κυρίως, σημάδια κάποιων μετασχηματισμών στο χώρο των παραγωγικών διαδικασιών. Στη συνέχεια από τα μέσα της δεκαετίας του 90 με την μαζική διάδοση του διαδικτύου και των ψηφιακών δικτύων γενικότερα, οι μετασχηματισμοί αυτοί πήραν την μορφή ριζοσπαστικών αλλαγών που στις μέρες μας πια εξαπλώνονται σχεδόν παντού με ραγδαίο τρόπο.

Παρατηρούμε για πρώτη φορά στην ιστορική περίοδο που ξεκινά από την πρώτη βιομηχανική επανάσταση, το φαινόμενο οργάνωσης της παραγωγής και ιδιαίτερα της παραγωγής γνώσης, έξω από τα παραδοσιακά πλαίσια που ίσχυαν ως τώρα.

Οι άνθρωποι σχηματίζουν αυτοβούλως ομάδες μα σκοπό την παραγωγή κοινής γνώσης αλλά και κοινών υλικών αγαθών, έξω από τις κάθετες δομές ιεράρχησης των εταιριών ή των πλαισίων που θέτουν τα κράτη. Αυτό συμπίπτει με μια γενικότερη μετάβαση που συμβαίνει κυρίως στις ανεπτυγμένες χώρες της δύσης, από την βιομηχανική κοινωνία στην οικονομία της γνώσης.

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