Autonomous Gyms

This session is envisioned as a chance to build on dialogues fostered during the Balkans Anarchist Bookfair in July 2023, exploring current best practices and struggles in past attempts to create popular (in this community sense of the word) gyms that unite anarchist theory, physical self-defence, and, potentially, the popularity of sport as a mechanism through which we achieve social change. It draws on spaces where anarchist practices have been embedded within more mainstream movements or organisations (in the U.K., on the European continent, and elsewhere in the world), whilst examining how recent momentous chances (the far-right coming out into the open; Covid-19 changing the ways in which we organise). This session would encourage cross-organisation dialogue, individual inputs based on experiences and concerns whilst involved in such spaces, and offer a chance for networking. In the ideal, perhaps we can look to build something online or in-person that can strengthen or connections and create something more sustainable in our local communities.

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