We’re back

The “What Really Makes Us Safe?” Project is back in Berlin for the summer and ready to dig deeper into our collective fears and fantasies about the ‘S’ word (pssst: S*A*F*E*T*Y).

We continue to refuse a vision of negative ‘safety’ that’s actually about security – borders, checks, cameras, cages, lockdown, and punishment. We continue to refuse the criminalization of people of color and the false promise that puts a pretty bow on state violence and sells it as protection for: white European queers, trans and/or non-binary folk, and women. We refuse the idea that safety is a zero sum game, where one person’s safety comes at the expense of another’s.

So, how can we build an abolitionist feminist politics of care and conflict? Can we take care of each other without punishing each other, in our families, workplaces, religious communities, political groups, neighborhoods, schools, and homes? What do we need to create so that we have someone to call other than 911 when things get hot? How can political organizations integrate prison and police abolitionism into their work? And in our personal lives, how can we pump up our muscles of self-protection and connection? How can we build our toolkits of apology and accountability for when we fuck up?

Upcoming Events:

1. Book Tour
2. Roundtable for Transformative Justice Research
3. Transformative Justice Practitioners Meeting

1. Book(s) Tour

Presentations & workshops of the “What really makes us safe?” Toolkit and “What to do in case of sexual violence? Handbook for Transformative Work with People who’ve Committed Violence“.

ERKELENZ: Aug 19th at the Klimacamp im Rheinland

HAMBURG: Aug 30th in Villa Magdalena & Sept 1st in Centro Sociale

BERLIN: Sept 7, 12:30 – 2:30 pm at the Festival Gegen Rassismus, at Blücherplatz, Tent 2

BERN: Sept 9th, 6:30 – 8 pm at Uni Tobler, Lerchenweg 36, Room F-123, with the Kritische Jurist*innen Fribourg/Bern

LUZERN: Sept 10th, 6 Dinner / 7 Begin – 9 pm at Räzel, Horwerstrasse 14, with AnaQue

FREIBURG: Sept 11th, 8 – 10 pm at Kita Auja, Grether-Gelände, Adlerstraße 12 with Informationszentrum 3. Welt

FREIBURG: Sept 12th, 10 am – 1 pm at ArTik // Freizeichen, Haslacherstraße 43 with Informationszentrum 3. Welt

BERLIN: Sept 26th, 4 – 7 pm at project space Flutgraben e.V., Am Flutgraben 3, with Critical Friends

HANNOVER: Sept 27th, 4 – 6 pm at the “Was ist das für 1 Freiheit?” Convention, Kulturzentrum Pavillon, Lister Meile 4

HANNOVER: Sept 28th, 10 am – 1:30 pm in the Seminar Room of the former Albert-Schweitzer-School, Fröbelstraße 5

Details about specific events are posted on our social media.

2. Roundtable for Transformative Justice Research

Sept. 15th, Berlin

12 – 3 pm

Do you want to learn more about transformative justice through research?Do you work on topics related to:

  • sexual & partner violence
  • racism & state violence (policing, border regimes, prison)
  • social movements against violence
  • sex work
  • carceral feminism/femonationalism/instrumentalization of queer-feminism for neoliberal & right-wing politics
  • critique of punishment & criminology
  • disability justice & critique of psychiatry
  • restorative and transformative justice alternatives to punishment
  • conflict mediation   

Are you interested in using a transformative, abolitionist lens to research these topics?

The What really Makes Us Safe? Project hosts annual roundtables for people who do research related to transformative justice. We understand research broadly as any activity of focused learning, not limited to academia or journalism or any professional field. Our goal is to build a transnational network of researchers (currently from Australia, Canada, UK, Germany, and the U.S.). Our first roundtable was held in August 2018 and we are planning additional roundtables in San Francisco at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference in November 2019 and in London in 2020.

At the roundtable, we share our research (it’s fine if you don’t have any yet!), workshop our shared questions, and develop a framework for how and why to do abolitionist research. To join us, please email whatreallymakesussafe@riseup.net with a description of your current or future research interests, and what you’d like to get out of the roundtable.

3. Transformative Justice Practitioners Meeting

Sept. 21, Berlin

12 – 4 pm

So it has come to your attention that violence, particularly sexual or partner violence, has happened in your community. Are you trying to find a way to deal with it that doesn’t involve the cops but rather a collective response?

This is a meeting for individuals and groups who are currently engaged in or planning transformative justice processes to address concrete cases of violence in their communities. There are many different ways to do such processes, most of them are improvised and none of them are ‘right’. They can involve survivor support, community prevention and intervention work or accountability for persons causing harm, and hopefully a combination of these.

The focus of this meeting will be on problem-solving and skill-sharing for people facilitating transformative justice processes. As a result, this meeting is not an appropriate setting for those who identify as survivors of harm or persons who have caused harm in those specific processes, although I encourage those individuals to also find appropriate networks of support and, when necessary, accountability.

The meeting is organized in the hopes of bringing individual TJ processes out of isolation and into collective dialogue with one another. It is an invitation to bring together knowledge and experience as well as failure, disaster, and lingering questions. It offers space for self-reflection as well as advising and consultation from external perspectives. The meeting is not designed as a training or a workshop, and does not offer ‘answers’ or ‘expertise’. So it is meant for people who are already familiar with transformative justice responses to violence, particularly sexual & relationship violence, and have some practical experience working on these issues. To learn more about transformative justice, see transformativejustice.eu, which has links to many different resources and organizations.

The meeting will be facilitated by Melanie Brazzell, co-founder of the Transformative Justice Kollektiv Berlin and the What Really Makes Us Safe? Project. The meeting format and agenda will be created in conversation with participants. To learn more about your specific needs and expectations of the meeting, as well as your background, please register for the meeting via this form.