Accepted paper:

'To Participate in Commons': The case of sarantaporo.gr in northern Greece as Alternative Politics

Author:

Aimilia Voulvouli (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on 6 months of participant observation, the presentation approaches the case of sarantaporo.gr, a wireless community network in rural Greece as a process of community building based on solidarity, sharing, participating, offering and learning creating thus a space of alternative politics.

Paper long abstract:

The paper discusses the case of sarantaporo.gr, a community that in 2010 created and deployed wireless community networks in 11 villages aiming at bridging the digital divide between the urban areas and the rural mountainous region of Elassona in central Greece, where telecommunication companies are not interested in infrastructure investment. The networks' infrastructure is offered as a 'commons' openly accessible by all who live in the area and are either node holders or live close to access points. Drawing on six months of participant observation, the presentation approaches the case of sarantaporo.gr as a process of community building based on principles of solidarity, sharing, participating, offering and learning. In the framework of this process, to 'participate in commons' which in Greek has a distinct dual meaning - that is, participation in claiming and creating natural and cultural resources accessible by all members of a community and involvement in all sorts of politics (symmetohi sta koina) is being re-appropriated, redefined and reproduced creating thus a space for alternative politics.

panel P139
Alter-politics, commons and ethnographies for another world