Publica[c]tion: Publishing, an alternative and the creative process of critique
OR, Publica[c]tion: Publishing and constituting an alternative
Publica[c]tion is a Black student-driven publication – a collective process that includes but also transcends and goes beyond the independently, self-published product. Initiated in conversations at the end of 2015 as an attempt to extend and continue the work of the student movement, the publication was printed and launched in August and September 2017. In this paper we reflect on the collaborative, experimental process of public action in order to highlight our learnings and perspectives on publication and relations of knowledge production more broadly. We consider the generative dialectic of critique and creation and how our creative process emerged partly from critiques of academic production and publication. Academic production we understand as largely subordinated to the neoliberal university’s individualism and its undervaluing and undermining of practices of collective knowledge production. From our critique of capitalist publication’s fixation on the product, we fixated on process – wanting to do something collectively and collaboratively. Publica[c]tion’s process emerged as an attempt to archive the particular mo(ve)ments of intense campus struggle, to connect and think and write together as Black student activists across different campuses, and as a critical response to the mainstream media where student struggles were represented in problematic and limited ways. The paper closes by looking at some of the possibilities that the process opened up – how collective reading constitutes a generative alternative to ‘peer review’, how a refusal of the authoritative power of the editor can liberate the creativity of contributors, and how publication can be used as a process of building community.
The digital version of Publica[c]tion can be downloaded as a PDF here [file size: 11MB].
Asher Gamedze is a cultural worker, working mainly through writing, music, and education.
Leigh-Ann Naidoo’s research interests are in education and social justice, social movements as sites of knowledge production, the roles of education in resistance movements, histories of radical education and student resistance, and thinking about the figure of the intellectual and the teacher as an intellectual.